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15 Bitters and Sweets Only People Living Alone Will Understand

15 Bitters and Sweets Only People Living Alone Will Understand

Living alone may no longer be such a great aberration. As a woman in her forties who lives alone, I was ecstatic to discover this good news. There are delightful upsides to living alone, although there can be downsides, as well. But what relationship doesn’t have its ups and downs? The difference for singles is that ‘we’ have no one but ourselves to blame when something goes wrong!

1. You can leave the toilet lid down (or up)

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    Ladies will especially love this one. No more stumbling to the toilet in the middle of the night only to dip your cheeks into toilet water. Or get that unearthly feeling of falling into the toilet! This fear completely disappears when living alone.

    For guys, now you have the convenience of putting that lid down only when you need to!

    2. You have to pay for everything yourself

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      Certainly, it is better to have two incomes to pay for the bills, rather than one. And those of us who choose to be single are indeed responsible for the entirety of the bills. On the upside, for the ladies there may be a break when or if a gentleman takes you out. It’s always polite to pay halfsies at least, of course, but a true gentleman is always prepared to foot the bill (sorry guys).

      But all the rest of the bills that come down the pike are yours and yours alone.

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      3. You only have yourself to argue with

      There’s just no one else to blame if the dishes go undone, or the laundry, or anything else for that matter. Most singles would argue that this is on the plus side of living alone. You get to be as messy or as neat as you choose to be and there is no one around to tell you otherwise.

      4. You have to carry in your own groceries

      When living alone there’s no one else to carry out the shopping duties but you. In so doing, you are inherently responsible for carrying in said groceries. That could mean trudging back and forth all on your lonesome. It also means you get to choose exactly the menu for the coming week. And there is the upside that there’s no one else around to decide what or when to eat. The downside is that fresh veggies sometimes do go to waste as there is only one of you to go around.

      5. No one else has to put up with your morning breath

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        As a single only you are required to wake up to that foul, sticky taste in your mouth. You get to arise and take a good, long stretch, and there is no reason to go rushing into the bathroom to brush your teeth (unless of course, you have invited over some company). You are also not required to grin and bear through a hangover or headache for anyone the morning after partying. If you don’t want breakfast, skip it! After all you’re the only one to blame for a lack of getting breakfast.

        6. You can do what you want, when you want

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          Have an itch in a private place? For that matter, need to fart? Burp? Just need a quiet moment to blow your nose (or pick it)? Go ahead, you live alone and no one’s there to bother you about it. Now the downside here could be that you’re sick (as in physically ill). In that case, there’s no one around to take care of you but you. And well, yeah, that does kinda suck. Otherwise, when in the company of yourself, be as gross or as disgusting as you’d like!

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          7. You can leave the bed unmade or made

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            In other words, the decision is yours and yours alone to make. As a single, your bed can stay unmade for days, even weeks. Fitted sheet come undone? That’s OK, a single can sleep on the bare mattress … this single thing is all about you. Some call this insufferably selfish. ‘We’ singles say it is unconscionable freedom … and singles like it that way.

             8. You get to choose how you want to relax

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              Sick of watching TV? Turn it off and go read a book. Take a nice, long walk. There’s no one to stop you. Want to stay out all night? Go ahead, no one’s waiting up for you, remember? Want to go out and eat? See a flick? The choices are virtually endless. Except maybe when it comes to going out with friends … after all, they might have someone they need permission from before heading out on the town!

              9. You never have to worry about asking your roommate if it’s OK for someone to come over
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                You live alone. The only excuse you might have for not wanting someone to come over is the condition of the place. You may not be the world’s best housekeeper, so you find yourself querying your date. Does he or she mind the mess? Are you willing for him or her to wade through the mess to the bedroom? The choice, as per usual, is yours and only yours to make.

                10. You know that living alone does not exclude you from great relationships

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                  Yeah, everything really is up to you. The difference being your significant other has their own place. So, what’s not to like? You get to tell even him or her that time’s up and it’s time to go. No more clingy relationships for you. Just sheer freedom and attachments only when you want them.

                   11. You never have to come home to a drunk roommate

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                    No more helping anyone else but yourself to bed. No more listening to those unfathomable sounds from the bathroom either.The only drunk person you have to deal with is yourself. Maybe you’re the type who feels the need to comfort someone else while they sick up a night’s worth of beer and heaven knows what else. None of that is for the person who has decided to live alone.

                    12. You don’t have to leave an “Occupied” sign on the doorknob

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                      In other words, you can just let a romance bloom any way you want. Want to bring that super nice guy to your apartment? Or some nice chick? You are under no obligation to call or leave a secret sign to anyone else that you need your time with someone else.

                      13. You can leave your laundry where you dropped it

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                        Sure, the fact remains that you’ll have to wash your laundry eventually. But what’s the hurry? Shrug it off wherever you are in the apartment and simply leave it lying around. After all, there’s no one else who has to look at it or even acknowledge it exists. Cleaning day does eventually come. But singles know that ‘eventually’ doesn’t come until they’re good and ready to conquer it.

                        14. The bathroom’s all yours

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                          No more waiting until the roommate gets out of the bathroom. Or dancing on one foot trying to patiently wait to pee. The shower is always open. You don’t have to rush putting on makeup or drying your hair. The bathroom’s yours and yours alone.

                          15. The stuff you buy is all yours

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                            Ever felt peckish around midnight only to find a roommate had eaten your last yogurt? No more sharing food, or anything else for that matter. What you buy is yours, completely your responsibility. You can arrange and rearrange as you please.

                            Featured photo credit: Wikipedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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                            Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                            What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                            What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                            When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                            Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                            It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                            While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                            Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                            What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                            How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                            It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                            People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                            “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                            In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                            Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                            As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                            When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                            It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                            What are Interpersonal Skills?

                            Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                            In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                            From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                            For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                            Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                            How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                            There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                            There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                            Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                            I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                            Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                            “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                            Don’t overlook introspection.

                            While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                            Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                            When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                            Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                            “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                            The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                            The Bottom Line

                            You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                            Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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