Advertising
Advertising

20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

Do you have a big sister? There really is no friendship like it; she had your back before you even had hair, she is pretty much your oldest best friend, and your life is much better for her being a part of it.

Check out 20 amazing things you’ll only understand if you had a big sister, or if you are a big sister.

1. You Were Her Taxi Driver

Let’s face it; it made your little sister feel much cooler when you drove her to school, rather than when your parents did it. You were also the only person who she could rely on to pick her up drunk at 3 a.m. without a long lecture.

2. She Was Your Guinea Pig

No matter how old your sister was,  you used them to try out everything; new games you’d created, your makeup and clothes, and even the dubious ‘meals’ you made. It was a lot of fun for you – and hopefully character building for her.

3. You Taught Her Strength

Literally – anything you could find in your house could (and would) be used as a weapon of war against your younger sister. After that, playground bullies were nothing to your sister; you’d already taught her to stick up for herself.

Advertising

4. You Are Her Life Guru

You have been giving your little sister sound advice since she was a toddler, and she trusts you to know what’s up. Whether she needs help with a promotion or choosing what to eat for lunch, you always know the right answer – mainly because you both know each other so well.

5. You Always Chose The Game

Being the eldest meant you got to decide what game you and your sister were going to play – which also meant you got to be the coolest character. You loved playing the teacher, the doctor or the shop owner, while your sister eventually got used to playing the student, the patient and the customer.

6. You Helped Shape Your Younger Sister’s Music Taste

Your younger sister shares a love of the same music as you – mainly because she grew up listening to your CDs.  She may have groaned at the time, but now you both love to listen to the songs and reminisce together.

7. You Were Semi Cool – Which Benefited Your Little Sister

You seemed so cool to your little sister – mainly because you went to secondary school first and had ID. Before she was old enough, you would buy her beers whenever she asked (well, begged.) Ditto to lending her clothes or money for any cool parties she was invited to. In fact, you’re pretty sure you  helped shape her social life, which you’re fine with. After all, what else are big sisters for?

8. You Always Got In More Trouble Than Your Younger Sister

If you and your little sister were pulling off a prank, you were always a little more worried – because you knew if you were discovered, you’d end up in much more trouble than your younger, equally mischievous sister. Sigh.

Advertising

9. You Will Always Be Honest

Even when the truth hurts, you will always be totally honest with your little sister, and you’re pretty certain she is glad you are. From relationship advice to career advice, you will always tell her what she needs to hear, rather than what she wants to hear.

10. You Keep Her Secrets

No matter what is going on in your younger sister’s life, she knows that she can always talk to you and trust you to keep her secrets. You still haven’t told anyone the secrets she told you when she was five.

11. You Share Some Of Your Best Memories With Your Younger Sister

From family vacations to getting drunk together, some of your fondest memories are with each other.

12. You Prepared Your Parents For Your Sister

Most parents go through seeing their teenager drunkenly throwing up for the first time, and it’s normally pretty horrible for both parties. However, you did all of that first, saving your younger sister from unlimited guilt at the hands of your parents.

13. You Share A Unique Sense Of Humor

Your sister has known you her whole life, so it isn’t surprising that you share a sense of humor that makes no sense to anyone else. You have endless inside jokes with each other, and they can make you laugh like no-one else.

Advertising

14. You Know You Can Fight And Still Be Friends

There is no one in the world you fight with more than your little sister – but there is no one you love more, either. And somehow, it is reassuring that no matter how much you fight, you will always make up.

15. You Will Always Be There For Your Younger Sister

From tough break ups to having a hard day, your door is always open to your little sister.

16. You Helped Make Family Parties Fun

Family events can be particularly boring when you’re a child, but you tried to make every family party fun for your sister. While the adults drank wine and discussed renovating the kitchen, you and your sister would sneak off to play house in the bedroom – which was much more fun.

17. Your Sister Borrowed/Stole Everything You Owned

Clothes, food, money, makeup; anything your sister could get her hands on, she would take. It was pretty annoying at the time, but it taught you to be more relaxed and reasonable later in life.

18. You Taught Your Younger Sister About Sex

Well, not all of it – but your sister could always come to you to learn about the more squeamish stuff your parents tended to skim over.

Advertising

19. You Always Have Their Back

Even though you and your sister can (and regularly do) openly insult each other, no-one else can. You all feel grateful for having a supportive ally no matter what – especially when you’re happy to tell your little sister if she is making a bad decision.

20. You Are One Of Their Best Friends

You’ve been through it all together; emotional break-ups, family parties, groundings, and general life struggles. You share more experiences with your sister than any of your other friends, and those experiences have made you inseparable.

Can you think of any more amazing things only big sisters would understand? Comment your ideas below!

Featured photo credit: sisters make a wish via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

Beginners’ Guide To HIIT: How To Choose The Best Moves For Your HIIT Workout Everything Is Going To Be Fine In The End. If It Isn’t Fine, It Isn’t The End. Feeling Trapped? Do These 9 Things to Take Your Life Back 10 Health Benefits Of Avocado This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You

Trending in Communication

1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Reference

Read Next