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20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand

20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand

Becoming an older sibling to a baby sister is one of the most exciting, terrifying, and overall incredible moments in a person’s life. Throughout your relationship, you’ll want to teach her about the world, but shield her from a lot of it. You’ll love her at times, and you’ll hate her at times, but you’ll eventually realize she is the most important person in your life. You’ll also realize that, through it all, she may have taught you more about life than you could have ever hoped to teach her.

1. You don’t want the change

You’ve gotten used to being an only child, and frankly, you’re quite scared of what gaining a younger sister means. Will your parents stop loving you? Will you not be as special to them as you once were? Will she get all the attention now that she’s the cute little baby of the family? Every older sibling goes through this anxiety, but it quickly fades when you realize that your family is not just gaining a younger child—it’s also gaining an older one.

2. You instantly grow up

You want to do everything you can to help your little sister, from holding her and feeding her, to pacifying her when she cries. Your parental instincts kicked in the moment you meet your baby sister. Throughout your life, you’ll always feel a need to protect her.

3. You understand your parents a bit more

Instantly growing up means you see the parent/child relationship from the other side, if only in snippets at a time. You couldn’t finish your homework because you needed to go with your parents to the doctor. You couldn’t sleep at night because your baby sister was crying for God knows what reason. You also understand that all of this is worth having another member of the family.

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4. You see yourself in her

You realize that you were the reason your parents couldn’t sleep at night, or that they had to decline a party invitation because they couldn’t find a sitter (or didn’t want to). You realize you’re not the center of the universe. You realize that you were once an infant, and you see what you’ve grown into. And you realize your baby sister will soon do the same.

5. You have someone to talk to

Even as children, your little sister is always there to talk to. When you’re bored, she’s there to joke around with. When you’re sad, she’s there for you to unload your emotions on. When you’re ecstatic, she’s there to share your excitement with. Your sister becomes your outlet for all of your emotions, a living, breathing journal for you to tell your story to.

6. You gain a pal

You realize your sister isn’t just your family; she can be a part of your inner circle. It doesn’t matter if she’s one year, five years, or ten years younger than you. Your friends will accept that the two of you are a package deal. They might get annoyed with her, and you, but in the long run they understand how important she is to you, and true friends will become big brothers and sisters to her as well.

7. You gain a nemesis

Having a younger sibling is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll argue with each other. You’ll fight—a LOT. You’ll wish you were an only child so much that you can’t believe how unfair your life is. But having a family member to experience these emotions with makes you realize something important about family: they don’t go away, whether you want them to or not.

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8. You gain a scapegoat

You broke a glass playing basketball in the kitchen? Blame your sister. Spilled juice all over the brand new sofa? Blame your sister. Having a younger sister means you can shirk responsibility for just about anything. Not only that, but since she’s younger, your parents will usually go easier on her.

9. You become a scapegoat

That is, until she figures out how to turn the tables on you. Once she realizes that she, too, can blame you for things she’s done, don’t expect her to let up. She might even start trashing the house on purpose with the sole intention of getting you in trouble. And when the time comes, be sure to look behind your scolding mom’s back to see your little sister sticking her tongue out at you. With little sisters, payback’s a snitch.

10. You learn to hate responsibility

Mom has to work late? You need to feed your sister before you feed yourself. Dad has to run to grandpa’s house? You need to come inside and watch Nick Jr for a few hours. When you were looking forward to a baby sister, you never asked for all of this. But here you are, stuck playing tea party while all of your friends are playing manhunt down at the park.

11. You learn to love responsibility

Being responsible for another human being is incredibly empowering. Not in a bullying sense of the word, but in the sense that if you can watch out for another person, you can surely survive the world on your own. While you’re preparing food for your baby sister, you realize you can actually make your own meals whenever you want. When stuck inside with her, you realize you can make the best of a bad situation and end up having silly fun. You realize you don’t always need to be with your chosen friends to be having the time of your life.

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12. You learn to appreciate more

You realize the little things are what make your sacrifices worth it. You didn’t have fun playing dress up, especially when your sister took that incriminating photo of you in a tiara. Years later, you’ll see that picture and instantly feel like a kid again. You might get a serious case of FOMO when your friends tell you all about last Friday’s party, but you would have missed the first moment you hung out with your sister all weekend and saw her as a person rather than a younger sibling. You realize you wouldn’t trade her for anything else in the world.

13. You become a role model

Sure, you “instantly grew up” when you met your little sister, but did you consciously change your behavior? Not until you’re older, and your sister actually looks up to you, do you truly want to be someone worth looking up to. She sees you as a leader, and even if you never felt like one before, you hold yourself to a higher standard because of your little sister.

14. You have more in common than you think

You might be polar opposites on the surface, but your sister shares the worldviews and values your parents have instilled in both of you. If you ever feel alone in life, you can bet your sister will understand exactly where you’re coming from. You might not like the same music, or enjoy the same hobbies, but you’ve experienced the same vacations, family dinners, and other life moments that are much more important than Top 40 radio or the New York Yankees.

15. You need your space

Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. You were an only child for a long time, and you’ve almost forgotten what it was like to experience peace and quiet. There’s nothing wrong with this. But you also must come to the realization that you are not an island, you are not alone, and you will always have a responsibility to your younger sister. Being alone to recharge is one thing, but don’t ever isolate yourself from your closest family member.

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16. You’ll need her to fill that space

When you’re away from your sister, you might not realize it, but you miss her. The peace and quiet can be nice, but after a certain period of time it becomes deafening. You’ll realize that you might not always have her around to create the ambience you’ve gotten used to (and tired of), and you realize how much you’d miss it if it were gone for good. Missing your sister leads to appreciating the times you have with her.

17. You gain someone to trust

You can never trust anyone as much as you can trust your sister. She might have pulled one over on you in your younger days, but you can always count on her to keep secrets, listen to you, and love you for who you are. You both understand the special bond you share, and know how important it is to never break it.

18. You will become friends

You might have just tolerated your younger sister throughout your childhood, but that will change once you become adults. You will actually look forward to spending time together. You’ll actually make plans with each other. Your friends will want to hang out with her, and you’ll want to hang out with her friends. You’ll most likely end up going on more adventures with your sister than you ever did with any of your chosen friends.

19. You will stay friends

Not only will you become friends, but you’ll stay friends with your sister for longer than with anyone else who has come and gone in your life. High school friends almost always go their separate ways. College friends will move away, start their own families, and eventually the magic of your friendships will dissipate. Your sister will grow with you. Through every part of your life, your sister will be with you. And for every part of her life, you’ll be there watching over her proudly.

20. You learn the true value of family

Throughout your life, your sister will teach you the ultimate value of having a family. She’ll become an aunt to your children. She’ll welcome your spouse into your family. You’ll both help your parents as they grow older. You’ll always share the memories of childhood and the dreams of your lives with your younger sister. The best part of having a younger sister is the magic of your relationship will never fade.

Featured photo credit: Baby girl laughing to her brother via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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