“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney
The majority of us don’t have a very high self-esteem, but among us there are many special individuals who don’t even realize they are unique. The reason why this happens is that sometimes there may be people in our lives who underestimate us and make us feel worthless and insecure.
“As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too.” – Johnny Depp
And as many of us, you probably are both very humble and incredibly special, but you still don’t know it. Just because you don’t save lives every day, you don’t have a huge self-confidence and you are not a doctor with five Masters and a PhD, it doesn’t mean that you’re not special. Being special could mean many things, like volunteering, helping your friends, listening to someone who feels alone, being a single mother or working all day long to pay the house mortgage.
Here are 10 signs that will reveal you how special you are.
1. You think there is always more to learn
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
You are not arrogant like many people, and you’re interested in what happens around the world. Also, you are curious, and you always feel you should learn new things or improve some of your skills.
2. You are kind to others
When you meet new people or when you are dealing with someone you already know, like your friends, or your colleagues, you tend to smile and be kind, just because there is no reason to be negative and treat others as if they were less important. Remember what I’m about to say and stick to it: never ever ever try to emulate people who never smile and are rude and disrespectful, just because they are powerful. Those people have huge unresolved personal issues. It’s the way you deal with others, being kind and positive, that makes you special and unique. So don’t try to change this.
Image: Be Kind
3. You understand others’ feelings
You don’t know how, but when someone talks about his personal life and experiences with you, sharing secrets or feelings with you, you perfectly understand the way they feel. Plus, you know you always need to go beyond the way others appear, to understand them. When someone tells you “I’m fine” you know there might be something more going on according to their voice or their facial expression, and you try to listen them, letting them talk about how they feel.
4. You enjoy music
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
Your brain is very sensitive to music. Not only do you enjoy music, but you also need it in your daily routine, and it always evokes deep emotions in you. Those emotions may be good or bad, but they are strong.
5. You listen
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
This is one of the most rare qualities in a person. Everyone tends to talk about himself or herself, for hours, regardless of what others have to say. Instead, you tend to listen a lot to others and you feel genuinely interested in their lives and in what they talk about.
Image: Listen My Friend
6. You like to make others happy
You feel good every time you manage to make someone happy, and you spend time thinking about many ways of making others smile or live a good moment. This might be, for example, a nice gift, a smile, a surprise or any kind of good deed.Advertising
Image: Be kind
7. You are positive
“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” – Marla Gibbs
Not only do you have a positive attitude towards life and challenges, but you also try to transmit your good mindset to others. You usually don’t have prejudices and always think people are basically good. As a result, this could hurt you sometimes, and you have to be careful, but it’s the way you are.
8. You have goals
You know exactly what you want from yourself, and you have intelligently planned your goals. You take action in your life, and you know where you want to go. Also, you don’t let others discourage you.
Image: It’s A Goal
9. You dream
This means that you are ambitious, something that gives you the power to boost your productivity and motivation to go through your challenges. You don’t let obstacles stop you, you don’t let anything intimidate you, and you think big even when some people try to confuse or scare you.
10. You like to travel and learn from other cultures
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Unknown
You believe in the power of multiculturalism, you are curious about other countries, other architectures and other ways of life. You give yourself the gift of learning from other cultures because you know how much this can make you richer. You like to interact with people with different experiences of life, from other societies, religions, and civilizations, and you are happy to share your culture with them as well.Advertising
Featured photo credit: A Dream Within A Dream via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.
If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:
You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.
You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.
In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.
You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.
People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.
You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.
You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.
Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.
Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:
- Understand your own communication style
- Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
- Communicate with precision and care
- Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger
1. Understand Your Communication Style
To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.
In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.
Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.
2. Learn Others Communication Styles
Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.
If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:
“How do you prefer to receive information?”
This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.
To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.
3. Exercise Precision and Care
A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.
On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.
Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.
I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.
I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.
In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.
The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.
Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.
4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger
Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.
In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,
“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”
Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.
It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.
It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.
It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.
Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.
Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.
The Bottom Line
When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.
I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
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