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10 Incredible Benefits of Living With Best Friends You Never Realized

10 Incredible Benefits of Living With Best Friends You Never Realized

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck with terrible roommates, since waking up to no food or a trashed apartment gets old fast. If you’re lucky enough to live with your best friends on your first trip away from home, we envy you. And if you’re tired of cleaning up some else’s meals, we feel your pain. Living with best friends is not only entertaining and fun, close relationships with friends are good for your health. But whether you’re stuck in roommate hell or heaven, the following 10 reasons for living with best friends reminds us all it’s worth the move.

1. Spontaneous Parties

Living with best friends makes your social life much more convenient. Instead of planning for weeks, suddenly you’ll find excuses to have fun anytime everyone’s at home. Spontaneous parties or nights out are a huge plus to loving your roommates, and might just help you have more fun in life.

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    2. Sharing Take-Out

    The daily struggle to cook yourself something marginally edible is less stressful when you live with friends. Not only can you cook large meals together and save money, there’s always someone to split ordering a pizza with. Who doesn’t love a pizza party with friends?

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      3. Never Go Alone

      Where you used to struggle to find someone to accompany you to last-minute events, your roommates are now an automatic date. They might put up a fight sometimes, but you know deep down they love being your plus one. Just don’t whine too much when they need a last-minute date too.

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        4. Someone to Come Home With

        Nights when you’re going home alone shouldn’t have to feel awkward. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time and keeping it at that. Living with best friends is a lovely solution for not feeling lonely, since they’ll be coming home with you no matter what kind of night you had. Plus, when you get home, you get to drunkenly swap stories over junk food.

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          5. Make Boring Errands Fun

          Probably the best part of living with best friends is that daily errands become an adventure. Whether you’re headed to the store, gas station, or fast food joint, you now have a bunch of passengers to help you holler along to the radio. It’s amazing how fast grocery shopping becomes grocery store games when you’re living with best friends.

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            6. Chores Together

            Like making errands fun, daily and weekly chores quickly become a social affair when living with best friends. You no longer need to feel silly singing while you clean, since you now have back up vocals and dancers. 

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              7. Clothes Are Optional

              Sometimes, your day is done and pants are just not going to happen. You no longer need to struggle through your night in clothing when you’re living with best friends. Since they’ve likely seen you change outfits or get drunk enough to start losing clothes, wearing clothes around the house is suddenly optional.

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                8. Binge Viewing Partners

                We all love to park it in front of the TV or laptop and spend a few hours with our favorite show. When you’re living with best friends, however, this scene is no longer lonely, but borderline amazing. Even the simplest TV marathon becomes a party when you love your roommates, who definitely won’t judge when it’s time for just one more episode, six times in a row.

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                  9. Gaming Days

                  Much like TV marathons that become full on parties, gaming with friends is a lot more enjoyable. Even if your roommates don’t know an RPG from an MMO, it’s still better to laugh with a group. Plus, you don’t have to spend all your money on consoles and accessories, because you can pool your gaming resources with your friends.

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                    10. Spontaneous Road Trips

                    Last but not least, living with best friends will surely lead to at least one spontaneous road trip. Where you might have reservations if your trying to plan a road trip, no one can say no to waking up to a packed car. Throw caution to the wind and jump in, these days of living with your best friends will spawn some of your favorite stories for years to come.

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                      More by this author

                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                      Published on May 18, 2021

                      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                      We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

                      The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

                      Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

                      Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

                      Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

                      There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

                      Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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                      Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

                      We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

                      Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

                      A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

                      The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

                      Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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                      Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

                      Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

                      Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

                      While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

                      Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

                      These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

                      Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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                      Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

                      Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

                      Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

                      Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

                      Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

                      Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

                      As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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                      This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

                      Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

                      Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

                      These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

                      Actions Speak Louder Than Words

                      Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

                      Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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                      Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

                      More Tips Improving Listening Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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