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6 Red Flags To Watch For When You’re Dating Someone

6 Red Flags To Watch For When You’re Dating Someone

We have all been there! We have all been excited about this new person we were seeing only to find out they weren’t as great as they appeared to be! Sometimes we end up staying with these same people weeks, even months, and sometimes years before we find out that we could have spent our time more effectively. We have all ended up feeling hurt, abused, abandoned, and misled by those same people who we trusted and loved, ignoring warning signs that could have helped us avoid our insurmountable heartache.

Red flags are violations of proper dating etiquette and standards. Everyone dating should protect their hearts and minds from those looking to abuse them. Everyone wants love, and everyone deserves love. No one, however, deserves to be abused.

These six red flags below indicate things to watch out for when you’re dating someone. If someone is currently treating you this way or starts to treat you in any of these ways in the future, RUN! Don’t look back!

1. They Want to Change You

Have you only been dating for a short period of time and they are already telling you they hate your life-long friends? That is a HUGE red flag! Have they already been encouraging you to move in with them, or worse yet, move out from where you’re currently living with family, friends, or your own apartment to a place they feel will be more fitting, alone? Do they complain about the way you do your hair, what clothes you wear, and try to watch your every move? Do they laugh at your dreams and goals telling you that they are stupid or that you should focus on something else?

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You, my friend, are dating a control freak, and you should run as fast as you can! Control freaks don’t really love you or accept you the way you are. They simply want you to fit the narrative of what they feel the perfect partner is for them. They want someone they can watch and break down. Life is too short to live it the way someone else thinks you should live it.

2. Some of Their Habits Are Questionable

Does your significant other drink too often or go out too much? Do they not even invite you when they go out? Do they become a completely different person when they do drink? Do they scare you? Do they become sexually coercive or hit on other men/women when they are drunk? Do they do drugs?

If your significant other has habits that are questionable, you should break up with them as quickly as possible and move on. Staying in the relationship can lead to abuse or trouble with the law, and no one wants that.

3. They Are Abusive

Unless it’s in physical self-defense, there is never a good reason to hit someone else. It doesn’t matter if they cheated, lied, or deceived you in any way. Abuse is wrong. This is the biggest and most obvious red flag. If your significant other is being sexually coercive, and then trying to make it up to you with gifts and kind words, that doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. That’s how an abuser keeps the abused around, by messing with them emotionally and psychologically.

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If your significant other is abusing you, making you cover yourself so no one sees bruises, or is telling you to not tell anyone about their abuse, whether it is sexual, physical, or emotional, you should run. Period. Again, there is never a good excuse for abusive behavior.

 4. You Are A Secret

Are you in a secret  relationship? Are you always with your significant other but they refuse to introduce you to their friends and family, and if they do, do they just call you a friend? Have you talked to them about it and they’ve done nothing to rectify the matter? Is your significant other a flake?

You’re being used. So, the question is, are you okay with being used by someone who treats you like a dirty secret and less of a human being? I don’t think so. Also, imagine how many other people your significant other has lied to in the same way? You may not be the only secret boyfriend/girlfriend. They may have a husband/wife on the side. Why settle for less than what you deserve? Dump your secret lover and move on to someone who is proud to say that you are all theirs!

5. You Feel Worse About Yourself In The Relationship

Are you planning out all the dates? Do you go out of your way to make time for them and they always have something else going on or don’t prioritize you in the same way? Do you feel alone in your relationship, as if you’re in a relationship with yourself?

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If you feel sad when you think about the relationship or are wondering why it’s not going the way you would like, then that’s a sign that it’s time to move on. You deserve someone who is willing to move mountains to make you feel special and make time for you.

6. Your Family Doesn’t Approve of The Relationship

Sometimes family members can see when someone is wrong for you before you even know yourself. Sometimes family members can be wrong, as well, but they are always worth listening to.  Your immediate family members love you more than anyone else, and want to see you happy. They don’t tell you they dislike your significant other to be spiteful or rude. They do it because they know how special you are and what you deserve. Sometimes what you deserve is better.

It’s always nice to know someone identifies with you or that you can tell them your deepest, darkest secrets, but that’s not all there is to life! And, let’s face it, who doesn’t appreciate a good cuddle? But, that’s no excuse to ignore warning signs. If you really need someone to cuddle with, go buy a pet! They are more loyal than a person, and they won’t wake up one day and tell you they no longer want to be with you.

There’s always something new we can learn on our own about ourselves, and while relationships can be great, it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to spend time alone and enjoy being single!

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Featured photo credit: Day 14:I Don’t Know ANY Of This!/Lourdes Nightingale via commons.wikimedia.org

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Emina Dedic

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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.

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Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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