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5 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned After Using Dating Apps for a Year

5 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned After Using Dating Apps for a Year

I always say there are life lessons in anything in life. But even I was surprised to realize there’s a lot to learn from trying to find love online.

Turns out, dating apps are another area where, if you analyze what works and what doesn’t and come to some important conclusions, you can understand why you’re still single, what others are looking for, that it’s completely normal to be doing this and that almost anyone else is, and much more.

In fact, it took me one year to feel comfortable talking about it openly, to free my mind of doubts and negative thoughts and to just reach out to new people and start interesting conversations, to stop judging and expecting, and to just go out with the women that seem promising and see where that can go.

There is a way to do online dating wrong. And again, it’s all in your mind. If you’re not open about this, if you aren’t confident about yourself, if you feel like a failure for using such an app, then it’s no wonder that you will never say the right things in a chat and no person would be interested in going out with you, no matter how good your photos look.

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So, to save you all that, here are some important life lessons I learned during the year of using dating apps that will help you find someone to date much sooner:

1. Friendships can come out of this too

In the beginning, I was desperately looking for a hot woman to go out with, maybe it was like a quest most men go on, or maybe I was just insecure.

But it took me months of being tired of looking for this type of woman, to find out that almost anyone can entertain you, teach you something, or even become your friend.

Dating apps are about forming a relationship, and love isn’t always the end result. I’ve started a few friendships with women because of that, and I don’t regret it.

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2. Failure is not an option

If you’re starting a business, investing all your money in it, telling everyone you’ll succeed, and more, there’s a high chance you can fail and lose a lot. But with online dating, that’s just not the case.

Why? Because if someone rejects you or things just don’t work out, you don’t have a relationship in the first place so you’re basically not losing anything you had. That’s comforting but it can take a while to truly grasp it.

3. You brush up on your skills over time

If you think you suck at online dating, you’ll just have to trust me that you don’t. You lack practice. It’s like taking up a new hobby or sport. You can’t really level up from day one. It takes work, effort and dedication. But each time you do it, you get better at it.

So my point is, give dating apps some time, don’t give up after the first few failed attempts.

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Here’s what you’ll notice after a few weeks:

  • talking to strangers gets easier;
  • you get better at starting conversations;
  • you learn what questions to avoid and what grabs women’s attention;
  • you feel more confident talking about yourself;
  • you become a better storyteller;
  • you aren’t afraid of rejection;
  • and more.

4. How the other person communicates is key

Sometimes the chat will be boring, or meaningless, and basically go nowhere. Spare yourself the awkward first and only date, and just move onto the next person.

Sure, the very first sentence might not be the best catchphrase, but if you’ve been chatting for a day or two and you still feel like anything you or she/he says is just out of place, don’t overthink it. Just accept the fact that this is not the right fit and chat with somebody else.

5. Honesty is good

You might be a player and used to exaggerating the truth and using manipulation to get a woman. But that just doesn’t work in the long run. If you’re using dating apps to find a quality person who’s smart, ambitious, charming and open-minded, you’ll have to start the whole thing by simply being yourself.

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Some people get it wrong from the creation of the profile. Don’t overdo it, though. Even if you put yourself in the best possible light, most people you connect with will immediately feel there’s something fishy.

But being honest about yourself, your life, your achievements, and anything else, goes a long way.

For a start, it makes it easier for the other person to see if she/he really wants to continue communicating with you. Then, it shows respect.

So, whenever in doubt, just be honest, say things directly, don’t hide something that’s a big part of your life, and don’t lie in your profile.

These important life lessons should be enough to get you ahead of others in the online dating game.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to have fun. Meet great people, go out with some, learn more about their lives, make new friends, improve your approach, get better at dating, and – eventually – find your soul mate online.

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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