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Do This One Thing To Comfort Your Overwhelming Negativity

Do This One Thing To Comfort Your Overwhelming Negativity

We all know that feeling when you have a problem in your life and nothing seems like you can solve it. Whether you’ve tried something a million times and it isn’t working, or you’ve even tried just once, the negative voices in your mind can shoot you down and sabotage your success. Basically, you feel awful. It may feel strange, but perhaps you should try the following suggestions.

Talk to yourself and face your very deep and true self

Yes, really, talking to yourself can have real positive effects on your life and help you to get out of that cycle of negativity (maybe just make sure there’s no one around while you’re trying this out).

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As well as hearing new messages you hadn’t heard before from others, talking to yourself gives you time to listen to yourself – really listen. How often do we take the time to do that? This is important, because we don’t get the best out of life until we are fully connected to ourselves.

This might feel strange and even a little scary at first, if you’re not used to it. An easy way to find out what is going on for you is to start by asking yourself, “What do I need right now?” or “Hello me, what’s up?”

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Hearing that answer can get you connected to yourself in a wonderful way, and the more connected we are, the more we know how to be in the world, and what our next move should be.

If you are really wound up about something and need a way of letting go, you could try talking non-stop to yourself. Just let the words flow until you feel something shift. In the book, The Valkyries[1] by Paolo Coehlo, this talking to yourself without thinking is called channeling. It is a way of getting in touch with yourself, and, for the more religious of you, the universe, God, or whatever.

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Either way, it’s a good stress release. It allows you to shift the negative energy cycle you’ve got going on so you can begin focusing on what you actually want to be doing.

Repetition of mantras can also be a great way of resetting your head space if you had a bad start to your day or something unexpected threw you off course.

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Talk to others in your head

When talking to others in our head, we basically end up using the linguistic part of our brains, as well as the interactive part of our brains that we would use if someone were actually there. This shows how powerful this practice can be, as there has been a long history of people in times of great difficulty hearing a little voice of advice in their darkest hour.[2]

This sometimes can occur naturally when asking yourself a question (as we see in Eat, Pray, Love), or something that you can begin to consciously practice in order to find the answers you need.

If there is a friend in your life that can help you with a problem, imagine having them by your side. I have a friend who is very wise, and when I am unsure of something, I will ask myself, “what would he do? What would he tell me?” Of course you can really call these people who are close to you, and feel them rooting for you. Hear their advice. This advice may well be your own inner knowing that you couldn’t hear underneath all of the negative chatter.  The answer I hear back is always right.

So there you have it. I hope that this little tip will help you to get some clarity in your life. Hearing what you have to say is the first step to knowing what you have to say is of importance. From there, you can find your way to the next best step to take for you, and then the next, without struggling and trying so hard or swimming against the stream. Find out what’s really going on behind all this negativity and you will have the key to your future.

Reference

[1] Paolo Coehlo: The Valkyries 
[2] The New Yorker: The Voices In Our Head

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Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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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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