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If You’re Leaving Someone For Not Losing Yourself, Congratulations

If You’re Leaving Someone For Not Losing Yourself, Congratulations

So they’re out of your life for good?

Have you lost someone who has been really important to you, who may even have been the “center of your world”, but who was doing you more harm than good? Have you had to stop seeing someone who intrigued, delighted, or attracted you but ultimately exerted a negative effect on your mental and spiritual health? Have you had to release someone who made you doubt who you were, what you stood for, or even made you feel slightly crazy? Even if you are struggling to see the positive aspects of your situation, at least take a moment to congratulate yourself. Although you will feel a degree of pain that accompanies loss, remind yourself on a daily basis that you have taken an extraordinarily brave step towards healing yourself and improving your life. Maintaining unhealthy relationships is a soul-destroying way to pass your time, so give yourself some well-earned praise for letting go and moving on.

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Why it’s hard to cut even the most toxic of ties

Even when someone has been demonstrably abusive, a persistent liar, or shown themselves to be a thoroughly toxic human being, letting go can still be immensely difficult. If someone has been in your life for a long time or has shared many important experiences with you, your attachment to them may be powerful. It takes great courage to recognize that sometimes, even if someone you like or love has good qualities, they aren’t worthy of a place in your life. You may have considered giving them yet another chance or trying to change yourself in the hope of changing the way they treat you, but to no avail. Listen to your gut instinct, because deep down you know that your decision to leave the relationship was right. Although other people may give you advice, you need to learn to trust your own ability to make decisions. Trust that your past self made the decision to cut contact for a good reason, and remind yourself of this if and when you are ever tempted to reach out to someone you have previously decided to leave behind.

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You’re stronger than you think

It takes maturity to leave an unhealthy relationship and seek out new friends or a new partner. Immature people or those lacking in self-confidence often cling to unhappy or toxic relationships because they are afraid of being alone or making the effort to connect with new people. If you can find the strength to evaluate a relationship and come to the conclusion that it is wreaking havoc with your self-esteem and self image and therefore should be abandoned, you can consider yourself truly grown up. A key skill everyone must learn in adulthood is knowing when to gracefully give up on a relationship that isn’t working.

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If you suspect they aren’t worth it, you’re absolutely correct!

No one worth knowing is worth losing yourself for. When you find yourself feeling “different” or “not like your usual self” around someone, it’s time to seriously consider whether this is a relationship worth keeping. If you have to deny or alter your identity or personality to keep someone around, the situation will never end happily. The world is full of people, and some of them will appreciate and love you for who you are. Why waste your time trying to fit in with those who don’t value who you truly are? When you sense that being in a relationship or friendship with someone comes at the cost of your identity or values, it’s time to leave.

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As one door closes, another door opens

Whilst losing someone close to you takes an emotional toll and leaves behind wounds that take time to heal, the long-term benefits are huge! Think how much time and effort you have probably spent attempting to salvage your toxic relationship. When you choose to stop engaging with the person concerned, you will free up a lot of energy. This can be channeled into self-improvement, enjoyable hobbies, your work, or meeting new, healthier people. The list is endless. In choosing to leave an unhappy relationship, you are also choosing the possibility of a brighter future. Be proud!

Featured photo credit: Cole Patrick via unsplash.com

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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