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15 Signs You Have the Coolest Brother in the World

15 Signs You Have the Coolest Brother in the World

My only sibling is my brother, five years older than I. Yes, I am that lucky girl who has the coolest brother in the world. But it is not necessary that only elder brothers are the coolest. Younger brothers can be equally chilled out. Here are 15 ways to know if you are lucky to have the coolest brother in the world.

1. You see him as your best confidant.

Your brother was the first person to know about your little secret. You would make him cross-upon-your-heart before letting out that top-secret of yours, but deep down you knew he would not spill it out. The secret might have been a small-bore, but he would pretend it was of great matter. And after all these years, he is still your first person to whom you will run to with a secret.

2. You have a brother who’s your best buddy.

He is your first best friend. No one will doubt that, given that the ample of times you guys have spent together as children. His friends are your friends too, and vice versa. You still prefer to get drunk in his company than you would with your friends. And you would still sit in the dark and watch horror movies with him, knowing that he would laugh at your face while you scream away, and would constantly tease you later. You thoroughly enjoy it as much as you hate it.

3. You may be his best buddy, but he knows your limits too.

This is the case when you have an elder brother. He may know all (okay, nearly all) your secrets, and know you smoke and have a crush on one of his friends, still he would be the one to correct your mistakes and make sure you know your limits too. Scolding is another option mostly preferred by the brothers to keep you in control!

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4. You ask him for knowledge.

Brothers are the best teachers you can ever ask for! Whether you want to know about the meaning of life, or those subjects you constantly fail to comprehend at school, or the secret behind WWE, it is always your brother who would answer your every question. You love the way he patiently explains it to you, despite your constant I-still-don’t-understands.

5. You know he knows you inside out, and outside in.

You can not hide anything from your brother. Anything. Even if you are upset and you have been crying away secretly, your brother will still know it. Maybe because you guys have been growing up and literally facing the same kinds of situations together. You also know that even after all these years he still understands you like no other person more than him.

6. You can start a conversation right where you have left it.

This is an amazing part of having a cool brother. He doesn’t mind whether you have abruptly hung up the phone, or you have left the room in the middle of a conversation. Because, at the end of the day, you can easily start off right where you have left it. It does not matter where you are residing. It does not matter how long you have not met each other. It also does not matter if you talk or Skype once in a blue moon.

7. You guys are the perfect partners-in-crime.

My brother was always the Batman whereas I was his Robin. We would cook up crimes and pretend to rescue each other. Another time, he would become a world famous detective, and I, his loyal assistant. And if anyone tried to bully me, my brother would come to save me. He would still do this for me, despite living oceans apart and growing up into full bloom adults!

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8. You know that your biggest supporter is your brother!

It does not matter whether you are a star soccer player in your school, or a geek who nails science projects every single time, or a person with no talent at all, you brother will always be your biggest supporter! He will cheer for you, and will look through all your faults. He will make you believe in yourself; one of the best parts of having a cool bro!

9. You have a permanent bank in him.

Need money? But you don’t want to go through all the process of “verbally” filling up the form (your dad or mom WILL ASK you anyway)? That is where the elder-brother-the-bank comes in. He is just like an ATM machine. Ask for it, and you get it. Unless of course you ask for a bigger dough, he wouldn’t usually question back. Despite earning my own money, I still ask for greens from my brother. I guess I am used to it.

10. You can talk shit with him.

Here’s a little open secret: my brother and I carry out most of our conversations while pooping. We believe it has a special privacy in it. No one gets to hear you, and it’s more like our comfort zone during secret sharing. And if you are having problems with your bathroom he’s the perfect man to talk about it!

11. You have an adviser, dear.

Now talking about seeking help you have the best adviser right inside your house. It is not necessary what range of topics you need advise on, he will readily aid you. You need advise in dating? You need advise regarding fashion? Or, maybe what subjects to choose in your high school? You are confused about your career? You are frustrated with your life? Well, your brother is there my dear, and his advises are totally free of cost!

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12. You are happy he bonds with your partner.

This is especially to the girls out there who have elder brothers. While I was dating my then boyfriend (who is my hubby now), the only person I wanted him to bond with was my brother. And oh man was I relieved when both the men started hanging out like buddies! I guess you have that similar butterflies in your stomachs while introducing your partner to your brother, and hope against all the hopes that they bond utimately.

13. Your brother is always in your team.

Sports or not, your brother will always be in your league. He will stand for you, he will always put you first in front of your family or friends, and even he will prefer to have you in his sports team. He will make sure you are at ease regardless of whatever situation you are facing.

14. You have a spoiler alert!

Whether your brother is older than you or younger, he will always spoil you in his own way. Your younger brother will nearly tend to all your needs. He will grumble, but he will complete the task. It’s actually cute when he goes out in the rain to bring you KFC that you suddenly craved for. And it is similar with the elder brothers too. Isn’t it best to have cool brothers in the world?

15. You get a comic relief during tough times.

Your brother is ALWAYS there to bring back your smile. My brother was cracking jokes on my wedding day, before I was leaving for my husband’s house. The reason? So that I don’t cry and spoil my make-up! Only cool bros will come up with something as bizarre as being the comic relief in your life when you least expect it!

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Personally I believe that having the coolest brother in the world is an amazing blessing. No one can take over your brother’s place. He is someone who loves you unconditionally. And like all other proud siblings, I would say, I love you too my brother!

Featured photo credit: ordianry miracles & the crazy 9 via flickr.com

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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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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