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13 Things I Want To Tell The Single And Unhappy Ones

13 Things I Want To Tell The Single And Unhappy Ones

When did being single become some sort of disease that everyone wants to get rid of? Why does everyone think that being in a relationship or married is superior to being alone? Those are some questions you might want to think about. It’s all about how you look at it. So if you’re single and unhappy, here are 13 things I want to tell you to cheer you up:

1. Things can change. And they will.

I don’t care if you’ve been single for several decades or several days. It can be easy to get down on yourself over the “odds” finding that perfect partner. Don’t let yourself buy into the ridiculous myths like “It’s more likely to get abducted by an alien than it is to get married after 40.” Remember, anything and everything is possible. You just need to get out of your own way and start believing that.

2. Have high standards. Don’t just date someone because you don’t want to be alone.

I can’t tell you how many people I know who just “settle” because they hate being alone. If that’s you, why do you hate being alone so much? Don’t you like yourself? You should! You should love being alone because you’re such a cool person. You need to have the mindset that anyone who doesn’t want you is a fool and you wouldn’t want them anyway.

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3. Use this time to learn about yourself.

Often, people use being with others as an escape—an escape from themselves. If you’re with others, then the focus is on them, not you. But how well do you really know yourself? Being single is a precious time that can be used to really get to know and love yourself. So spend the time getting to know you. Discover new things. Work on personal growth.

4. Don’t chase anyone.

And I mean it. Don’t even think about it! If they have to be chased, then they don’t want you. And if they don’t want you, then you shouldn’t want them (see #2). As Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” If someone is showing you that they would rather not date you, believe them. Shrug your shoulders and move on. It’s their loss, not yours. No, really—it is.

5. Work on making yourself the kind of person you would want to date.

Jerry McGuire had it wrong. Don’t look for someone to “complete you.” If you need someone to complete you, then you aren’t whole to begin with. Re-read #2 and #3 as often as you need to in order to get that lesson. You want someone to think “Wow! This person is dating ME?!?! I’m the luckiest guy/girl on the planet!” And the right person will.

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6. Learn to love your own company.

You’re awesome! You’re cool! If you don’t believe me, then you are wrong. Everyone is perfect in their own way. The problem is, many people—especially single people—don’t believe it. It’s okay to spend a Saturday night alone with yourself and a movie and a glass of wine. As you do, you should say to yourself what my mother always says, “I wonder what the peasants are doing?” In other words, the “peasants” are anyone who’s not you—because you’re having such a good time by yourself that you don’t need anyone else.

7. There are still good people out there.

Again, don’t buy into the myths that “all the good ones are taken.” Hogwash! You’re not taken, right? Well, I rest my case! If you’re single and available, then not all the good ones are taken. So you just need to get out of your own head and stop believing those lies that society tells you. There are plenty of good eligible singles out there for you to match up with.

8. Uncertainty breeds opportunity.

One of the things that singles don’t like is that they can’t predict the future. Or control it. They think, “Will I be alone forever? Will I be an old maid? Where should I go to meet people?” Lots of people don’t like uncertainty and unanswered questions. But uncertainty brings a ton of opportunity. Your options are endless!! And that’s a good thing! You just need to believe that it is, too.

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9. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t.

This is rule #1 of the Law of Attraction. If you’re not familiar with it, I suggest you read about it. When you focus on the negativity of being single, you are only putting negative vibrations out there to everyone. They will pick up on it. Focus on your great job, wonderful friends, your health, your car, food on your table—you name it. When you focus on the good things, your vibration will change to being positive. Other people will pick up on it and want to be around you even more than they already do.

10. Keep busy with things that make you happy.

Do you like running? Join a running group! Do you love to read? Join a book club! Do you like to go to happy hour with your friends? Do it! The more you keep busy, the less you’ll focus on the negatives of being single (but there really aren’t any negatives—only what you think are negatives). Keep busy and have fun. And who knows who you will meet in the process?

11. You need to love yourself the way you want to be loved by a partner.

If you have been nasty to your partners in past relationships, re-think that! If you’re being nasty to yourself, stop doing that! Love yourself! Treat yourself with kindness and respect. If you want a quality relationship with a person who will treat you well, you need to start doing it yourself.

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12. When you feel lonely, give back to others.

Maybe you’re feeling down on yourself or you’re feeling lonely because haven’t been on a date for a long time. Then try giving back! Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a center for abused women. It always feels good to help others. The more you help others, the better you’ll feel about yourself. And it will also help you not focus on what you “don’t have” quite as much.

13. Be patient.

Perfection takes time! Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Great Pyramids weren’t even built in a century. So if you want greatness, you need to be willing to wait it out! Don’t just settle for whatever comes your way. Make sure that when you choose a partner, that he/she is who really you want. You two should be a good match. If not, you might find yourself having to repeat the process of being single once again. So decide what you want, and have confidence that in time, you will definitely find “the one.”

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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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

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