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4 Tips on How to Enjoy This Party

4 Tips on How to Enjoy This Party

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… then try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.

~Ron White

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When I was younger I was certain that life was one big party. Now… well, I still think that. Only, it turns out that it’s a complicated, unpredictable one where the guests don’t always party responsibly. I recently found my original party invitation and this time I got out my trusty magnifying glass to read the fine print. I’ve enlarged the print and posted it below for you. Maybe you’ll find it helpful.

The universe is throwing a big party and we’re all invited!

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Here are a few things you should know about this particular party.

1. It’s BYOE

Bring Your Own Everything. The universe isn’t hosting the party so much as allowing us to hang out at her place for awhile. She’s providing the environment for us to enjoy, or not to enjoy.  It’s up to us to bring stuff. And that stuff includes an open mind and a forgiving spirit because you never know what or whom you’ll encounter there.

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2. There Will Be Other People

There will be guests attending that may not be to your liking. The good news is, the universe is a big place and if you explore it you’re sure to find those you click with. But if you do find yourself amongst those you don’t fancy, try being kind to them. Parties can sometimes make a person feel lonely. Maybe you can help make it a little less lonely by reaching out.

3. It Might Get Messy

Chaotic even. Everything might be going swimmingly for a bit. You might start feeling the groove and then, out of nowhere, there’s a surprise! An explosion of fireworks! The noise-makers start making too much noise and you can no longer hear yourself think! Or worse, you can hear yourself think and you’re thinking way too much about anything and everything, driving yourself mad! You might spill your drink, ruin the furniture and curse yourself for being such a klutz. But you’re not a klutz. Things spill. Mess happens. It’s okay. Take a deep breath. This will pass. Now try not to trash the place and please clean up after yourself.

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4. There’s No End Time

You may have noticed that there’s no end time on the invites. That’s because everyone’s end time is different and there’s no way of knowing what yours will be. We suggest that you focus on the moments as they come with awareness and presence of mind.

By now you might have ideas as to how this party will go down. You’ve figured it all out. But you haven’t. None of us have. All we can do is show up, dance a little, meet some new people, learn a thing or two and try our best not to be a party pooper.

Party on.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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