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If You Have A Niece Who Stays Close To You, Treasure Her

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If You Have A Niece Who Stays Close To You, Treasure Her

Being an aunt or an uncle allows you to participate in a unique relationship with your niece. You have more freedom than their parents do which means that you can form a unique bond. Rather than worrying about their nutrition or their grades, you can choose your own path to forming a strong bond with her.

There are plenty of reasons to remain close to your nieces, here are just eight:

She Loves You and Treats You Like a Parent

Having a niece is great because she loves you dearly and treats you like you’re one of her parents. You get to leave an impression on her because she trusts you and looks up to your like she does her own parents.

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Yet, you’re not endowed with the responsibility of making sure she’s brushed her teeth before school. That means you can spoil her when you want to and you can say no when you want to. You’re not her parent, you just look like one.

She Loves You for Who You Are

A niece can love you for who you are. Because you’re not telling her what she can and can’t do, she can be free around you. You can also be free around her. With that kind of relationship, you can love each other unconditionally and appreciate each other for who you are.

She Doesn’t Judge You

As children grow up, they often become very judgmental of their parents. They find it hard to see why their parents make the choices they do. But as your niece, she does not need to judge your decisions. In fact, she may see eye-to-eye with you even when your own children do not which can be a blessing when you’re questioning your own judgement.

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She Will Grow up Quickly

You probably remember the day she was born like yesterday. Look how much she has grown since then. Her life will fly by before your eyes.

Stop and cherish her now so that you can remember those little moments during her big moments later in life.

She’ll Be a Sibling and Friend to your Own Children

A cousin is not just a relation; they are a friend for life. In fact, they can even feel more like siblings.

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Be proactive about inviting your niece into your home so that she can forge bonds with your children. And don’t shy away from bringing her along to that snowboarding trip to Austria. Trips like this help form a strong bond. Remember that your children’s relationships will shape the future of your family. You want that future to be inclusive. Help them form those bonds today by cherishing your nieces.

She’ll Grow Up to Be Your Friend

By adulthood, you’ve come to realize that friends are hard to come by and good friends are even harder to find. But as her aunt or uncle, you have the rare opportunity to be one of her lifelong friends. You can be a good friend to her when she is young and teach her what it means to be a friend.

When she grows up, she’ll become one of your friends, too.

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She’ll Teach You About Parenting

It’s funny how so many of the lessons you learn about parenting will not be from books or other parents. The most important lessons you will learn will come directly from other people’s children.

Having a close relationship with your nieces will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t in a whole new light. You’ll see how parenting techniques truly affect children. But more importantly, you’ll see how important a parent is to a child. That is the biggest parenting lesson you could ever learn.

She’ll Teach You About Family

Nieces are able to put things in perspective for you. When you’re in a feud with your partner, your child or even your parents, their insider knowledge and outsider perspective will remind you how important family is to you.

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You don’t get to choose your family. But you do get to choose how close you are with them. If you’re lucky enough to have a niece in your life, then you have something truly special. Cherish your time together when she’s young and you’ll be able to spend the rest of your life enjoying her wonderful company.

Featured photo credit: Björn Erlingur Flóki Björnsson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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