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10 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Sisters Can Relate To

10 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Sisters Can Relate To

I have a long distance sister. My sister lives in another state and I miss her like crazy, but it does make getting together all the more poignant and enjoyable when it does happen. Sisterhood is undeniably a special bond, one that can’t be broken — regardless of how far apart you are or how often you get to see each other. Often life gets busy and whether they are across the street or across the other side of the world, getting together with your sister can get less frequent as we get older. However, there is an upside to living far away from each other. Having a long distance sister means that catching up is all the more significant.

Here are 10 sweet moments that long distance sisters can relate to:

1. Having a place to stay when you travel

When you live away from your sister, you know that any time you visit her specifically or happen to travel in her vicinity, you will definitely have a place to call home. Free lodging with family, especially a sister, means always having a home away from home. And if you forgot something or need a special pair of earrings to finish off an outfit, you can always raid your sister’s room, just like old times.

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2. Exchanging all the presents at once

Having missed several special occasions by the time you get together means you get to exchange all your gifts with each other at once. Birthdays, graduations, religious holidays – any occasion that requires a gift is saved up and a good way to save on postage is to put all those presents aside and take them with you next time you visit. Then, you can open a bottle of wine and a giant box of chocolates and sit on the lounge room floor to unwrap all your goodies.

3. Meeting and reconnecting with nieces/nephews

If residing apart has meant that you aren’t able to be there to hold each others’ hands while in labor, visits can mean meeting new nieces and nephews for the first time or seeing how much they’ve grown and changed the next time you reconnect. Photos and videos can keep you updated, but being an aunty in the flesh without having to babysit weekly makes the relationship with the little critters all the more worthwhile.

4. Exploring each others’ home improvements

Getting to stay at each others’ house infrequently means you don’t see the mess of renovation and home decoration. When the time comes to visit you have both got the spare bedroom immaculate, like a bed and breakfast. Showing each other your homes can be the fun part of not living near one another.

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5. Sharing a meal

As children, you probably sat at the dining table together a million times over a million meals. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and you never even said two words to each other except maybe to fight over the last piece of garlic bread, but now meals take on a different meaning. Breaking bread with your sister at your favorite cafe or restaurant, or better still cooking a meal for her gives you both immeasurable pleasure and comfort. Open a bottle of good wine and break out the ice cream and coffee and you’re likely to be sitting at the dining table for half the night.

6. Hugging

As kids it was probably the most uncool thing in the world to do to hug your sister. You don’t realize how little affectionate physical contact you have with your siblings whey you are children; the only time you touch is likely to be the rare occasions when you fall asleep on the lounge together or if you shove each other as you pass in the hallway. However, as adults there is nothing as comforting as that bear hug the minute you see each other at the air port or in the driveway. The older you get, the tighter and longer the hugs.

7. Making eye contact in real time

When you mostly communicate with your long distance sister via text message, email, or online chatting, you don’t make actual eye contact with her. Even if you’re looking at her through a computer screen, you’re probably just looking at the image of yourself talking or you’re doing other things while you talk. Eye contact is underrated. It’s these moments that are a stark reminder of the connection between you.

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8. Waking up and going to bed in the same house again

How many mornings and evenings together did you take for granted as children? Living apart puts an end to bleary-eyed breakfasts in your pajamas and late nights watching movies together. They say, about many things, you never know when the last time will be. Catching up brings those morning and evening opportunities back. It’s just nice to be under the same roof again, knowing they are on the other side of the wall provides a sense of coziness lost long ago.

9. Reminiscing about old times

At some point it is inevitable that you will remember the past together. When you don’t see each other regularly, you lack having someone in your life with that shared experience of growing up together. You have known this person the longest in your life. Longer than your parents, partner, children, and your best friends. Having somebody to evoke the past with, who understands and remembers your memories, good and bad, helps you to make sense of who you are and where you come from. Nothing is as precious as going through old photo albums with the one person who was standing beside you.

10. Making plans for the future

The distance between you is an opportunity to look forward to something. It’s knowing that at some point you will see each other again and that will get you through being apart. Absence and distance definitely make the heart grow fonder. Petty disagreements and personality clashes, sibling rivalry and old resentments disappear because you cherish your relationship all the more.

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In this day and age, people go their own way. The world is small. It isn’t unusual for families to live continents apart, but with the ease of travel and technology those relationships not only survive, but thrive. Having a long distance sister is a privilege and it’s the quality of time spent together that’s most important, not the quantity. Being far away from each other forces you to make those moments count.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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