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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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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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