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8 Signs You Have Found “The One”

8 Signs You Have Found “The One”

Is there someone whom you are seeing at the moment? Are you wondering if he/she is “the one”?

In your journey through love, you are going to meet many prospects. Some of them may seem really great at first, but turn out to be jerks later on. Some may be fleeting encounters, such as one-night-stands and flings. Some may be solid individuals with great personalities, great minds, and a genuine interest in you — who may make you stop and wonder if he/she is “the one.”

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I finally found “the one” for me one year ago — after years of no luck in love — and we’re getting married in less than a week’s time. :) As it turns out, he is someone whom I knew ten years ago, and we only realized we are meant for each other after nine years. After several bad and fruitless experiences with love, including a toxic connection that didn’t work out, it became extremely easy for me to tell when someone is “the one” for me.

The funny thing is that between my fiance Ken and I, I was actually the slow one to realize that he is the one. Ken himself realized — without a single doubt — that I’m the one for him by the third day we got together! In fact, he already felt this way during our first few weeks of contact and was 100% affirmed of his feelings after we got attached. Previously, he had been with many girls —  with some relationships spanning for years — but his feelings for them never amounted to anything close.

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8 Signs He/She is “The One”

If you’re wondering if someone is “the one” for you, I have eight questions for you to consider:

  1. Does this person love you for who you are? Your one should love you for who you are. He/she doesn’t judge, compare you with others, or criticize you because he/she understands you are an individual of your own, second to none. He/she celebrates everything about you and sees beauty even in places where you don’t see it.
  2. Does he/she inspire you to be more than you can be? Your one should inspire you to be more than you can be. Being with him/her elevates you rather than holds you down. When you’re with him/her, you feel like a better man/woman and you want to be even better for him/her (as well as yourself).
  3. Is he/she there for you in times of need? Your one should be the one who’s always there for you: day or night, rain or shine. He/she will never leave you to face your problems alone. He/she cares for you deeply: perhaps even more so than he/she cares for him/herself.
  4. Does he/she make you happy? Your one should make you happy. When you’re with him/her, you’re constantly smiling, laughing, and happy. When you think about him/her, you smile, not cry (even if you cry, you’re shedding tears of happiness not sorrow). While there may be conflicts at times, they are quickly resolved and not dragged out into week/month-long wars. Your happy times together far outweigh any unhappy moments. He/she is, without a doubt, a positive light in your life.
  5. Do you feel excited to see him/her? Your one should be someone you are excited to see every time: even when you guys had just met. No meeting is too soon between the both of you; you can never wait till you meet again. You always make time to meet him/her — even in your busiest times — because that’s how important he/she is to you.
  6. Can you be yourself around him/her? You should be able to be yourself around your one. Be it being goofy, crazy, kiddish, wimpy, sulky, or morose, you can be all these and more in front of him/her without worry about judgment. You never need to dial yourself down or put on a different persona to fit him/her and he/she doesn’t require you to do so either.
  7. Do you love him/her? There is no relationship without love. Your one should be someone you love unconditionally with all your heart. Your love isn’t contingent of his/her good looks, personal success, wealth, family background, social status, or career accomplishments (i.e. “what” makes up him/her). Rather, your love is the result of “who” he/she is: his character, values, and ethics.
  8. Do you see yourself with him/her for the rest of your life? Your one should be someone you see yourself with forever: for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, or in health. No matter what happens, you will stick with him/her and stand by his/her side.

8 Signs He/She is Not “The One”

On the other hand, here are eight signs you are with the wrong person:

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  1. He/she doesn’t love you for who you are. There are often conditions and expectations you have to live up to before he/she will be happy. Criticism (from him/her to you) isn’t uncommon. Neither are comparisons made with other people. No matter what you do or how hard you try, there always seems to be something wrong (with you) that you need to fix.
  2. He/she doesn’t inspire you to be more than you can be. In fact, you feel weighed down sometimes with him/her. You feel like you can’t talk about or pursue your higher goals without losing him/her. It’s as if he/she is holding you back and preventing you from moving upward and forward in life.
  3. He/she isn’t there for you when you need him/her. Be it excuses or actual reasons, there is always one thing or another that keeps him/her from being there for you. Instead, it’s your other friends who are with you during your difficult moments. He/she is with you during good times but never the bad times.
  4. He/she makes you more sad than happy. Whenever you think of him/her, you feel sad, worried, stressed, scared, or even angry: anything but happy. When you’re with him/her, you argue more often than not. While you may have had happy times together before, they seem like memories of yesteryears.
  5. You don’t feel excited to see him/her. Bored maybe, nonchalant perhaps, jaded even, but not excited. Sometimes you may rather do something else rather than meet him/her.
  6. You can’t be yourself around him/her. You have to constantly change to fit him/her. You can never behave as your real self out of fear of judgment/criticism by him/her.
  7. You don’t love him/her. You may have some good feelings towards him/her but you’re not sure whether it’s love. Or maybe you love him/her but this love is conditional on certain factors (in which case it wouldn’t be real love).
  8. You can’t see yourself with him/her for the rest of your life. Maybe one year, two years, three years or even four, but you’re not sure if you want to be with him/her for the rest of your life.

Remember that having a great relationship doesn’t stop after you’ve found the one. While being with the right person gives you a huge head start, there are other things involved to create your best relationship, such as being mindful of your partner’s needs, finding synergies between your relationship and your life, and resolving conflicts in a healthy manner. Just as a big part of a relationship’s success comes from finding the right person, another big part comes from you putting in the work to make it happen.

Read the original article in full: How to Know When You Have Found “The One”, part seven of How to Find Your Soulmate (series) | Personal Excellence

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Featured photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via flickr.com

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Celestine Chua

Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence 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

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