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20 Habits You Need To Dump Now To Be A Better Person

20 Habits You Need To Dump Now To Be A Better Person

Most of us only think about becoming better people as we prepare our New Year resolutions. But the transition from being average to excellent can begin at any time of year.

Here are 20 habits you need to dump if you really are going to reach your goal of becoming a better person.

1. Being late

You know that annoying feeling of hanging around waiting for your friend who is running late? That’s exactly the same feeling they have when they’re waiting for you. Being late all the time is not only bad manners, but also completely avoidable.

Try planning your time better so that you have plenty of time to complete your journey and arrive early in future. Your friends, family and employer will be appreciative.

2. Texting during conversations

When you talk to someone, you expect them to have the courtesy to listen. But texting during a conversation is the non-verbal equivalent of saying “I couldn’t give a damn about you”. You appear to value the text conversation more than the person stood right in front of you.

Put your phone in your pocket and leave it there. If there is a genuine emergency, the other person will call repeatedly. Giving your full attention to the conversation will improve your relationship with the speaker, immediately making you a better person.

3. Being self-centered

You know those people who always talk about themselves? How annoying is that? But when every thought, word and action revolves around you, it is completely impossible to be a good person.

Instead you need to focus on the people around you. Listen to what they are saying. Find ways you can help them. Put others first. This will not only make you a better person, but people will actually want to spend time with you too.

4. Lying

The easiest way to kill any relationship is by lying. Even ‘little white lies’ have the potential to destroy trust.

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Make a policy of always telling the truth, no matter how much that may hurt. People will respect and trust you more as a result.

5. Over-sharing

Despite what Facebook would have you believe, there really are things that you don’t have to tell the world. Graphic descriptions of illnesses, a photo of every meal you eat, a quick commentary on your trip to the toilet – no one needs to hear these details of your life.

Limit yourself to sharing just a few details each day, whether in conversation or online, to become a more likeable person.

6. Late night snacking in front of TV

It may seem like a harmless habit, but late night snacks could actually be harming your health. Experts suggest that eating just before you go to bed will upset your body’s natural rhythms, directly affecting sleep patterns. And the less you sleep, the more grumpy you become (as well as risking numerous associated illnesses).

Cut out the late night snacks and you’ll feel better as a result.

7. Binge drinking

A drink or three every now and then is great. But six, seven or eight can spell disaster. You feel sick, you embarrass yourself and your friends have to make sure you get home safely. Not cool.

Drink less to maintain control. Increase self-control to become a better person. Simple.

8. Skipping breakfast

It’s not just something doctors say – eating a good breakfast really does set you up for the rest of the day. Skip breakfast and your day is already off to the wrong start.

Make sure you set aside an extra five or ten minutes each morning to eat breakfast. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be prepared to face the challenges that day brings.

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9. Paying credit cards late

Bills suck. Unfortunately they are also unavoidable. You must not pay your credit cards late to avoid additional charges and the knock-on effects that late payments have on your credit report.

Paying your bills on time also helps you become a better person by encouraging you to become more disciplined in managing your expenditures and avoiding debt. You’ll also feel lot better without having the worry of  unpaid bills hanging over your head.

10. Busting your budget

Few things suck in life quite so much as running out of money. But owing money to other people is actually worse. You feel trapped and you can’t do anything until that debt is repaid.

Drawing up a budget and sticking to it will give you peace of mind that all of your expenses will be covered and help you avoid debt. You’ll feel a lot better for it in the long run too.

11. Not saving for retirement

Admittedly you are unlikely to feel the effects of this one for years, maybe even decades. But once you finish your career, you need to have a financial cushion that keeps you fed, clothed and homed. If you don’t, you’ll face exactly the same kind of concerns and pressures as you do busting your budget now.

Saving for your retirement now, ensures that you don’t have to worry in the future. And without those pressures, you can still be a better person in the future too.

12. Gossiping

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret,‘ says the Proverb revealing an age old truth. When you talk about people behind their back, not only are you abusing their trust, but you also reveal yourself to be untrustworthy.

Avoid gossip to immediately become a better person. You will also find that your friends trust you a whole lot more when they don’t have to worry about you sharing their secrets.

13. Dwelling on illness

We all get sick from time to time. Some of us are even unfortunate to suffer from long term illnesses. But this does not mean we need to allow our illnesses to become the defining aspect of our lives.

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People respect those who get on with life, and avoid those who only ever talk about how sick they are. Don’t be a loner, practice overcoming your illness and you’ll feel better immediately. And don’t ever overplay your sickness, or you’ll just alienate others.

14. Complaining

Some people are never satisfied – they only ever see what is wrong with their lives. And other people hate talking to these ingrates.

Stop moaning about what is wrong with your life and start counting your blessings. Try thinking about the good things you have and you will find that your outlook on life changes. You’ll also find people are much more willing to talk to you too.

15. Smoking

Smoking is bad for your health and it stinks. Not to mention the fact that it damages the health of everyone around you.

There is no defense for this habit. Give it up and you will immediately be on the road to becoming a better person.

16. Chewing your nails

Often a stress release mechanism, chewing your nails is actually worse for you than you think. Not only does biting your nails down to the quick hurt, it is also the perfect way to introduce infection. Infected fingers are even more uncomfortable and unattractive.

Leaving your fingernails to grow will help improve their appearance, giving you a confidence boost in the process. And if you look and feel better, you’ll perform better too.

17. Relying on the bank of Mom and Dad

You’ve bust your budget and maxed your credit cards. Next stop, the Bank of Mom and Dad. They won’t be able to resist “lending” you a few dollars – they probably won’t even expect to get it back.

But if you want to be a better person, you need to realise that, as an adult, your parents expect you to stand on your own two feet and provide for yourself. Living with in your means is a sign of maturity – proving you’re becoming a better person.

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18. Speaking out of ignorance

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”

These days we are expected to hold (and voice) an opinion on everything. Often we speak out of ignorance, giving a respond based on gut-reactions, often totally wrong. Part of becoming a better person is having the strength of character to keep quiet and not giving an opinion on subjects we don’t fully understand.

19. Under-valuing age

We live in a culture that favours youth over experience, often unfairly relegating older people to second-class citizens. But in doing so, we often doom ourselves to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers.

If you are serious about becoming a better person, make time for the older people in your life. They offer a wealth of valuable life experience and often have fascinating stories to tell too.

20. Acting immature

Thinking like a child will make you act like a child. That’s fine when you’re 15, but not so cool when you’re 25.

Taking responsibility for your own actions will help you mature – a key step in becoming a better person.

Featured photo credit: PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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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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