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Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

Longing can be such a sweet sorrow. But sometimes the sorrow can outweigh the sweet, and then you just have heartache. This is among the many reasons that long distance relationship falls into the top 3 most unwanted relationships.

Everyone says they would never entertain the idea of a long distance relationship. That is, until they meet the one person that they’re willing to wait for. Love can happen at any time, and in most cases, it happens at the worst time. But some individuals refuse to let timing get in the way and pursue this flourishing love regardless of the risks. It may seem romantic; but it’s really very draining, frustrating, and lonely.

Unfortunately, love is not enough to make a relationship work. Before committing to a long distance commitment, you and your partner really need to iron out the details to see if you are capable of maintaining your bond.

Instead of Romanticizing, Start Realizing.

I’m not hating on long distance relationships. In fact, I always find myself in these situations where I meet the right person at the wrong time. So trust me, I speak from experience. And I’ve personally watched a beautiful functional relationship get torn down to tattered bits until we both finally let go. We knew it would be hard, but we just didn’t know how much.

We met as travelers, backpacking the Australian terrain. We didn’t start dating right away, and maintained a budding relationship as we explored opposite ends of the country. Since we were used to the lifestyle and had spent so much time apart already, we thought that it would actually be ideal. He being from England, and I being from America, there was an entire ocean between us. Blinded by love and naivety, we went for it.

There’s no way to really prepare yourself for the issues and emotions that will arise during your time apart. But whether or not you’ve already decided to commit, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your true nature and your partners to see if your love can withstand the distance.

These Questions Give a Hint on How Your Coming Long Distance Relationship Goes

It may be hard to imagine while you’re still in the idealistic honeymoon phase where nothing can go wrong, but eventually something will. Then you will realize just how fragile your relationship really is. Distance creates that fragility, and issues that would quickly get snuffed out in a normal relationship will cause your entire relationship to hang in the balance. You’ll find yourself asking, “is this all even worth it?”

Ask yourself and your partner these very important questions to determine whether your relationship can survive the distance:

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1. Are you BOTH willing to commit?

What does this matter?

It takes two to make this thing work. If only one of you is on the fence, then this thing isn’t going to happen. One-sided relationships are crippling, and open-relationships are confusing. You need to be on the same page.

What consequences might arise?

One of the partners is going to get fed up with making all of the effort. If they are constantly questioning your intentions and commitment to them, it’s going to cause a mess of insecurity and inevitably destroy the relationship.

2. Do both of you have enough trust?

What does this matter?

In today’s hook-up culture of side pieces and main squeezes, infidelity is glorified. You truly have to trust your partner and yourself to be completely honest about intentions and mistakes. And most of all, be honest about insecurity. Jealousy is toxic.

What consequences might arise?

If the trust is already flimsy, then your partner is going to constantly question where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and if you’re telling the truth when you provide the answers to these questions. If they feel you cannot be trusted, then they may do something regrettable out of spite or insecurity.

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3. Do you both communicate well?

What does this matter?

This isn’t just a matter of whether you can maintain an interesting conversation. You must be able to speak openly and freely to your partner, unafraid of their negative reactions to your concerns. You’re going to experience many negative emotions during your time apart, and it’s important to be able to talk about it.

What consequences might arise?

The conversation will dry out very quickly if you can’t find things to talk about. Going through the motions of your days is not very riveting. Or sometimes you may feel that your partner can’t relate to your situation, so you don’t talk to them about it; unintentionally creating distance. And if you can’t fully communicate your feelings, then you’re going to internalize them where they will convert into resentment, jealousy, insecurity, and a slew of awful emotions that no one wants to feel.

4. Are you willing to give extra security support to your partner?

What does this matter?

Your once strong and impenetrable partner will become extremely vulnerable to you during these trying times. They’re going to need extra reassurance and surprise pick-me-ups from you to know that you still care.

What consequences might arise?

More likely than not, the reason that you are dating long distance is because you have obligations elsewhere that you need to attend to. So, you’re probably very busy and can’t be bothered by neediness. You may get turned off by the vulnerability and constant need for attention and may not be willing to give them all of that extra reassurance that they need. This will make your partner feel that you don’t care.

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5. Is it OK to have less physical attachment?

What does this matter?

One of the main issues with long distance, is that the relationship is no longer tangible. You can’t touch, kiss, or cuddle your partner. Yes, sex isn’t everything but it is absolutely a component in a healthy relationship. And sometimes, it’s not even about sex. It’s just about intimacy, and having someone next to you (which has proven to have therapeutic effects [1]).

What consequences might arise?

Even for people who don’t consider themselves sexual, this will get taxing after awhile. You’re living out a virtual relationship, where you can only see digital projections of your lover, and hear their voice over a landline. Many people need something tangible; and a simple Skype call can’t fill that void. For some, this is where the prospect of cheating may arise. Not because their distant partner isn’t enough, but because they feel that they need that physical connection.

6. Do you each have an independent life outside your love life? Can you live alone?

What does this matter?

This is so incredibly crucial. Whether your relationship is distant or not, it’s very important to have an independent life outside of your relationship. Or else you will cling to them, monopolizing all of their time. This is still possible in a long-distance relationship; and you can drive your partner crazy no matter how far away you are. Independence is not only an important quality to have, but it is also very, very sexy.

You don’t necessarily have to live alone while they are away. Roommates can make the distance a lot less lonely as long as you can live in harmony. What’s more important is whether you can swing sleeping in an empty bed every night.

What consequences might arise?

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Without your own life, job, friends, or hobbies keeping you occupied, you’re going to drive your partner insane with the constant need for entertainment from them. They’ll feel that you don’t respect their busy life and goals that they are trying to reach, and may think less of you for being so helpless and needy.

If you have issues with being alone, then you will have serious struggles with infidelity. There’s nothing wrong with needing companionship, some of us need it more than others. But you need to be honest with yourself and your partner so that no one gets hurt when you reach out for attachment.

7. Do you guys have an end plan?

What does this matter?

Without an end plan or goal to work towards, you’re just floating in a lovers limbo with no way out. You need goals such as moving closer to one another, marriage, or planning a trip to see one another.

What consequences might arise?

As with anything, you need a reward to make the effort worth it. Without these goals to work towards, your relationship will start to feel like it isn’t worth the hassle. At this point you’re basically pen-pals tied up in a melodramatic, failing love. The relationship will inevitably fizzle out, leaving the two of you feeling jilted and angry that they didn’t try any harder. But the truth is, long distance relationships are their own breed, and it takes a very specific kind of couple to tame that kind of beast.

Featured photo credit: Love My Britt via google.com

Reference

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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