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22 Reasons Why Your High School Friends Are Your Lifelong Friends

22 Reasons Why Your High School Friends Are Your Lifelong Friends

Whether we like it or not, we are all like to be connected to our teenage years in some way. High school friends bring that connection. This is why people set up Facebook groups and organize reunions to relive the moments from the past. Your high school friends will always remain lifelong friends and here are 22 reasons why.

1. You grew up together

In high school you pretty much grew up with your friends. You all went to the same movies, walked down the same hallways, listened to the same kind of music, and got used to each other as you grew up in the strong social environment high school presented to you.

2. They are a place to return to

Your high school friends offer you a place to return to no matter how much time or distance separates you. With your high school friends you can always return back home to laugh about the dumb things that you did.

3. They were there for you through your earliest heartbreaks

Your high school friends stuck with you while you were absolutely humiliated by that one person you ever liked or dated.

4.They were the friends who never really judged you

Somehow they were comfortable around you, whether you ate so much on any given night or a fast food run.

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5.They were the first ones to offer you a spontaneous sex education

They were always willing to offer an opinion on super intimate issues such as sex and this sort of bonded you through those times.

6.They offer you a sense of hometown pride

They are the only ones who can take you through that feeling that your hometown will always be special. Whether your hometown is noteworthy or not they will relive its glory and pleasant memories with you any day, anytime.

7.They offer the best reunions

When you reconnect with a high school friend it is like nothing has ever changed. It could be the “group” you belonged to, or that you saw each other literally for seven times a day, or the sports you played. With your high school friends you get back into the swing of things in a millisecond.

8. You had enough time to build your friendship

In high school you were enclosed in a space and had every day to build your friendship. Such helped to create groups you became in tune with.

9. They offer grounding

Your high school friends offer you a unique element, elements that defined you as you grew up. Even when you are lost in a new environment, they are the ones who still remain unforgettable in your heart.

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10. They would hang out with you no matter what

During the times when your parents still had to drive you to the movies or before you could go out to get drinks they were the ones who were there to stay at your side. It wasn’t about convenience, it was about commitment.

11. You identified with their families

Since you spent so much time with your high school friends, getting to know their parents was inevitable. You knew their families in such a way that they seemed to be an extension of your own.

12.They always stick to tradition

Tradition means drinking mimosas before summer’s music festival, tradition means hanging out at the same diner you have been frequenting since you were seventeen. With your high school friends, there is always tradition hanging over you and your friends that holds you together.

13.You took special photos together

Photos with your high school friends remind you of exuberance and enthusiasm. All the long, posed photobooth sessions gave you some of your best profile pictures.

14.They understand you just by your body expressions

Your high school friends don’t require you to say it all before they get the message. You can communicate very well with just facial expressions.

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15.They are the only ones who can tell you how the story turned out for your former classmates

They seem to have an updated version of every classmate’s story. With only high school friends can you discuss what became of those random classmates from high school.

16.They can share all of the inside jokes with you

The inside jokes you shared amidst your friend circle still remain funny no matter the passage of time. Even new friends cannot be able to relate with this. It is like a code of honor between you and your high school friends.

17.You had your fair share of dramas and fights

There were times you didn’t talk to each other because of something incredibly stupid. But you were able to patch things up and make your relationship stronger than before.

18.You made promises to each other

Yes as much as they were right there to support you through the toughest days of your life, you promised each other that you will stick with each other through future memorable events, like your wedding or your baby showers.

19.They were your best therapist

Somehow they were the only ones who could understand your mood swings, like when you wanted a Big Mac or you wanted a tub of chocolate chip ice cream. They could also relate with the fact that there were times when you were depressed and that your best way of expressing anger was damaging things.

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20.You kept some of each other’s stuff

Yes you didn’t just grow apart with time; you also took something from each other and kept it with you. It may be your friend’s clothes, some books, a mix CD or even a note.

21.You survived the toughest period of teenage years with them

All those awkward years of raging hormones and trying to find a solution to a difficult mathematics problem is enough to tie you together like a blood pact. Somehow your high school friends helped you survive through that period.

22.They have an entire archive of your embarrassing stories

They know the nicknames you were called in high school and how awful those embarrassing moments in high school made you feel. They still have some evidence and can pull them out at any given moment to remind you how stupid you were, and laugh with you. They know you!

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via compfight.com

More by this author

Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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