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16 Questions Every 20-Something Should Ask Themselves From Time To Time

16 Questions Every 20-Something Should Ask Themselves From Time To Time

As a 20-something you are faced with many challenges and struggles. Whether those challenges are focusing on your career path, your relationships, your body image, or even your life’s purpose; no one can give you the answers to the questions you should be asking yourself. Asking yourself questions when faced with life’s complications can inspire you to re-think, re-analyze and re-configure the way you have been living life.

1. Am I Living Up To My Full Potential?

As a 20-something it’s easy to reach certain milestones in life, and slowly begin to plateau. The personal growth incurred by challenging your capabilities, can help you reach the best version of yourself that you have ever experienced.

2. Do I Compare Myself To Others Too Often?

It’s easy to get caught up in what your peers are accomplishing while living in their twenties. Comparing yourself to someone that isn’t you, may only bring discouragement. You may feel as if you are falling behind, when in fact you are the leader of your own life journey.

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3. Do I Live In The Present?

As a 20-something you begin to explore who you really are. In order to define your present, you need to keep the past behind you and the future in the horizon. Try living in the moments before they pass. Your past is the foundation to the present, and the present will shape the future.

4. What Are My Life Goals?

Building life goals strengthens the purpose to life. While living in the present is essential to happiness, having a bucket list can give you something to look forward. Achieving goals does not happen over night, so taking small steps that can be applied to your everyday life, can help build towards your future accomplishments.

5. What Triggers My Stress?

It’s important to understand your stress triggers, so you can recognize them when they are present in your life. Once you can recognize your triggers, managing how you react to stress becomes a lot easier, and you can deal with stress on a mature and manageable level.

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6. Do I Recognize My Weaknesses?

It can be easy at times to point out the faults and weakness of others, but have you ever analyzed your own weaknesses? Recognizing your weaknesses may open many doors for self-improvement and personal growth.

7. Do I Recognize My Growth Throughout The Years?

Life sure feels like a scramble as a 20-something, but stopping to absorb all of the incredible things that you have accomplished so far can really encourage and motivate you to aim higher with everything else that you do.

8. Do My Friends Reflect Who I Really Am?

As a 20-something you might hang on to friends from high school, from college, from university, from past work facilities, and so on. Not to say you should say good-bye to all past friendships and only focus on the new, but you should make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people who also reflect who you are and who you want to be.

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9. Do I Make My Decisions Based On The Needs Of Others?

Whether it’s the need for acceptance or recognition, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what others want from you, for you. Making decisions based on the needs of others is a short-term fix to keep the people around you content so you can bypass endless questions. However, it’s you who ultimately has to live with your decisions.

10. Am I Spending Money On The Wrong Things?

Saving money can feel impossible once all monthly living expenses are covered. Making a practical budget and breaking down what you actually need and use can really help you see what you have been disposing your money on. Try looking at your wants verses your needs. You may want 2GB of data for your fancy new smart phone, but why not cut the cost of your data plan if you’re actually only using 500MB each month? Do this practice for your cable bill, your grocery list, or even your personal products.

11. Am I Ready To Begin Investing In My Future?

Knowing the lifestyle you want to live can determine how you should invest in your future. A part of investing in your future is deciding a career path. The rest of it is buying property and planning for retirement, which in your twenties may seem obscure.

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12. Do I Feel Like An Equal Contributor In My Workplace?

As a 20-something it’s easy to get looked at as the “rookie” in any job position. If you are putting in hard, honest work ethic and not receiving credit for the work you are doing, it can feel daunting. If you find yourself in a workplace where you are not seen as an equal maybe it’s time to find your voice and speak up.

13. What Do I Need From A Romantic Relationship?

You might have experienced a romantic relationship at some point during your twenties, and it may not have worked out, that’s okay. With each relationship had, you are constantly learning about yourself, as well as others, and what you need out of a life partner. Try taking all of your past relationships and picking out the qualities that you appreciated most, and all of the qualities that held no room for compromise. This will show you the characteristics that are most attractive and important to you.

14. Am I Too Dependent On My Parents?

Sometimes being a 20-something is doing things on your own without parental guidance. As a child, parents were usually there to help you as best as they could in all aspects. As an adult, your parents may be there to mentally support you, but they are no longer held responsible to pay your bills, drive you around, or book your appointments.

15. Do I Love Myself?

Self-love can be hard to wrap your head around when you’re a 20-something, but when you find it, you have a whole new appreciation for yourself. Self-love is about being understanding towards your own needs, as well as having the courage to stand up for yourself even when you’re standing alone. Self-love is knowing how to forgive yourself, and having the ability to live life worry-free from the thoughts others may have of you.

16. Am I Happy?

A question that trumps all; knowing your weaknesses, knowing your strengths, and ultimately understanding yourself as best as possible, will help you find your happiness.

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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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