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The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

Like many of you, sometimes we get caught up in the everyday happenings of life. We hustle through the bustle and never take a second to stop and look at what we might be missing, let alone take a look back once in awhile.

Life isn’t just about getting through each day as quickly as we can. It’s about something more. Something we forget about and yet need.

Over the last couple of years, I have found myself not needing to be so involved with life. Instead, I found myself falling in love with life’s little moments and the emotions that come with them. I am connected to those moments forever.

No matter who we are, some things cannot be faked or hidden. They are real and genuine and usually catch us at moments we could not have planned. They remind us what it means to feel something, to relate to it, and to allow it to stain our hearts and souls, which most things never will.

No matter the language we speak or where we grow up in the world, these everyday human moments are universal. They connect us all to one another in ways we couldn’t describe, let alone fabricate.

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The most authentic things are found everywhere.

1. Tears

For most of us, we think tears only come when we are sad. It is normal to shed tears for the loss of a loved one or something beautiful now gone. But tears are also found in moments of pure bliss, too. Like when a soldier returns home to surprise loved ones after a long deployment.

It’s been said that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” If that’s the case, then tears are the love found in our hearts. Some tears come more silently than others, but no matter how they come, we know they are expressing what our hearts feel.

2. Smiles

I’m not talking about the fake, pretend one that comes when you say, “Good Morning!” to every co-worker just because you feel like you have to. No, I’m talking about the one when people are genuinely happy to see one another. It could have been a day or 10 days, but you know that connection between two people when you see it. Some smiles light up every room — it’s a light that shines through any amount of darkness and we just feel better when we see it.

3. Surprise

Genuine shock is something we see in the faces of people who are victims of playful pranks, wonderful surprises, and utter shock. Whether it is an announcement of expected grandchildren, a small get-together for a 50th birthday party, or just showing up to a friend’s work with their favorite lunch in hand. Nothing can beat doing something for someone else just because you can, and their reaction to feeling your love is absolutely priceless.

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4. Embarrassment

Let’s face it, our body sometimes reacts without us really wanting it to. When our cheeks turn bright red and we feel like everyone is staring at us, we are showing the world our true emotions. Maybe we struck out, giving the other team the win, lost the big contract for our company, or fell while trying to dance for the first time. When people are watching us and we don’t measure up to even our own standards, we are ashamed of our behavior or our lack of measuring up. Being embarrassed is a very human emotion.

5. Change

Whether found in a single sprout popping from the ground in spring, or something more personal found in someone’s journey, we can’t help but notice when something or someone is different. Growth is found in many different ways and can be a long process at times. Attitudes influence ideas which influence actions, and before long we have something other than what we had before. Some changes are more subtle while others are more drastic. Yet, when we see a change in something, we understand the concept of time, as it is needed to take place to allow this process to occur.

6. Beauty

You just can’t hide true beauty. We are in awe when we stand with it, somehow swallowed up in its greatness. Its majestic and timeless grace is found in the simplest of places.

Some days, we have to look hard to find it, but we find beauty in the heart of a woman who refuses to quit no matter the struggles she has endured. We see beauty in the soft petal of the flower ready to bloom and the red veins in the maple leaf, having just fallen from the tree from which it grew.

7. Determination

Watching someone fight through something hard or something that seems impossible inspires us all. The authentic will to never give up isn’t something that comes easy. When the body wants to quit and is refusing to do what you ask of it, pure grit is the only thing pushing you forward. Winning isn’t everything when you see someone refusing to quit. No matter how long it takes, they aren’t done yet.

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8. Joy

You can’t fake joy. It is found in the simplest of things and you know that happiness — that bliss — when you see it. Even if just watching someone open up a gift you know they will love, you are connected to that moment because of the elation felt. The energy is electric and contagious. It is usually followed by elated screams, jumping up and down, and celebration. Seeing joy in others will warm your heart every day.

9. Vulnerability

It can be difficult to let someone see us for everything we are. When we are afraid to let someone get that close to us, and yet wanting to take that chance too, it can tear at us in ways we may not fully comprehend.

When we share our stories and are real with every detail, we begin to understand what it means to allow someone in. Letting others see our faults, our weaknesses, and even the crappy choices we have made in life requires an ownership to the life we’ve lived instead of casting blame on someone else.

10. Courage

Moments in life require great courage, and when we see it, we understand what it took to take the actions we did or to say the words we shared. Found on every battlefield and on every inner city street, when we do the extraordinary and take a stand, we show what it takes to be brave. In hospital rooms where the ill fight diseases, we find courage in the tiniest of bodies. In the worst of domestic situations, we find people who break free of abuse. In the simplest of choices we make every day, we see courage everywhere.

11. Love

We see love in the embrace between friends and family. We see love in the eyes of the bride and groom on their wedding day. We see love in the touch of the tiny finger held by a bigger one. We see love in the holding of hands of lovers, who don’t need to say anything. We find love in the giving to others without condition or requirement. Love is felt and connects us all in ways we sometimes are afraid to admit, but we know it’s there. And we know we need it.

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There are a lot of things in life we can fake. Things we can pretend to be and hide behind. But ask yourself why these 11 things inspire us in the way they do? In this massive world of lies and deception, we crave the truth. Those things full of honesty and virtue that cannot be found in anything made up. We are tired of living in less than a genuine world, yet we forget the true meaning of authentic lives.

We look at life all the time, but when was the last time you really took the time to see life?

Be inspired by the genuine and the real. Authenticity is out there. We just have to see it.

Featured photo credit: Madi Robson via unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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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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