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Long Distance Love Birds! This Is How Your Screen Help You Stay Sweet Across the Sea!

Long Distance Love Birds! This Is How Your Screen Help You Stay Sweet Across the Sea!

Relationships can be hard to maintain especially once it gets to the stage where you both get comfortable. Standards may slip or you both could start taking each other for granted. While this can be fixed in a conventional relationship, for those in long distance relationships, this could threaten the union all the more.

Long Distance Relationship Equals to Dead-End Street?

Long distance relationships usually have a bad rep. If you’re in one right now, I’m sure many people have given you their widely-agreed-upon opinion that it just won’t last. While a lot of distance relationships don’t tend to work out for a myriad of reasons – namely that both people must be on the same page and committed to each other – many do stand the test of time because both are willing to use the distance well.

As mentioned before, that comfortable stage in a relationship can creep up on you but easily identified and sorted out. However, for a long distance relationship it can be the beginning of the end if couples can’t devote time and creativity to spice things up.

Stay Connected, That’s the Bullseye You Gonna Hit

The key to a successful relationship is the sense of connection you have with one another. Couples create this by sharing experiences, creating memories and building emotional bonds but if you’re physically apart then this can be harder to maintain.

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But the good news is there are ways you can recreate this connection even if you live hundreds of miles away. It’s all about spending your lives together despite physical distance and making effort to communicate in order to spice things up. So try these out to help you feel closer to your partner and keep that connection alive and well.

1. Let Skype Help You Date

When you can’t speak to each other face-to-face, the next best option is to Skype. While this is a brilliant way to keep the communication open, Skyping too often can cause the relationship to go stale which is why setting up occasional date nights can create a sense of, well, being on a date together!

Set certain days and times to catch up with your other half and treat it like a date. Try not to chat about mundane things too much but make the effort to catch up with each other emotionally. Set up a dinner and a glass of wine so it feels like you’re sharing a meal together. Dress up and make yourself look nice – if you treat this like a special date then you’ll both get much more out of it.

2. We Can Laugh At the Same Movie Scenes!

Everyone loves watching a movie with their loved one. While you can’t exactly cuddle up together on the sofa, the next best thing is to both put on the movie at the same time while either talking on the phone or texting each other. Knowing you’re both experiencing the same movie at the same time can bring a certain connection. You can express your thoughts about the film or laugh at the same scenes. It’s all about creating the feeling and experience of being together.

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3. Go Surprise My Love, Packages!

Sending something to your loved one far away shows you really care and even better if it’s a surprise. It shows you’re thinking of them and strengthens that emotional connection and bond. So why not get food delivered from their favourite local restaurant? Or send them a care package full of their favourite snacks or mementos of your time spent together? If it’s something they’ve mentioned before in passing – something they perhaps miss – throw it in there. This will, again, show you’re thinking about them and putting in that extra effort.

4. Let TV Shows Wire the Two Little Hearts

Don’t you love discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black? If you have a favourite TV series you both love or decide to start a brand new one, then carve out some time to watch it separately and then chat about it, or as with the movie suggestion, watch it at the same time. This can open more lines of discussion which is important to stop communication getting stale. Having things in common will help you both recognise your connection.

5. Couple App Presents: Your Secret Garden

While texting and calling is great, it’s not always that private. Creating the sense of privacy that you get with a traditional relationship is important psychologically and this can be maintained with the Couple app which allows you to create a space to keep all your interactions in one place. This app builds a private timeline of all your special moments whether it’s video calls, pictures, real-time games as well as other cool features just for the two of you to share.

This is aimed at creating something only the two of you can see and experience together making your relationship feel more special.

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6. Fitness Competition and Who Will Be the Winner?

If you’re both competitive and sporty or just wanting to set some health goals, making a competition out of it can be fun. But the best thing about this is that it’s a long-term project which can be helped along by the motivation you give to each other. This in itself can help you with the mindset that you’re sharing life goals and seeing them through together.

Why not make the next time you see each other your results day? This will give you more determination and motivation to share your hard work with each other.

7. It’s Adventure Time!

It can suck not being able to go out and do things together but in an age where internet is so accessible, now is the best time to spice up a long distance relationship. If you want to go out exploring then you can easily bring your partner with you through the power of social media. Whether it’s Skype, FaceTime, Facebook live, Instagram live or Snapchat, you can record a constant stream of your adventures. So next time you go hiking or exploring a city take your loved one with you, experience it together and bring a sense of closeness to the relationship.

8. A Journal of This Long Love-Journey

Sometimes being in a long distance relationship can force you to find things that connects you spiritually – something that can be pushed to the wayside in a conventional relationship. Journaling is a really good reflection tool and you can make this a great way to strengthen that connection for both of you as well as personally.

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Each of you take it in turn to record your life every other day. When you get together you’ll have a really great account of your separate lives coming together and see how they intertwine too. Reading over this will show you that even though you may be physically apart, you are spiritually together.

9. Let’s Have a Throw-Back Thursday, Darling

Put aside a certain day of the week where you devote some time recalling special memories you’ve shared together. Reminding yourselves of the reasons why you’ve chosen each other as that special person is really important and often lost once you live apart. It’s all about keeping it alive in our minds which will prevent that feeling of distance from creeping in – a problem that is often the cause of long distance break ups.

10. Find Your Honey – You Are the Real Surprise!

One of the best things you can do especially if you’re in a trusted and committed relationship, is to arrange a surprise visit. Check with friends and family about their schedules and turn up unannounced. Knowing you made that effort and getting to see you will strengthen your relationship all the more.

Long distance relationships don’t have to be as hard as people say they are. It requires a lot of effort and imagination to keep a relationship fresh when there’s no physical connection but try out these suggestions and make your relationship stronger despite the miles between you.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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