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10 Things Only Loved Ones of People Who Do Shift Work Would Understand

10 Things Only Loved Ones of People Who Do Shift Work Would Understand

Many of us are aware that it’s not easy to do shift work. Disruption of normal sleep patterns is just one of the many challenges only shift workers would understand. But do you ever take a moment to think about the difficulties and struggles that the loved ones of people who do shift work face?

Few people think about what these people go through, and sadly seldom do we talk about what these loving people are up against. So today we are going to break the silence and honor these affectionate souls by highlighting some of the struggles only you, as a loved one of someone who does shift work, would understand.

1. You hardly ever get the chance to just sit and enjoy quality time with them.

That’s because your loved one who does shift work is always away working when you’d have loved to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. While this upsets you sometimes, you understand that they have to go to work.

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2. You don’t get time to go out together anymore.

You used to spend mornings out together or go on fun date nights with them, but now you don’t dare ask them to go out with you because you both have different sleep schedules and they need to catch their sleep on off-hours. Even on holidays when you might want to go out and have some fun with them, they don’t feel like spending the day out. And you completely understand because they have to work the next night.

3. You can’t just pick up the phone and call them anytime you want.

That’s because you don’t know if they’re sleeping or not. They’re always moving from night shift to day shift and vise versa, and it’s difficult to know for sure whether they are free to take calls. Besides, some work places have strict cell phone policies and you don’t want to get them in trouble by calling them when they are at work.

4. You have a hard time making plans in advance that include them.

They might tell you their boss has promised a rotation to allow them to attend an event you’re planning, but you can’t be sure that the promise will pan out. So you put them under the “Maybe” category of those coming to your event, even if they said they’ll be there. Usually this is the case until the day before the event when you, hopefully, realize their shift duty was actually moved and they will indeed be there.

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5. You expect them to miss or skip most social gatherings.

Why? Because you know they don’t have the weekends free to meet up with friends and family like everyone else does. They work odd hours, and sometimes that means missing important social gatherings, including birthday parties, graduations, and family meetings. It makes you sad that you rarely see them and that their youngest cousins usually have no idea who they are. But you try to understand that love—no matter how important and fulfilling it is—doesn’t pay the bills.

6. It is hard to spend time with them because they always seem so tired.

This happens when they somehow manage to beat the system and show up to hang out and spend time with you and other loved ones. You may even notice they are moody or irritable with their own children, relatives, and friends because of being so tired.

7. You sometimes feel as though you both exist in parallel universes.

This is especially true if you are a married couple with kids. You may feel like you’re not a team as parents, not because of any conflicting parenting styles, but because it seems like they don’t have time for you and the kids. Your kids, parents, and even close friends often ask about their absence, and it secretly hurts you inside to answer why he/she is not there with you.

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8. You sometimes feel lonely and emotionally isolated.

That’s because your partner or loved one is never there. You just wish you would have more time to spend with them, but you know demanding more time will only create stress. You understand that your loved one has a difficult work schedule and needs their sleep and time to rest, just like everyone else.

9. You always hope that they’ll be available for Christmas.

Christmas is always a busy time for everyone. But if you do shift work, this time of the year is often more hectic than usual. It may be that Christmas doesn’t stop your loved one from working. So each year you cross your fingers and hope they will get a break and be available to spend Christmas with you, which unfortunately doesn’t always happen.

10. You’re heartbroken every time you see those bags under their eyes.

When he or she comes back home or walks in the room and you notice that major sleep face and those fierce bags under their eyes, it just breaks your heart. And you never mention how tired you are yourself to them because you know they’ve been up working the shift since 1 in the morning!

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Featured photo credit: Healthy Morning Snack with a Tea/VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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