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Next Time Before Saying “I Love You”, Think If You Have These 6 Things In Mind

Next Time Before Saying “I Love You”, Think If You Have These 6 Things In Mind

To say I love you to someone special in your life can come easier to some than others, but it ultimately shows your feelings and commitment in that loving relationship. Whatever your journey in the love stakes, there comes a time when you feel ready to say those three little words but are you saying them too quickly in the relationship? How do you know you truly love the person? Do you go with your heart or your head?

Falling in love is a journey and saying I love you can mean different things at different stages in relationships. Whether it’s the first or the hundredth time you’ve said it, next time you utter those words I love you to someone, ask yourself if you have these things in mind.

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1. Check Your Motivation

This isn’t implying that you’re being manipulative, but depending on how the words I love you have influenced us in the past can determine why we say it. For some people saying I love you can actually mean ‘I need you’ or ‘I want you’ due to underlying low self-esteem or self-worth. It can come easily when you’re in the whirlwind and excitement of a budding romance and your heart and head seem to come together in one big mix of emotions.

Next time you say I love you, sit back and check why you’re saying these words and ask yourself if you truly mean them the way they are meant to mean. This isn’t to say you won’t love the person at some point down the line, but you owe it to yourself and them to say it with true meaning.

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2. Do You Accept Their Genuine Side?

To be in love with someone, you should know their genuine side and accept it. This will be a side that not everyone gets to see and could involve all sorts of issues and insecurities. If you see this side to them and still feel warmth and affection, and even makes you love them even more, then saying I love you is contributing your genuine side to the mix as well.

3. You’ve Been Through The Wars and Still Love Them

Relationships have their ups and downs and you get to see your partner in all sorts of lights both good and bad. We often see sides of people that aren’t the best. Ask yourself, can you still feel deep love for that person at their worst and be able to say I love you? Or do you find it difficult to see why you love them? Lots of situations can test a relationship — some that are out of our control and it’s these times that can really show us how deep our love can go. Saying these three words means accepting the person for who they are — warts and all — and loving them regardless.

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4. You Don’t Pass Judgment

Whatever your partner has done and whatever their deepest darkest secrets are, you don’t pass any judgment. This shows sincerity and true heartfelt affection for your partner that warrants an I love you. The people you love will feel even more loved by you because your intention to love is conscious and clear.

5. How Often Do You Say ‘I Love You’?

Sometimes saying I love you, although meant in a sincere way, can be overused. It can just become a daily habit with no real thought behind the words. If you find yourself saying it a lot without really thinking about it then ask yourself if you’re truly meaning it. This isn’t to say that you don’t, and saying it often is important, however, check in from time to time to see how sincere and genuine your words are. Putting meaning and thought behind them can keep you realizing your depth of feeling.

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6. ‘I Love You’ Can Also Mean Appreciation And Thankfulness

In some situations, saying I love you can actually mean thank you or shows that you appreciate your partner. It’s gratitude and recognition for all that your partner does for you and almost thanking them for being there for you, allowing you to be yourself and accepting you. It’s a mutual understanding that’s the both of you telling each other that you’re there and committed to the relationship — you’re not trying to get something or wearing a mask, it’s a way of saying the relationship really means something to you.

Whatever stage of a relationship you’re in, it’s important to sit back and think about the meaning behind your words. If anything, it’s to really get you thinking about the reasons why you love them and why you tell them this instead of forming a habit of saying I love you as an automatic phrase. Acknowledging the love is important but putting meaning behind it can keep you focused on all the wonderful reasons why love exists in your relationship in the first place.

Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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