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Why People Who Focus On Improving Themselves Have Better Relationships

Why People Who Focus On Improving Themselves Have Better Relationships

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ‒ Ernest Hemingway

As Hemingway says, self-improvement is a noble cause. It can help us learning about who we are and this can enable us to strive to be better people in the future. Much of who we are is determined by how we interact with others around us. When we seek to improve ourselves, we can also make our relationships with others better.

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1. The way you view yourself affects how others view you

The way you view yourself affects how others view you. If you have a good self-image, then others are likely to relate to you in a positive way. When looking to better yourself you may wish to build up your self-esteem. If you feel confident, you will radiate poise. When people see a composed and self-assured individual, they are likely to be affected in a positive way. They too may adopt your good feeling, and this can result in a more optimistic and constructive relationship.

2. Aiming For Inner Stability Makes You A More Attractive Friend And Partner

People who radiate inner stability are often liked and admired by others around them. If you sometimes feel that you are internally shaky, you may want to try and strengthen your inner core. You can do this by taking time out during the day for self-reflection. By looking deeply into yourself and examining who you really are you can learn to find what makes you calm and what excites you. By tapping into your calmer self, you can achieve more inner stability.

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3. People like to be around individuals who like and accept themselves

Only once you have accepted who you are can you grow. If you are continuously fighting against yourself, you won’t have the emotional energy you need to better yourself.

If you wish to get on with people better, then you may want to start by accepting yourself. People like to be around individuals who like and accept themselves.

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4. We Attract Who We Are

If you are on a personal trajectory that is going upwards, then you are likely to find a friend or partner who is also seeking to better themselves and their circumstances. Like-minded people attract one another.

5. Relying On Yourself Instead Of Leaning On Your Partner Makes For A Better Relationship

If you are in a relationship maintaining a healthy sense of independence will help to make the relationship strong. If you seek to become more self-reliant then you and your partner will both feel more secure.

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6. When You Improve Yourself, You Minimize Self-Sabotage

When you aim to improve who you are, you steer away from self-sabotage. Focusing on your good qualities and endeavoring to enhance and protect these attributes will not only help you become a better person it will also stop you from undermining yourself. When you stop sabotaging who you are, you are likely to refrain from ruining relationships and this can lead to longer and more meaningful connects with others.

The noble task of self-improvement will not only be good for you but will be also good for those around you. If you work to improve yourself then you will find yourself in more meaningful and stronger relationships with others.

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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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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