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If You Really Love Yourself, You Won’t Do These 7 Things

If You Really Love Yourself, You Won’t Do These 7 Things

Most people, if asked, would probably say that they love themselves. But when you start to look at how they treat themselves, a different answer begins to emerge. It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to look, be and act a certain way; so easy in fact that we may act more lovingly towards others than we do to ourselves. I’m talking about societal, religious, family or peer group beliefs or pressure to behave a certain way, do a certain job or make yourself believe you should “be” in the world that might not align with who you really are.

The more time you spend trying to conform to everyone else’s expectations, the more lost and less loving towards yourself you may become.

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Here are 7 things you won’t do if you really love yourself – how do you stack up?

1. You won’t over commit.

People who love themselves know how to say no to a lot of things so they can say yes to the things that are really important to them. While people may try to guilt or pressure you into a yes from time to time, setting boundaries with time and energy is a great sign of self-love.

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2. You won’t be afraid to ask for help.

You know how to put down your cape. You know you don’t have to be all things to all people and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You love yourself enough to know when you need help or when you will be honoring and helping another by letting them get involved.

3. You won’t rely on others to make you happy.

Happiness is an inside job. If you wait for the perfect job, the perfect friend, a romantic outing planned by someone else – you may find yourself waiting to be happy. If you really love yourself, you will know what makes you happy and have things to turn to when other things are going as planned. I have a “Happy List” – a written list of things I like to do, from reading to going for a walk to my dream vacation. When I’m feeling less than happy, I grab my list and do something from the list. It’s up to ME to bring as much happiness into my life as possible, I can’t put that on someone else.

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4. You won’t compare yourself to others.

They say “comparison is the thief of joy” and I couldn’t agree more. Comparing your life, your job, your success to someone else is a recipe for disaster. Because you really love yourself, you know that what you see on social media is the edited, often glamorous version of someone’s life. You don’t have all the information and know that it’s best to focus on yourself and stop the comparison game.

5. You won’t second guess your decisions.

While some people can make decisions quickly and others deliberate a long time, people who love themselves don’t second guess the decisions they make that can’t be undone. If you chose to go skiing and wish you were on a sandy beach, you know that second guessing the choice will just make you feel bad about yourself. You learn from decisions and might make different ones the next time, but you don’t spend time and energy second guessing yourself.

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6. You won’t feel guilty for taking “me time”.

When you fly, they always remind you that “in the case of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” People who love themselves realize that that applies to everyday life as well. Taking some “me time” to do things you enjoy and that renew you isn’t selfish, it’s vital. You know that you are at your best when self-care is a priority.

7. You won’t beat yourself up for making a mistake.

You forgive yourself, just as you forgive others, for making mistakes. Many people put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect and then beat themselves up when they aren’t – not you! Because you love yourself, you know that you are human and that you can learn from your mistakes. You find the silver lining or the lesson and move on, forgiving yourself and focusing on the future instead of beating yourself up for something that happened in the past.

Because you love yourself, you also know that you will actually do some of these things from time to time – and you will remember #7 and not beat yourself up. The best form of self love is self-awareness, seeing when you are being unloving towards yourself and changing course. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you are perfect, it means you take care of yourself, are kind to yourself and show up in the world as best way you can every day.

Featured photo credit: Marcy Kellar via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

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:

Example 1

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.

Example 2

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.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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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.

Example 4

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.

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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.

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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,[1]

“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.

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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