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9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young

9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young

Who doesn’t love love? It’s one of the best, purest emotions out there. This means, of course, that it has the most drama connected to it. Everyone worries about collecting a lot of relationship baggage while they’re young, but the truth is it’s going to happen regardless of how you try to avoid it. Instead of trying to prevent lots of missteps, read these tips and find out what you should know about love when you’re still young. Find comfort in knowing that everyone goes through these things, and we all make it out on the other side.

1. You’ll make mistakes.

It’s ok to make mistakes when you’re young – especially in love! Love isn’t a rational feeling, it’s something that makes you feel the highest of happiness during the good times, and the lowest of sadness during the bad times. You’re going to date people you shouldn’t; you’re going to have arguments that aren’t worth having; and you’re going to say the wrong things during these fights. It’s ok because you’re going to learn from each of these mistakes, and that will make your true love that much sweeter.

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    2. You can be selfish.

    It’s normal to be selfish when you’re young, because you need to figure out who you are and what you want from life. It’s acceptable to break up with someone over something that might seem a bit petty just because they don’t seem right for you – because they probably aren’t! When you’re in your teens and twenties, you need to focus on yourself, because you need to discover who you are and what your career will be. You need to work on things like this, including loving yourself, before you try to make a partnership work for the long haul.

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    3. You can be single.

    And you should be! Too many young people think they always need to be in a relationship. If you have this mindset, then you’re more likely to date people who are bad for you just so you’ll be with someone. It’s ok to be single! No one is watching you and keeping track of how long you’re single versus how long you’re in a relationship. It’s important to be single so you can focus on your own life; when you do find that special someone, your relationship will be that much better because it will be special. You’ll be a well-rounded person, and you won’t have a history of hopping from relationship to relationship with no substance.

    4. You’ll fall in love with the wrong person.

    This is the hardest lesson to learn, because people rarely seem wrong for you at the start of a relationship. When you feel the sparks and the butterflies, you can’t imagine that someone could be bad for you. But they can be, and they will be, and you need to learn how to identify this in others. Your partner might be a great person; they don’t have to be mean or abusive or inconsiderate! They can be kind and still be wrong — for you. You should be with someone who brings out the best in you, who is sweet and encouraging and compatible with you, not who you think you should be with to make anyone else happy.

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    5. It’s ok to fall in love.

    So you’ve met the wrong person, and maybe you kind of even know they’re wrong for you, but you can’t help it — you’re falling in love. That’s ok! It’s good to let yourself feel things for others. If you’re too hesitant to fall in love, then you might never let loose enough to find your special someone. Love is a beautiful feeling, and it’s never wrong to feel it for someone as long as you believe it’s true.

    6. Live and love in the moment.

    Never chastise yourself for falling in love. When you feel something in the moment, you need to let yourself feel that emotion completely. Fall in love, daydream about your future, and, as hard as it may be to do, let yourself get hurt. You’ll learn from all of these moments and all of these emotions. It seems like you’d look back and kick yourself for having a crush on someone who was so obviously wrong for you, but you’ll see the past through rose-colored glasses and be glad that you experienced as much as you did.

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    7. You don’t need to have a timeline.

    When you’re young, you get so used to people asking what you’re majoring in or what you want to be when you grow up that you start planning out your whole life. It seems more stable to think “I should be married by the time I’m 25 so I can have kids before I’m 30,” than to fly by the seat of your pants. But the truth is, those timelines rarely work out. If they do, it might just because you feel pressured to stick to them. What if you’re dating the wrong person when you’re 25, but still feel like you have to get married to meet your goal? Scrap any timeline you have in mind. Life is going to throw you curveballs whether you have plans or not, so see who you meet, who you fall in love with, and go with the flow.

    8. Don’t put others before yourself.

    When you’re older and in a committed relationship or marriage, there will be times when you need to put your own wants on the back burner and let your spouse reach some of their personal goals. It’s ok to put others before yourself if you’re being supportive and not letting your own needs and wants fall to the wayside, but it shouldn’t become a habit. If you’re in a relationship where your partner constantly needs to be the center of attention and won’t let you have interests of your own or time to yourself, you need to get out of that. Realize that it’s not only acceptable to put yourself first, but it’s necessary when you’re young and still have so much growing and learning to do.

    9. Love yourself.

    You’ll fall in love with good people and you’ll fall in love with bad people, but above all, you need to love yourself. If you love who you are, then you’ll be more open to loving others. Love is always a great thing to share, but loving yourself also means you won’t have to find that love in others. You can love someone without needing something from them to feel validated. Loving yourself is the most powerful love you can experience.

    Featured photo credit: Kelley Boone via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on April 6, 2020

    10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

    10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

    Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

    Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

    Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

    So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

    1. Be Authentic

    To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

    Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

    Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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    2. Listen

    Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

    To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

    Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

    Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

    3. Become an Expert

    Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

    You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

    4. Lead with Story

    From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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    If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

    5. Lead by Example

    It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

    ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

    We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

    6. Catch People Doing Good

    A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

    Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

    7. Be Effusive with Praise

    It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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    Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

    8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

    I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

    The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

    If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

    9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

    The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

    The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

    If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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    10. Understand Your Lane

    If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

    Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

    You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

    Final Thoughts

    Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

    It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

    More Tips About Making Influence

    Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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