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How to Get Over Family Feuds that lead to Stress, Anxiety and Depression

How to Get Over Family Feuds that lead to Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Have you ever had an argument with a family member so intense that you just start to boil inside? The only thing left is for steam to blow through your ears and nostrils profusely. I hate it when they do that!

The aggravation from family can really mess up your psyche. How can you feel so connected to someone but have them crush your dreams, hopes and aspirations in a split second?

It happens to the best of us.

I remember getting offered a placement for University abroad at the age of 16 and asking my grandmother with a thriving business for help. Now, 7 years later… I did NOT go to that University. Why? Take a wild guess. I bawled for days feeling crushed. I remember I wasn’t a religious person at that time but waited for everyone to leave the house and began screaming my throat out to God. All I wanted was for Him to hear me. I told myself I wouldn’t stop screaming until he heard me. Did God say anything to me in that time? Absolutely NOT.

Imagine you think you have this one shot to go get a better life. You ask the one person you think could help you and they say no. The rejection was real. I battled within to come to terms with this situation. Anxiety attacks came crashing in. I gave my mom an attitude on autopilot for weeks. The anger bubbled within me.

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Flash forward to now.

Everyday I meditate to keep myself grounded and my energies pure. I’ve worked at this for years after I realized that it’s the only thing that helps because I’ve been aggressive all my life. Why am I telling you this? Because even with so much practice, you’d think I have mastered this. I have… I do manifest everything I absolutely want but just one simple thing from my mom, grandmother or my boyfriend can cut me off my game. It could possibly lead me to depression. That’s how bad it could get. Why? Because they’re the closest ones to me. Don’t get annoyed. The story comes together, I promise.

They say and do the sweetest stuff sometimes but the harshest as well. Sometimes it will kick you off your game so much that you wonder if they really do love you. They do… It’s just that what you find important, they won’t. What aggravates you is soothing to them..sometimes. Family can build you too. So don’t feel I’m against loving them because I’m not.

I don’t care who you are or where you live…I stick to this belief wholeheartedly: The people you love impact you the most to the point you can hurt for a lifetime over something they said or did.

Prevention is better than cure.

If you want me to sugarcoat this… Do me a favor and stop reading.
If you want the truth, here goes.

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Sometimes you have to tune out the people you love. Just sometimes. Remember, balance is everything in life. Balance along with faith. You are more than enough with where you are and what you do. You have to figure out a way to start believing that. When someone doesn’t align that much with the desires you have, tune them out CONCERNING that specific subject. Seek the truth by becoming more aware. Become a little more open minded and try new things that may lead you to the answers you seek.

People you love will try to suppress the things you believe in just because they don’t believe it. You learn to tune people out by ignoring their ignorance and negativity through practice. Think about something you enjoy while they speak to you. Try remembering the lyrics to your favorite song. Picture that person you have a crush on, exercise, take a trip. Distract yourself from the fact that they’ve become a nuisance. Channel your energy somewhere else. Heck, I don’t care… Just make sure that you become immune to the foolishness. You know yourself better than I do. Find  a way!

Who are you to suppress someone’s dreams? Better yet, who are you to suppress the dreams you have? Pursuing things you love will give you life so why try to kill it before giving it a fair chance?

The story about not going to the University I got into is now a pain point leaning towards understanding. How so?

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Values and Differences

Well, my grandmother didn’t help because she didn’t believe in education. She gained a great amount of wealth without being trained. Why would she spend hundreds of thousands of her profits on my education? It wasn’t necessary for her so she didn’t see it necessary for me. Never be that ignorant. I however don’t blame her looking back at it. I didn’t enjoy life at that moment because I thought God couldn’t hear me and my ONE chance got blown away. Boy, was I WRONG!

I now think of it as God having a bigger and better plan for me. I stayed in the country and struggled for a bit. Through struggling, you learn the most. What does someone learn from trying one simple thing and succeeding the first time? So, as hard as it was, I came to terms with the fact that I had gained a lot of experience and wisdom going through depression and heartache born from trying to find where I belonged. I found it though. Why? Because I persisted in finding the truth.

Opportunities are neverending

You don’t just get one chance in life. Chances come over and over and over. When you miss one, you don’t really miss it. You align yourself for something grander, something more exciting.
Stop walking around and saying your family didn’t give you the opportunity to do whatever they stopped you from doing. There’s always a loophole.

I did go to College but ended up dropping out. Why? On my own behalf I didn’t believe enough in the system. Imagine if I had gotten the money from my grandma, went overseas, dropped out and went back without a degree she would be investing in me. She would have been furious. Look at that… It worked out for me.

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Don’t force it

Sometimes we try to force things that really aren’t for us too but that’s a whole other story by itself. Save yourself the hassle and trust your journey. The impact family has on you can either crush your spirit or build it. What do you decide?
Are you going to be depressed for the rest of your life because they don’t have the same vision as you? Or are you going to tune them out and seek the truth on who you really want to be? If you need help deciding, this should help you. You can download it here if you need it for your personal collection; it has highlights and is more relatable.

Have an open mind, be hungry for growth and expect new opportunities every day.

Don’t be scared to shoot me a message of what you’re going through with a loved one/family member.

Change is possible so just keep trying. Big hugs <3

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.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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