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The Less You Care, The Simpler And Better Your Life Will Be

The Less You Care, The Simpler And Better Your Life Will Be

Let’s be honest. Life can be complicated most of the time. At its worse, it’s stressful, exhausting, and difficult to understand. Granted, this isn’t the absolute rule, but chances are you can relate to this. Think about how you spend your typical day. Is it happy-go-lucky and carefree or do you feel pressure most of the time? How many decisions are you faced with on a daily basis? Do you stress about every single one of them?

It’s time to take control of your life! You deserve better. Nobody should have a complicated, stressful life when it isn’t necessary. If you accept that you deserve better, that you shouldn’t stress needlessly, your life will take on a more simplistic and more enjoyable aspect. So, what can you do to take control of your life and stop stressing? Take a look below.

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“Care less and you’ll stress less.”

The trick to living a simpler and better life has nothing to do with thinking positively, with smiling, or with meditating. Don’t expect that sort of advice here. Self-love means caring about yourself. The truth is, if you want self improvement and happiness in your life you need to have the confidence to stop caring about so many little things.

You’re probably thinking that this sounds like the opposite of everything you’ve ever heard and you’re right. Author Mark Manson writes about this concept in his book. There are only so many things in life that you can possibly care about. Stop caring about the things that don’t matter.

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“Going back to a simpler life is not a step backward.” – Yvon Chouinard

Think about all of those so-called stressful decisions you make every day. Really think about them. Is your happiness truly bound to finding the perfect dress, taking a better vacation than your friends, or even buying the latest cell phone? No, it isn’t.

In your quest for self improvement, have the confidence to reassess your decisions- to decide for yourself what is important and what isn’t. Self-love is not about making sure you have the best of everything that the market offers, so why are you made to feel this way? One quote from Mark Manson’s book explains it perfectly, because caring a lot “about more stuff is good for business.”

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“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”- Steve Jobs

How do you follow this advice? How do you stop caring about the things that don’t matter much? Turns out, finding happiness through a simpler life is all about saying, “No”. Focus on your relationship with yourself. Look deep down inside of yourself, find the magic word, and make it part of your daily communication. Try saying “no” to everything, with some very carefully-considered exceptions.  You’ll find that your life becomes much simpler after employing this practice.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama

Happiness comes from living a simpler life. As you work toward achieving this goal, remember that every decision you make has a consequence. Caring about fewer things and saying “no” more often does not mean that you should not practice kindness. Living more intentionally is just the opposite. Plan out your life, but know that everything you do will affect someone else. Your power to change somebody’s life is in your communication, your actions, and your decisions. Incorporate simple changes in your life that promote kindness. Remember, simply smiling at a stranger could be enough to change their entire day.

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By caring less, learning to say no, and incorporating more kindness into your daily life, you’ll be well on your way to a simpler and better life.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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