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Soulmates Aren’t Always Lovers

Soulmates Aren’t Always Lovers

We meet people for a moment, a season, or even for a lifetime. Whether they were put in front of you to love you, to hurt you, or to even teach you, it is always for a reason. It’s funny how the universe works. If you think back to the people you have met in the past, were there certain people that came when you needed them? Even if they did hurt you, did they not teach you something valuable?

Everyone I have met, those that came and went, or those that are still in my life, have brought something real to me. They gave me friendship, love, respect, lessons, or even just showing me a new way of thinking.

I am going to talk about two particular people in my life that came when I needed them the most, even if at the time I didn’t know it. If they happen to read this, I know they will know I am speaking of them.

I believe these two people were godsent. I truly believe that they were my soulmates, just not in a romantic way. I feel the universe brought us together and we crossed paths because we had something we needed to learn from each other. These two people are still in my life and we keep in touch occasionally. I haven’t seen either of them for a while as they are both on the other side of the world, but they both hold a special place in my heart.

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My first soulmate was a guy. Initially, he thought I was a snob. Meanwhile, I thought he was just some cute guy that knew he was good-looking and wanted to charm everyone. He told me later that he had tried to get to know me and tried to initiate conversations but I just didn’t give much back. After all, he was from the other side of the world. As I saw it, he wasn’t going to be around for long and was just passing through, so why bother? I know, it was a terrible mindset. Back then, I was extremely guarded. Little did he (or I know) that he would be the very reason I would learn to open myself up to others and the world.

We eventually became friends and the more I got to know him, the more I saw what a beautiful soul he had. He would tell me stories of all his travels. Every time he told them, he had a sparkle in his eyes. He was so caring, friendly, polite, and open to every one that it fascinated me as I was really only nice to people I knew and warmed up to.

He taught me that people weren’t all out to get me. He also taught me that not all men were a**holes just trying to sleep with me. We became best friends in the year before he left Australia. We were always together, our friends would always invite both of us to every event or gathering. We would run by the water, go tanning, and hit the gym. We would also talk for hours about life, our pasts, our hopes and dreams. We even went on a few adventures together. We never did sleep together, even though a lot of our mutual friends thought we had, or thought something would happen. I think this was mainly because we were opposite sexes. We had something else. It was something I still can’t explain.

I cared for him very much. In a way, I fell in love with him, and not in a “I want you to be my boyfriend” kind of way. I fell in love with his soul. I fell in love with the way he saw the world. I fell in love with how genuine he was towards others. I also fell in love with the way he made me feel like I could do anything. He inspired me. To this day, I will still say that he was brought into my life to open my eyes and teach me that the world really is my oyster. There is so much more out there than the rat race we live in. He was the very reason I grew the confidence to leave the rut I was in and go explore.

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He never told me to do anything. He never told me what I should or shouldn’t do. Somehow, without actually saying, he made me realize that I was better than the four year relationship I felt stuck in. The last year of those four, it became one of those on again/off again relationships that become quite draining and tiring. My friend taught me that sometimes relationships run its course and the best thing you can do is to let go, so you have room to let in a better future.

He also taught me that you didn’t need to be rich to go explore. He taught me that if you wanted something, just do it. If you are doing something that feeds your soul, somehow the universe helps you along the way. I definitely saw this was true when I decided to book my one-way ticket to Thailand and then didn’t return home for a few years. There were times I was broke, there were some times I wanted to cry, and there were times I felt so alone. There are always highs and lows; however, when you are travelling, the highs definitely outweigh the lows and make it all worth it. I am forever grateful to have met him and I really don’t think he knows just how much of an impact he made on my life.

Let’s move on to my second soulmate, who just happens to be a female. Again, it was nothing romantic, but it was like I knew her forever. We just got each other. It was kind of weird because we both came from small towns next to each other. We knew all the same people growing up but we never really met. It was like we were living lives completely aligned with each other but never crossed paths until the moment that we both really needed each other. We laugh about it now, saying we were both lost teenagers and if we had met back then, we would’ve been bad influences on each other.

We met when she returned from traveling overseas. I had already settled back in Australia at this point and I was with my ex boyfriend when I met her. He was supposed to be with us for the group outing. I think it was meant to be that he didn’t come because I probably wouldn’t have chatted up a storm with her otherwise. Unfortunately, my ex didn’t quite like it if I spoke to other people too much.

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When we met, we spoke of travels and we spoke of life. Actually, we spoke of nearly everything. We just clicked. I didn’t see her again until I broke up with my ex. She also broke up with her ex a couple of weeks before me. When we met again, we hit it off and found that we shared the same perspective on a lot of topics. Even when we didn’t, we both communicated in a way that we could understand each other’s perspective. We could even communicate without saying anything to each other. It was crazy. It was like we had known each other for a lifetime.

We spent a lot of time together, even at family outings, where I would be her other half and vice versa. I told her things about me that no one else knew. She told me about her life. We would spend weekends watching documentaries, TV series, and movies. We’d also explore cafes, restaurants, libraries, and nature. Sometimes we would stay up all night talking or go get drunk together.

We both started learning more about meditation and spirituality. We kept each other grounded. She was the very first person I literally bared my soul to. She was exactly what I needed after my break up and I was what she needed after hers. We helped each other get through difficult times.

I also fell in love with her, not romantically, but in a similar way to my other soulmate. I fell in love with her soul. I loved how she composed herself so well yet had a mind filled with so many convictions and ideas. She was worldly, she was funny, she was smart, and she had class. I admired her. She was that girl that had guys crawling on their knees, but she never batted an eyelash. She wasn’t about that. She was much deeper than that, and that is one of the many reasons I loved her.

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It was so easy to talk to her. There was one night I told her something about me that caused me a lot of pain. After I finished, she cried. I could see that she felt my pain. We cared for each other immensely. She helped me realize that after everything I had been through, I actually turned out pretty darn good. In fact, she made me see that I was a beautiful human being, and that I should be proud of how far I had come. She also made me realize just how strong I am. Despite all I experienced, I still had an open heart and had an energy about me that drew people to me.

She told me she admired how I exude confidence. She liked that I was just so raw and said things how they were. I felt she taught me something so much more valuable. She taught me to value myself. I may have exuded confidence, I may have looked to the outside world that “I had it all together”, but I was never at peace with myself. That is, until I met her.

She is the only person I know that I can literally talk to for hours. She may be on the other side of the world, but when we chat, we chat. One time, I spoke to her from 9pm at night until 8am in the morning. I have not had a connection like this with any one. I have no idea what we talked about for that long, but all I know is that she is one special woman. It’s so beautiful that no matter how far away we are or if we don’t see each other, we still have such a strong bond.

So, there you have it. Two of the most significant people in my life thus far. They both have given me something so special that I will forever hold them in my heart. It is never “goodbye” with them, it’s just “see you later”. I truly hope that life brings them much joy and goodness. They both deserve nothing but the best.

I feel soulmates aren’t necessarily lovers, they come in all shapes and forms. Soulmates show up in your life to shake it up, to teach you something important, and to help you grow. The bond you share is deeper than words could ever explain.

Have you ever had a soulmate that wasn’t a lover?

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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