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Think Twice If You Want To Be A Crowd Pleaser

Think Twice If You Want To Be A Crowd Pleaser

I think there has been a time in our lives when we have wanted to be popular. In school, the prettiest girl always got all the boys, was invited to prom by the cutest guy, was awarded homecoming queen, etc. There’s something very desirable about being popular and all the attention that comes with it.

Social media is a great way to give yourself a self-esteem boost. You upload a new picture and you get a lot of attention on it, and the more likes you get, the better you feel about yourself. I think sometimes people often believe that people who are popular are the happiest. Contrary to popular belief, that is not always the case.

Your number of “likes’ does not define you

Let’s just say you’ve had a pretty bad day. Maybe you and your boyfriend broke up, you lost your job, or something else happened that made you feel like you’re at a really low point in your life.

But, on the bright side, you feel like you look good today so you take a quick selfie and post it on your social media. Over the next 24 hours you get a lot of likes and comments. All of this will make you feel better temporarily, and the more likes and comments you get, the more likely you’ll be perceived by others that you’re up pretty highly on the social ladder.

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What all these people don’t know is what happened during that day or how crappy you feel. It’s not uncommon to get lost in the completely fake world that is social media.

Do not envy those who are popular

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” – Buddha

You have to really sit down and think about this one. Think about a friend who you rarely see because they are constantly engaging in other social commitments. You would have to be okay with hardly ever having a moment to yourself, and you would have to keep up your image through social media.

Imagine how exhausting that must be. Not only do you have to maintain the life you lead off the internet, but then keep up with the one you have through the internet. You have to ask yourself this question, “what value will being popular add to my life?” The answer to this can be quite simple, we all want to feel a sense of connection and belonging.

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By trying to maintain a ton of relationships with people, you will most likely end up feeling worn thin and become unhappy and miserable.

Dr. Brian Gillespie, who is an assistant professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, discusses that by trying to maintain a relationship with a large number a people compared to your small core group of close supporters, you’re setting yourself up to suffer from something sociologists refer to as a “role strain”. Meaning when a person has many social obligations such as their giving their time and energy, they become frustrated and are unable to meet the expectations of their social role, such as being a friend.

Gillespie says, “it’s stressful when you’re trying to be too many things for too many people.”

He further goes on to discuss three main attributes that a good friend should have:

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  • emotional support (post-breakup talks)
  • instrumental support (helping you move)
  • companionate support (watching your favorite tv show with you)

Ideally, it would be great if a friend has all three, but it’s important to have at least two attributes. Friendships are about quality. When you surround yourself with people who have these, you will notice that your need to be accepted by many people will diminish. In fact, you may begin to prefer your circle to be smaller.

It could affect your health

As previously stated, by trying to maintain a number of relationships with people you not only tire yourself out mentally but also physically. In the short term, you may find that by always having plans to meet up with people throughout your day, you will eventually exhaust yourself. You lack sleep and resting time to recoup from all that exerted energy. Symptoms of depression can also set in when you’re always around many personality types and trying to attempt to keep up with the needs of those people.

Long term effects could be a bit more severe. The desire to try and please everyone can cause quite a bit of extra stress that is just unnecessary. You can become overexposed to cortisol as well as some other stress hormones that can disrupt most of your body’s processes. If this happens, you will have an increased risk of heart disease and digestive problems.

Social networks can just cause problems

Although many don’t want to admit how involved they are with social media, they are. Unfortunately, it’s the way we keep up with what everyone is doing. Can you remember the last time you went to dinner and didn’t check into the restaurant before even sitting at the table? Or do you remember the last time you ate your food before snapping a photo of it and posting it on Instagram?

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Social media can become far more important and complicated than it needs to be. Instead of focusing on letting everyone know what you’re doing when you’re doing it, take the time to fully enjoy the moment you’re in when you are in it.

If you’re going out to eat, leave your phone in the car. This will allow you to fully engage in conversation with who you’re at dinner with while also allowing you enjoy the time spent at the restaurant. The next time you feel yourself pulling out your phone to post something on social media, ask yourself if there’s really a reason to post what you’re doing in your personal life. You will be surprised at how much happier you’ll be when you keep many aspects of your life private.

Keep track of your social activities

It’s important to keep track of your social commitments so you can be aware of when you’re about to tire yourself out. It’s equally as important to realize the drastic difference between a friend and an acquaintance. You, of course, will want to spend more time with your friends because they will provide you with the most support. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend time with those you do not consider “friends” but rather not spend time with them frequently.

Everyone is different. It’s strongly encouraged to sit down and decide for yourself what your own personal social needs are. Truly analyze your relationships with people so that you are able to see who is a friend and who is an acquaintance.

In closing, please remember that you are not defined by the number of likes and comments you receive on social media. You are who you surround yourself with, and you want those people to be a genuine and sincere group. How many you consider a friend? That is for you to decide.

Featured photo credit: www.shuttershock.com via shutterstock.com

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Erica Wagner

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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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