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How and Why You Should Stop Changing Others

How and Why You Should Stop Changing Others

By trying or wanting to change others, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You were put into this world to make a mark for yourself, not for others. The key to resist the urge to change others is simply to focus upon yourself.

Here are some ways to do that:

1. You are the only one who can change.

You are here in this life to be the best you can be. Develop the mental strength to improve your own weaknesses and change your own self-sabotaging habits. You can only change yourself because you’re the only one who knows your heart, your thoughts, your past, your struggles and your fears. Working on these things are what promotes change. Therefore, when you try and change someone else, you set yourself up for failure because you don’t know the true thoughts and feelings of others as well as you know yourself. For this reason, it is impossible to change another person.

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2. You need to identify at least one thing that you love about you.

Start by identifying one thing about you that is an absolute strength. Cling to this every single day. Find ways in work and personal life to improve this quality. Use it to your advantage by finding ways to use it to improve your life situation. Some examples include being a good salesperson, a good writer, a good marketer, or whatever. Play to this one strength more than your other strengths and find ways to coordinate your business and personal life to fit this strength in.

3. You need to write down your dreams and passions.

What is your passion? When you wake up in the morning, what are some of the things that you want to accomplish? Write these down. As you go about your days, keep these things in the back of your mind and find little baby steps to take that will pave the way toward some of these things. Think about them every single morning and make a commitment to look for at least one tiny thing you can do each day to move you in the direction of these passions. Don’t think about others or what they’re doing wrong. Just focus on you and what you can do to improve your life.

4. You must accept people for who and where they are in life right now.

One of the worst things you can do to yourself is wish that the people in your life were different, or had made different choices. You cannot control the destiny of others. Whether you condone the choices of others or not, accept them exactly for who they are and where they’re at today.

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5. You should connect with the feeling of relief.

Instead of looking for ways to manipulate others to change, look at them with gratitude. Find their strengths and praise them. Be grateful that you don’t possess the weaknesses they do, and if you do possess them, find solace in the fact that you have the power to overcome those weaknesses…in your life, but not their lives.

6. You must accept your situation and circumstances as they are.

Acceptance brings peace. Peace suffocates resistance and resentment. When you’re finally able to accept your life circumstances, you’ll be able to dig deep and take the steps necessary to change those circumstances. Go easy on yourself. Come to terms with past mistakes and choices that weren’t very wise and use them to catapult you forward.

7. You must deflect drama.

The best way to deflect drama is to mind your own business. Don’t gossip about other people, or repeat their personal struggles. Using your energy in this manner drains you so that you’re not as apt to work on your own goals. In addition, never allow others to drag you into their problems or fight their battles for them. Most of all, avoid negative confrontation. All three of the aforementioned circumstances suck your energy and take the focus off of you.

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8. You should revise your goals often to stay on track.

Every so often go back and look at the list you made of your passions. Take stock. Are you actively taking baby steps to work toward these? If not, realign your focus so that each day you’re taking at least one tiny step in the direction of one or more of these.

9. You need to have patience with others.

Part of accepting others as they are, as well as accepting your own life situation is to have patience and empathy for others. Don’t waste energy getting angry or intolerant of others’ mistakes. At the same time, give yourself some approval and encouragement and be patient with yourself.

10. You must forgive.

In order to preserve your energy and keep a positive attitude, always remember to forgive as many times as you’re offended. If you can’t do this for the other person, do it for yourself. When you find it difficult to forgive, try and look at the admirable qualities in those that offend you. Compliment and encourage these qualities in them and you’ll fine that in time, it’s easier to forgive and all you will see are the positive attributes. By doing this, you’re deflecting negative thoughts and feelings. This leaves your subconscious with positive energy that you can then focus on yourself with.

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As you can see, the trick to stop changing others is to focus on you and you only. Take baby steps each day and gradually incorporate each one of these steps into your routine. Pretty soon, not only will your frustration and intolerance of others disintegrate, but you will find it much easier and more productive to just focus on your dreams and your passion. These are mental skills that you can easily develop over time and drastically change your path in life.

Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/ecerroni via morguefile.com

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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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