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6 Skills Your Parents Have That You Don’t

6 Skills Your Parents Have That You Don’t

Frustrating, isn’t it? When your parents tell you how to do things. I mean, you’re an adult, not a child. You don’t need them to tell you what to do, or how to do it.

After all, they’re a different generation and a lot has changed since they were in the prime of their lives. They didn’t grow up with the internet. Things moved at a different pace when they were young. What could they possibly know that you don’t?

Well, it turns out, there are a couple of things they’re better at than we are – Just because they’re from a different generation.

Here’s 6 skills your parents have that you don’t:

1. Patience.

Our parents required patience for many things, because the world moved more slowly. They had to wait for letters to bring news from loved ones, they had to wait to move up in the company they worked for, and they had to wait until they saved up to buy a car.

Fast food wasn’t as prevalent, so they didn’t have a fast food mentality. They knew that good things came to those who waited.

Consequently, patience is one of the skills your parents have learned during their lifetime.

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    2. Gratitude.

    Our parents did not expect to have the perfect home, or the perfect job, or the perfect lifestyle. At least, not in the beginning.

    They expected to work hard to achieve those things, and strove to make the best of what they had in the meantime.

    Rather than growing up in an environment of plenty, they grew up knowing they had to work hard for things. Knowing they had to make do.

    Consequently, they were grateful for the job they had, grateful for the home they lived in, and grateful for the life they lived.

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      3. Respect.

      Our parents grew up knowing they had to demonstrate respect for other people.

      They didn’t wait for the other person to earn that respect. They just knew everyone deserved to be treated well.

      Today, we have to work hard to earn the respect of others, and it can be an ongoing cycle. Each new manager, supervisor, or CEO requires us to prove ourselves all over again.

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      If we all just treated each other with respect automatically, we’d save a lot of time and effort trying to prove our worth.

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        4. Optimism.

        Let’s face it, our parents went through some pretty tough times. They experienced things we haven’t seen, and hopefully will never see.

        Things like the Civil Rights Movementrations, and Vietnam.

        These were times of incredible change and hardship, and yet our parents remained optimistic. They knew life would get better.

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          5. Social grace.

          Just as our parents grew up knowing to respect others, they also knew social grace.

          Social grace are the skills used to interact politely in society. They include fashion, deportment, etiquette and manners. They’re like life’s little instruction manual.

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          Men learned how to woo a woman, and women learned how to respond.

          Our parents knew they had to display manners, and behave appropriately. Social grace was valued by society, and the consequences of not displaying it would mean being cast out.

          So they practice and polished the skill of social grace.

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            6. Resourcefulness.

            Our parents had to learn to be resourceful. They had to learn how to make chocolate cake without eggs during wartime, and make do with what what available (there was far less choice, even a decade ago).

            This encouraged resourcefulness.

            If the toaster broke, they fixed it. If they needed a new outfit, they made one. If they were hungry, they cooked a meal – from scratch.

            If they didn’t know how, they asked someone who did, and they learned.

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            That’s being resourceful. And it’s a skill we’re losing because we don’t use it so much. But we should.

            If we were resourceful, we’d work out how to fix that difficult situation at work. If we were resourceful, we’d tell our kids unique stories, rather than putting them in front of the television. If we were resourceful we’d make up fabulous games, rather than relying on the latest app.

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              So there you have it, six skills your parents have that you don’t. You might not think they’re important, but they are.

              A society that is less optimistic, less respectful and less patient is less enjoyable for all of us. So make an effort to brush up on these skills.

              You’ll stand out from the crowd as someone with strong values.

              And you’ll be able to grow old gracefully, just as your parents are.

              Featured photo credit: StevePB via pixabay.com

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              The Gentle Art of Saying No

              The Gentle Art of Saying No

              No!

              It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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              But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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              What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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              But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

              1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
              2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
              3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
              4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
              5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
              6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
              7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
              8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
              9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
              10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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