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7 Ways to Make Lemonade When Life Throws You a Problem

7 Ways to Make Lemonade When Life Throws You a Problem

This is not an article about various ways to make lemonade. It’s about finding the positive even when life is not going your way—in other words, when it’s throwing you lemons. The expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is used to encourage us when we’re facing a problem in our lives. When you face problems in a way you can feel proud of, you’re making life a little sweeter. Lemons suggest bitterness (a problem or adversity you are facing), while lemonade is sweet and pleasant. Staying positive and figuring out how to solve problems is much more advantageous than allowing yourself to go sour.

1. Be grateful

Even if your life is completely falling apart, there are still things you can be grateful for. It may be tough at the beginning but as you consider the good things going on in your life, you’ll realize there are plenty of small things to be grateful for. If this practice lifts your mood, that shift may also help you realize you’re in control of your life.

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2. Stay Calm

It’s important not to stress out too much, despite the issues happening in your life. Learning to take a deep breath when life gets too much can allow you a moment of much-needed relaxation. Find a spot where you feel safe to reflect on what’s happening and how you are going to deal with it.

3. Reactive positively

Moving through the problems with a sense of grace is what you can control. There are outside forces, of course, but it’s up to you how you’re going to cope with them. Don’t get angry or completely freak out. Instead smile and say to yourself “this too shall pass.” Reacting negatively, especially towards others, is going to make you feel even more terrible.

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4. Learn to accept things

By pushing away the problem, you only make it stronger. Instead, accept things as they are. When something comes up in your mind about the situation, say “yes” to all the feelings that arise in you. For example, if you’re heart is aching, feel it. You actually make the feelings you have less painful or stressful if you admit that they exist. If you suffered a loss, it’s essential you acknowledge it so the healing can truly begin.

5. Go outside

This may seem like a simplistic solution but looking at the vastness of the sky or listening to the sound of birds may make you realize there is something greater than what’s happening within you. Taking a walk in nature isn’t going to solve your problems, per se, but it could make you feel better afterwards. This in turn helps you face problems with a more positive outlook.

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6. Meditate

Even if you don’t have a care in the world, I suggest daily meditation because it keeps you grounded. When a major problem in your life does occur, you will have honed the strategy of non-reaction to what’s going on around you. You can stay with the issue and allow the storm to pass over you without panicking. Meditation is like already having your sugar-water ready, just in case a bunch of lemons are thrown your way.

7. Be the warrior

Face your problems like that of a warrior, instead of running from them. Having the strength to deal with whatever is happening in your life brings more confidence. It’s times like these where you can test your true strength and grow, if you take the opportunity to do so with open arms and a warrior mind. Know that the problems will eventually cease, probably a lot more quickly if you manage them. Running away may cause the problem to resurface from time to time.

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Featured photo credit: retro girl making funny face holding a lemon via shutterstock.com

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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