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15 Things Only Lovebirds Who Are Truly In Love Understand

15 Things Only Lovebirds Who Are Truly In Love Understand

Falling in love can be like going to the gym for the first time. It can hurt like hell, but it still feels great – like you’ve accomplished something. Of course, there are some other aspects of being in love that will give you a lot of “exercise” too, but this isn’t that kind of article. We all know about the supposed cliches of being in love – the things we hear about in songs and books and see acted out in romantic comedies.

If you’re, perhaps, a cynical single guy, you might be forced to listen to a buddy as he goes on and on about his new lady love, while you sit there with a polite and yet pained smile on your face. You just need to wait until the honeymoon period is over, and then your friend will remember that there are more than seven billion people on the earth other than his girlfriend, and she’ll stop finding his fart jokes funny. Until then, you just have to accept that there are things only lovebirds who are truly in love will understand… and when they try to explain it to you, it’s best to just smile and nod.

1. They Want to Demonstrate Their Togetherness

Damn you, Social Media! Before everyone had a camera on their phone, it was easy to avoid having to look at countless photos of couples doing couple things. Nowadays it’s unavoidable and your Facebook feed might be dominated by photos of your friends and their girlfriends eating at a cafe. Or sitting on a beach. Or whatever other 1000 things they did on the weekend.

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2. They Know Love Songs to Be True

Sappy love songs that were kind of lame when single suddenly take on special meaning when in love – they become true. Yes, Aerosmith – I don’t wanna miss a thing! Yes, Belinda Carlisle – Heaven IS a place on Earth. Yes, Britney Spears – I WILL hit you one more time.

3. They Smile Strangely When Talking About Each Other

When your friend talks about his girlfriend, a weird, contented, distracted look comes over his face – in fact, he kind of smiles like an idiot. Is he drunk? No, no… he’s just in love.

4. Their Idea of Fun Changes

“Hey, want to come out tonight? We’re doing tequila shooters at my place, then heading to a strip bar, followed by an illegal warehouse party.” “No thanks, we’re staying in tonight, cooking pasta and listening to Celine Dion. Because we’re in love.”

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5. They Like Romantic Comedies – and Kind Of Take Them Seriously

Never watch a romantic comedy with a couple in love. They’ll annoy the hell out of you with their statements such as, “We do that!” or “That’s totally us!” while you sit there, trying not to roll your eyes. Hugh Grant is a God to those in love, but to the rest of us, he’s an actor who was arrested with a prostitute in the back of his BMW.

6. They Can’t Stop Mentioning Each Other

Your friend will reference his girlfriend no matter how weak the connection is. You might be talking about UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and he’ll say, “Oh… that reminds me of Susan. She has two arms, two legs and needs oxygen too.”

7. They Become Anxious When Separated

People in love tend to weird out if they have to go more than a few hours without each other. It’s like a dog that freaks out when being left home alone and has to destroy the furniture as a stress release. So never leave your in love friend alone in your apartment!

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8. They Forget to Eat

When eating dinner with a buddy it’s not uncommon for them to say they forgot to eat breakfast or lunch because they were too busy with their girlfriend. It’s almost enough to make you lose your breakfast and lunch.

9. They Want You to Date Too

Both your buddy and his girlfriend will start sharing their ultimate dating tips for men with you because they just want you to experience the happiness they’re feeling with your own special someone. It doesn’t matter who it is – that woman from work, that woman with a limp who works at the supermarket, that pole dancer you met last weekend – they want you to date  and fall in love with someone, anyone!

10. They Can’t Do Anything Without Thinking of The Other Person

If you invite him for a beer, he can’t commit until he knows if his girlfriend wants to come too. If you invited him to a proctology exam, he would only do it if she came, and watched. He’s no longer an “I,” he’s a “We.”

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11. They Get Jealous Really Easily

He will pretend he’s not, but your buddy will get jealous if his girlfriend spends too much time with her friends, colleagues after work, her sofa. This is all time that could have been spent with him!

12. They Talk About What Their Children Would Look Like

They talk about children and say they’re not serious although the topic keeps popping up. You can’t help but think that your buddy has lost three phones in the last year, so he might have problems keeping track of a kid

13. The Don’t Understand Why You’re Not as Upbeat as Them

To people in love, the whole world is awesome and a place of beauty (it won’t last), and they can’t understand why you’re not as high on life as they are. Maybe because you watch the news instead of falling straight into bed as soon as you get home?

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14. They Express Regret About Their Former Sex Partners

“Oh my God – I never knew how good sex could be when you’re truly in love with someone. Sex with all those other girls meant nothing! You HAVE to be in love to truly enjoy sex.” Thanks for the advice buddy, but I’m sure I can still enjoy sex while waiting for The One.

15. They Fall Apart When It’s Over

When they fall out of love, life no longer has any meaning, and all the songs, Hugh Grant movies and act of eating a meal just remind them of their lost love. They don’t know how they’ll carry on with life, but you know what? They will. It will take time, and your friendship, but they will. Vodka is also helpful.

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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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