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What Not To Do Anymore In 2017

What Not To Do Anymore In 2017

Ditch These Habits In The New Year

Does your mentality need a makeover for 2017? It’s traditional to start a new exercise or diet plan in January, but have you ever considered trying to overhaul your attitude and general approach to life instead? When it comes to honing in on your priorities, achieving your goals and increasing your overall happiness, there are seven bad habits you simply have to kick before you can start taking giant leaps forward. Don’t expect that such drastic change will be easy, but it will definitely be worth it when you start noticing the difference in all areas of your life.

Stop Caring What Others Think

Do you tend to place far too much importance on what someone else is thinking and how they might be passing judgement on your actions? Stop! When you prioritize the opinion of others over your own, you will end up miserable. Have the confidence to judge for yourself what is the best way forward for you. No-one else can fully appreciate what it’s like to live you life, and their opinions may well be based on faulty assumptions and incorrect information anyway.

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Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

It’s tempting to calibrate your worth and success by looking at what other people have, but this is a waste of time. We are all unique individuals who must follow our own paths, and so to compare ourselves to others is pointless. Moreover, comparisons too often result only in envy, which can poison relationships. Instead, congratulate others on their triumphs and focus on your own personal goals.

Stop Sacrificing Your Happiness For Someone Else

Have you put your dreams on hold to cater for someone else’s desires or lifestyle preferences? For example, perhaps you have moved to a place you dislike in order to support your partner’s career, or maybe you have taken on a less enjoyable job so you can spend more time caring for a demanding relative. Sacrificing your own happiness may feel noble but in the long run it seldom works well. Self-sacrifice leads to bitterness and resentment, whereas self-fulfilment and chasing one’s dreams often results in contentment and fulfilment. Try to strike a compromise between supporting others and leading the kind of life you want.

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Stop Waiting To Get What You Want

We all have a limited amount of time on this planet, and no-one knows when their time will end. With this sobering thought in mind, ask yourself what you have done lately to make progress towards your goals. Others can help you along the way as you pursue a dream, but ultimately the initiative and energy must come from you. Make 2017 the year you stop waiting and start taking actions.

Stop Wasting Time On Meaningless Stuff

Time is the most precious commodity of all. You can always make more friends and earn more money, but time spent is time you will never see again. Stop wasting time on frivolous pursuits and learn how to focus. It’s important to relax once in a while, but if you want to lead your ideal life then you need to clarify your aims and devote the majority of your time to making sure they are realized.

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Stop Focusing On The Negative

Life is a mixture of the good, the bad, the neutral and the ugly. Your experience of life will largely depend upon the perspective you choose to take. If you focus on the negatives in every situation, you are training yourself to view the world through a negative lens. This means that potential opportunities will pass you by, and your belief in the potential of positive change will gradually erode away. Try to find the positive in every situation and life will feel much more bearable. Spending time with other positive people can help you develop this habit.

Stop Being Trapped By Peoples’ Expectations Of You

Our relatives, friends, colleagues and society at large all place huge expectations upon us. We are told that in order to be considered a successful human being we should obtain a “good” degree, secure a high-paying job, find our soulmate in our twenties, get married and raise a happy family. At the same time, we are expected to maintain a large circle of good friends, to always act as good citizens, and to keep our vulnerable side hidden. All these expectations can weigh heavily upon us and increase the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Try to take a more realistic view of life, and separate your desires from those imposed upon you by external forces. Take time to know yourself and shape a life that suits you rather than following the expectations of the crowd.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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