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15 Things People Who Have Mentally Strong Parents Understand

15 Things People Who Have Mentally Strong Parents Understand

Mentally strong parents can be tough for any child to get used to when growing up. These parents often share their tough-love attitudes with their children and it can be a challenge for many adolescents.

I know firsthand. I grew up with mentally strong parents and would sometimes despise the fact that they were harder on me than most of my friends’ parents.

But now I understand why. And I am incredibly thankful for the way I was brought up.

My mentally strong, sometimes tough, and always loving parents passed on their mentally strong attitude in life onto me. And for this, I will be forever grateful!

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If you’ve had mentally strong parents, you’ll know exactly what it was like and you’ll appreciate what they did for you. Here are 15 things that only people with mentally strong parents will truly understand.

1. Life’s Not Easy

From as far back as you can remember, if you’ve had mentally strong parents, I’m sure this is one of the recurring sentiments they’ve told you, “Life’s not easy.” Mentally strong parents are mentally strong because they’ve completely grasped this concept long ago. Sometimes life gets hard. Sometimes it gets tough. Sometimes you don’t think you can go on. But mentally strong parents always told you that you’ll be okay. They prepared you for life’s ups and downs and you were ready for each and every one of them.

2. Never Give Up

Along these same lines, mentally strong parents always told you not to quit. Whether it was a sport that you weren’t too fond of or a class you signed up to take, mentally strong parents always made you stick it out. They didn’t want to raise a “quitter” and so they always made you see things through. You may have hated it at that time, but that drive to never give up stayed with you throughout life!

3. It Takes A While For Good Things To Happen

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This phrase was often repeated throughout your childhood and although you may have wanted things right away, you quickly realized that things worth waiting for were things worth having. You now have a great patience when it comes to obtaining things you desire.

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4. Sometimes Your Best Laid Plans Won’t Work Out

“The best laid plans of mice and men oft’ go awry.” This statement was probably uttered quite frequently as a child to you. Even if you think everything is going to go as perfectly as you plan it to, sometimes life throws a wrench at you. You have to take things in stride and shrug off unforeseen complications.

5. You Have To Adapt

Along the lines of taking things in stride, you have to adapt. Adapting is a critical part of succeeding in life. Those who adapt to different situations will always come out on top. Ever since you were little, your parents told you that you have to adapt and grow in order to be successful. They were right.

6. Hard Work Trumps All

Life doesn’t reward people who are lazy. Those who work hard and put the time into doing something are the ones who get what they want. Mentally strong parents made their children do chores, go to sleep on time, wake up for school on time, get good grades in school, and do their homework as soon as they came home. If you have mentally strong parents this happened to you too. And this hard work and preparation carried on throughout your life. There are probably few people you know who have anywhere near the same work ethic as you do now.

7. Life’s Not Always Fair

If your parent rehearsed lines from Mick Jagger before, you probably had a mentally strong parent. “You can’t always get what you want” was a sentiment often uttered by my parents, and one that I learned very early on. But by learning that things weren’t always going to go my way, it made me prepared for all sorts of stumbles I’d encounter later in life. I learned to be tough and ready for anything.

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8. Anything Is Possible

Even though I knew things weren’t always fair in life, I knew that one thing remained true, anything is possible in life. Even things that seem unbelievably challenging or long-shots that seem like they would never happen, can happen. “You can do anything in life” my parents often told me . . . and I always believed them.

9. Don’t Be A Sheep, Be The Sheep Herder

“Most people walk around like sheep, always doing what they are told. Don’t be like them. Be the guy who herds the sheep.” These phrases were told me as a young boy and I knew I never wanted to be a sheep. I knew I always wanted to do what I wanted to, and I wanted to have my own mind and my own heart. My mentally strong parents wouldn’t allow me to be a follower, they demanded that I be a leader. And I am.

10. Stand Up For Yourself

My mentally strong parents never took any crap from other people. They always demanded respect and they always got it. If they felt they were not being heard, appreciated, or respected, even in the slightest way, they demanded a change. I watched them stand up for their beliefs countless times over the years, and they led by example. They always told me to do the same and I always did.

11. Fight For What You Believe In

“Even if everyone else does something, do what you really believe in. Do what is right.” If you have strong-minded parents this belief is deeply engrained in you. You always fight for what you believe in and stand by your convictions. Mentally strong parents teach you this as soon as you start to talk. Because of this, you always do what you know is right in life.

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12. Everyone Has Problems, Not Just You

Your parents taught you to get over your problems early on by telling you that “Everyone has problems, it’s not just you.” In other words, they made you believe that you weren’t being unfairly singled out in the issues department. And that rather than complaining about your issues, you have to get over them! If you have mentally strong parents, you don’t dwell on your problems; you quickly move past and get over them!

13. You Can’t Please Everyone

Mentally strong parents are mentally strong because they know who matters. They also know who doesn’t matter, and they know not to waste their energy on these people. Your mentally strong parents told you early on that “You can’t please everyone” and you listened. You now know this to be true and you don’t waste your time on people who don’t matter. Instead, you focus your energy on more productive things.

14. Sometimes You Have To Take Risks

All mentally strong parents knew that in order to succeed in life, you sometimes have to take risks. Even though it may be scary or nerve-racking, risks are essential to getting ahead. The weak-minded settle for less and never go for things they truly want in life. The strong-minded, however, do. If your parents were mentally strong, you’ve grown accustomed to taking the necessary risks in life that reap the best rewards. You’ve been watching your parents do it for years.

15. Don’t Feel Entitled To Anything

“You work for what you want in life. You are not entitled to anything.” This motto was definitely prevalent in your life growing up. Mentally strong parents would never allow you to feel entitled to anything. The mentally strong are self-reliant, independent, and hard-working, and the feeling of entitlement of certain things is an insult to them. They instilled the core beliefs of self-sufficiency in you early on, and you never forgot them. You are now self-reliant, independent, and hard-working, just like them!

Although it may have been tough growing up with mentally strong parents, by now, you should realize just how lucky you were. Your peers and friends may have had it easier back then, but your mentally strong parents were shaping your future. They were giving you the tools needed to not only prosper and succeed in life, but to also be happy. You can now thank them for everything they’ve given you!

Featured photo credit: Stephan Hochhaus via flickr.com

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Justin Stenstrom

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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