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10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

Do you have a tendency to over-think? Do you worry about every single aspect and detail of life? Are you over-competitive? Does not knowing the outcome of every little situation stress you out? Chances are you are obsessed with control.

This trait has its positives. It means that you are most likely a hard-working individual, who takes things seriously and doesn’t mess around. You are motivated and competitive, and this makes other people respect and admire you.

However there are some things that people who are obsessed with control are missing out on. Here are just a few examples:

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1. They know some things are only complicated in our minds

Imagine getting into your car on a day where you happen to be extremely late for something, and no matter what you do, the car will not start. It’s a very old car and it has given you a lot of problems in the past. You begin to freak out and think of all the worst-case scenarios, how much it will cost to fix the car with money you don’t have. In the heat of a stressful moment, it doesn’t occur to you that one quick glance at the dashboard confirms that you’re simply out of gas.

For someone obsessed with control, it is easy to misunderstand and misinterpret things, and it can get very complicated. The most simple problems can get blown out of proportion when a person is stressed and prone to overreaction.

2. They accept that some things are inevitable

If you had the ability to relive the same day over and over again, chances are whatever event you were trying to avoid at the end of the day will still happen, no matter what you do differently. Instead of putting all your effort in trying to change the inevitable, why not save your energy and accept that nothing you do will change anything?

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3. They are aware that all you get from over-thinking are headaches

A person obsessed with control probably doesn’t have the word ‘relax’ in their vocabulary. There is a difference between giving careful consideration and over-thinking. People who aren’t obsessed with control know when to stop thinking about things that are not worth worrying about. Stressing about an important exam shows that you are concerned about your performance, but over-thinking will give you nothing but a bad headache, lowering your capabilities. Is it really worth the stress or not?

4. They appreciate the importance of surrender

Surrendering doesn’t mean that you’ve lost, or given up. Sometimes the concept of surrendering control can be more difficult that keeping things under control. Surrender isn’t a loss. It’s a victory.

5. They know things happen for a reason

Bad things happen everyday. Maybe your relationship just ended, or you just lost your job. It might seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, however it’s important to remember that these events give way to better things. You’ll find a better person, and a better job. Trying to control outcomes might be the only thing holding you back from moving forward with your life.

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6. They understand the fear of losing control

Control can provide a basis of safety and security for over-thinkers. It makes them feel confident and in control of their lives. It is easy to understand that losing control can be an extremely frightening thought to over-thinkers. Stressing and fearing the loss of control can be a major roadblock in success and relationships. This fear should be acknowledged in order for any progress to be made. The greatest accomplishment for a person obsessed with control is the ability to cope when control slips out of their hands.

7. They know which struggles are worthwhile

Life is all about priorities. For a person obsessed with control, the list of stresses and worries are endless, therefore the ability to prioritize is an extremely important skill. If you had to choose between stressing out about what fancy dinner to cook for your parents tonight and an important work presentation, you’d have to decide which would have more of an impact on your life. Some mental struggles aren’t worth wasting a second thought on. Your parents are going to love you no matter how bad the food is.

8. They understand the importance of trusting themselves

Never underestimate the power of basic instinct. You know more about yourself than anyone, so sometimes the biggest challenge is to trust yourself to make the right decisions. You can be up all night worrying about whether you make good or bad decisions. Sometimes it feels good to just trust that you know exactly what you’re doing and you really have nothing to worry about.

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9. They accept that they can’t compete with everyone

There are billions of people in the world. One very important lesson to remember is that you can’t compete with everyone. You can’t be number one in every aspect of life, which is a concept that is difficult to grasp if you’re obsessed with control. Overcoming this need to be number one will make you feel a lot more satisfied with yourself and therefore make you a happier person.

10. They know when control is a waste of time

Life is too short to be so stressed and obsessed with control all the time. Letting go of these desires frees up a lot more time for you to do things that you enjoy and spend time with people you love. Knowing when to let go of control allows you to live life to the fullest.

So stop stressing and start living!

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Featured photo credit: Depressed Man via sciencetimes.com

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Elizabeth Andal

Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life 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!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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