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8 Overrated Things You’ve Given Too Much Importance To In Life

8 Overrated Things You’ve Given Too Much Importance To In Life

In life, you often get caught up and too involved with a lot of overrated things. So much so that you forget the really priceless and valuable things that life has to offer: your loved ones, the time you spend bonding with the people who matter to you, gratitude, simple celebrations, a picnic in a park, a lazy run, and a warm hug from an equally warm person, amongst others.

Sadly, instead of focusing on what truly matters, you focus on these following eight overrated things that aren’t really worth all your time, energy and efforts. Take note of these eight things and stop giving them so much of your attention.

1. Growing up

You make such a big deal of growing up that you actually forget to hone your maturity level. Instead of developing your relationships with people and making more meaningful connections, you’re too involved in your teenage angst to pay attention to anyone else but yourself. As an example, when I had my 18th birthday party, I didn’t really bother with the invitations. I wanted a Japanese-themed party so I made sure to have all the stuff, all the things and all the food complete – without realizing that the guest list wasn’t done.

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2. Weddings

You’re more in love with the idea of getting married than the idea of spending forever with your significant other. Nowadays, it seems like weddings are competitions. Who gets married first? Who gets married in the most expensive location? Whose wedding gown was made by an international designer? Who should cater? How much should the budget for the flowers be? Because we’re too busy minding the superficial elements, we forget that marriage is supposed to be a celebration of love; not a competition of wealth.

At the end of the day, without all the frivolities, being married to your partner is supposed to last forever.

3. Vacations

You get caught up in where you are going for your trips, when in fact you should be more concerned about who you’re going with. Where to go for a trip is on our list of eight overrated things because essentially, when you really stop and think about it, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to great places if you’re all alone. It’s better to just do a staycation, and take a vacation in your local tourist spots as long as you’re with your family and friends.

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What good is an amazing view if you’re all by yourself?

4. Job-related concerns

Instead of staying up late at night to bond with the people who matter to you, you stay up late in order to finish a project before its deadline, impress your boss and hopefully get that promotion that you’ve been eyeing. “I’m only doing this for my family. I’m working hard so that they can have a better life,” you might say. True, you need to make a living for your daily expenses. But have you ever thought that your family may appreciate your presence more than the actual presents that you give them?

Sam Walton, with a net worth of $65 billion and founder of Walmart, said, “I blew it!” on his death bed. Remember: no one on their death bed wished that they had spent more time in their office. Instead, they wished that they had spent more time with their family and friends.

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5. College and the pressure of getting a degree

You’re all self-absorbed with complicated-sounding titles. We want the PhD, the MBA, the RN, the MAN and all of those fancy names. But, my friend, college isn’t about how long your title is, or how many years you studied. It’s all about self-development, progress and self-discovery. Getting a degree won’t ensure that your life is already set up for you. It’s to ensure that you’re well on your way to discovering who you are and what you’re passionate about.

6. Being right

The majority of the arguments all over the world stem from our desire to be right. Naturally, being right is acceptable when it’s dealing with public safety. However, the same logic doesn’t work when applied to minuscule things. Is arguing about “who wore it better,” or “who sang the better version,” or “which businessman is richer” really worth it?

Being right at the cost of a relationship is hardly worth it.

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7. Finishing first

This is applicable whenever we encounter contests. Why is it that we only reward those who finish first, instead of giving rewards to people who participated in the endeavor? Finishing first isn’t always important. As they say, “Even if you finished first in the rat race, remember, you’re still a rat.”

8. Luxury items

Expensive handbags and branded shoes are overrated items that aren’t worth your efforts! There are nonbranded items that also have really great quality. Don’t be defined by the bag you hold, the shoes you walk in and the clothes you wear. Instead, be defined by your friendly personality, positive outlook in life and kindness. Luxury items may run out of style, but being gracious and confident of yourself is a classic, timeless trait.

Featured photo credit: elbowsonbus.jpg/puravida via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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