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People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

As a culture obsessed with appearance, strength and achievement, it is easy to see why crying is not on the list for most desirable traits. We consider crying messy and weak. If you are doing life right, then there won’t be a reason to cry. People who cry a lot are often categorized as overly emotional or erratic. And while that may be true for some, in reality, people who cry a lot ‘have it together’ in the ways that count.

Here are 8 reasons why people who cry often are actually mentally stronger than the rest of the pack.

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1. They are healthier

Stuffing those emotions down is not healthy for anyone. When under stress, it is common in our culture to celebrate those who can ‘tough it out’. In reality, unchecked stress leads to a load of health issues such as an increased risk for heart attack, anxiety and high blood pressure. According to Dr. William H. Frey, crying alleviates stress both for the mind and the body. He says that crying in fact, lowers cholesterol levels and decreases a chemical that can lead to anxiety. To further support this, researchers from the University of Southern Florida suggest that crying is a way to restore us physiologically and psychologically. When it comes to taking care of their mental and physical health, people who cry often have the right idea.

2. They are happier

It is common misconception that frequent criers are the saddest people. On the contrary, crying improves your mood. In a research study conducted by Dr. Frey, 88.8% of participants found that they had an improved mood after shedding tears. Crying provides a flood of emotional relief that allows us to leave the sadness behind. We all have a reason to cry at some point in life, and those who embrace a good cry are able to address their pain and look towards a brighter tomorrow.

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3. They are braver

Whether you believe that vulnerability is strength or weakness (it is a strength), there is no denying that it is a challenge. It takes a brave person to allow your emotions to be exposed in front of other people. Those who cry are knowingly inviting people into their heart at the risk (or likelihood) of being judged, misunderstood or belittled. Most of us aren’t willing to be vulnerable for this reason, yet the criers take the risk. Now, who said crying is a weakness?

4. They are better communicators

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe the same goes for crying. People who cry often have a knack for communication. Through tears we offer an honest and meaningful picture of our hearts. It is a common practice for people who cry a lot to use this to express themselves. This only enhances their ability to communicate in other ways.

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5. They have better relationships

Vulnerability is what connects people on a deeper level and crying is vulnerability at its finest. Allowing someone in to your heart in such an unmasked way is a risk that can bring great reward. People who cry a lot experience the connection with others that comes from being vulnerable with others. For friends who are trustworthy and true, the benefit of allowing them to witness your tears is often a deeper and more connected relationship.

6. They are more honest

Tears are authentic. As they roll down your face, you can’t help but admit to yourself what you are feeling. Crying is not only brave, but is an honest reflection of the heart. People who cry a lot are frequently facing their own reality. When anyone can admit to the state of their soul, it leads to a more honest life.

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7. They have a better understanding of themselves

Those who cry often are more likely to have strong self awareness. They seek to understand their own emotions. Self awareness is a state that is achieved through time and practice. People who cry a lot have had more practice dwelling on the inner workings of their mind and heart. It’s often true that people who don’t let loose and cry often struggle to explain or understand their emotions.

8. They more fully experience life

Life is truly full of highs and lows. No one can make it through without experiencing joy and suffering. People who cry more often, whether sad or happy tears, are able to feel the emotions that add color to life. Suffering and joy go hand in hand, in that you cannot numb one and still experience the other. People who cry more often enhance their overall quality of life by refusing to numb and embracing the ride for what it is.

No matter your gender, personality type or circumstances in life, it is easy to see the benefits of a good cry. If you want to fully experience a healthy and strong mind, consider letting those tears roll free.

Featured photo credit: Aleshyn_Andrei via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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