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12 Things Only A Straightforward Person Would Understand

12 Things Only A Straightforward Person Would Understand

Sometimes people misjudge a straightforward person as impolite or impatient. But really keeping it simple and honest is actually a great thing! If you are straightforward or know someone who is and feel like you or your friend are often misunderstood by others, this post is for you.

1. They think that coddling is bad for your health.

swell day

    Straightforward people love people but they don’t love them too much. To love ’em more, you’ve got to love ’em less. It’s one thing to shower people with love but at a certain point it’s damaging. People can be so loved that they’re ruined. This isn’t healthy for you or anyone. Straightforward people get it. They want to empower people and teach non-dependence. They’ll toughen you up in the best hard love way.

    2. They create a better world by telling the truth.

    i want to smash it

      They speak honestly. If a sensitive person is offended by the truth it’s not because it was offensive. It’s because the truth sucks to hear. Not just for sensitive people, but for everyone. It’s how we process information that separates people who get better and those that stay complacent. Use difficult information to figure things out and get better.

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      3. They are honest not in a mean but in a funny way.

      nice wig

        They are so honest, it’s refreshing and actually humorous. To call out the white elephant in the room is awesome. Otherwise it’s awk. Ward. Some people like to beat around the bush, but why not get to freedom sooner than later? Communication is awesome!

        4. They strike while the iron is hot.

        thunderous punch

          They are blunt and speak of things in the heat of the moment. The only time when it matters to say something at all! Sometimes it’s because it’s fueled by sheer passion and excitement. And sometimes this can be too much for people to handle but the best way to get a point across is at that moment that it matters, not when everyone has gone home and the moment is gone.

          5. They understand that communication is the answer to unanswered questions.

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          wtf kanye

            They cut to the chase. The faster you get to your point, the better. Ask questions, if you want answers. No need for speculation and wonder. Straightforward people don’t walk around with a bunch of baggage and unfinished business.

            6. They acknowledge that life is short.

            life is short, never watch stars

              They live in the now, not the past or the future. They don’t spend time day dreaming about “what if’s.” They don’t like small talk or day dreaming. They’re after progress and they know moving forward requires understanding current realities.

              7. They see that anything is possible.

              twinkle big star

                They shoot it straight. They make things happen. They know that there are no roadblocks, only detours. When you are alive and aware … asking questions, communicating .. you are likely to move along further than others that get stumped too quickly.

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                8. They also see that everything is negotiable.

                everything is negotiable

                  They don’t function in a box. They are not constrained by lines. They operate their life outside of the box. They do this for survival, not just for the sake of being different. They color outside of the lines because they know that even dire mistakes can have triumphant endings. It takes a mighty strong person to see what needs to be done or said and to do it no matter what the consequence.

                  9. They would never live in denial.

                  school sucked

                    Straightforward people wear their heart on their sleeve and hope you would too. They don’t believe in secrets, they don’t like hoarding information. They speak what they know. This makes life so much easier.

                    10. They have a thick skin which is earned.

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                    too stupid

                      They embrace honesty. They’re tough and resilient. They don’t take things personally. They’ve let themselves become comfortable with rejection so that it doesn’t hurt, it helps.

                      11. They know that hard love is real love.

                      i jump you jump rose

                        They tell people what they don’t want to hear. They aren’t afraid to hurt people’s feelings to help them if it’s for their own good. They are like coaches pushing you when you are stuck.

                        12. They also get that some people don’t respond to barking.

                        you can't handle the truth

                          They get that there is a certain finesse, getting people to the truth. They have to learn how to translate this to certain personalities in different ways. At the end of the day, the truth is hard to handle and delivering the truth is an art.

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                          Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

                          Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

                          When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

                          Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

                          What Makes People Poor Listeners?

                          Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

                          1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

                          Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

                          Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

                          It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

                          2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

                          This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

                          Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

                          3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

                          It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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                          I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

                          If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

                          4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

                          While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

                          To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

                          My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

                          Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

                          Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

                          How To Be a Better Listener

                          For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

                          1. Pay Attention

                          A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

                          According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

                          As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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                          I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

                          2. Use Positive Body Language

                          You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

                          A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

                          People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

                          But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

                          According to Alan Gurney,[2]

                          “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

                          Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

                          3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

                          I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

                          Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

                          Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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                          Be polite and wait your turn!

                          4. Ask Questions

                          Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

                          5. Just Listen

                          This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

                          I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

                          I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

                          6. Remember and Follow Up

                          Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

                          For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

                          According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

                          It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

                          7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

                          If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

                          Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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                          Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

                          Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

                          NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

                          1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
                          2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

                          8. Maintain Eye Contact

                          When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

                          Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

                          By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

                          You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

                          And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

                          More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
                          [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
                          [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
                          [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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