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Stop Hiding These 9 Things if You Want a Serious Relationship

Stop Hiding These 9 Things if You Want a Serious Relationship

You might think that hiding big, bad things from your partner will make your relationship better, but it will actually tear down the trust your partner has given you. The relationship might seem better at the time, but everything eventually comes to light, and when your partner finds out you’ve hidden things from them, they will wonder if you’re telling them the truth about anything. If you want a serious relationship, you shouldn’t hide these nine things from your partner.

1. Your dreams.

Your partner needs to know what you want to accomplish in your life. Openly share your dreams for the future. Let them know what goals you want to reach in your education, career, or family life, and what steps you’re going to take to reach these goals. Your partner will know what you want to accomplish and will not stand in your way, and will even know how they can help you reach these goals a little easier.

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    2. Your natural beauty.

    Don’t be afraid to show your partner who you really are. This means they don’t always get to see you dressed up for a night on the town. Sometimes they’ll see you when you wake up – without makeup, with messy hair, puffy eyes and all! They’ll see you with flat, wet hair when you get out of the shower. They’ll see you sweating and throwing up when you’re sick. You shouldn’t feel like you need to always be made up, combed, and have freshly brushed teeth just to be with your partner.

    3. Your food intake.

    Do you really want to live your life always ordering the small, healthy meal on dates, when you could be ordering the food you really crave? Your partner isn’t going to judge you for wanting a burger over a salad! Don’t be afraid to eat what you want when you’re with your partner, and don’t indulge yourself in private and then keep it from them later.

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    4. Your past.

    You don’t have to spell out every dirty little detail or even throw out your numbers, but make sure your partner knows what your past was like. This can mean everything from your childhood, to high school troubles, to past relationships. If there was an issue in your past, it could crop up in your current relationship, but if you partner knows about it, you won’t have to worry. Being upfront about your past also means there will be no surprises if anything comes out of the woodwork later.

    5. Your expectations.

    Make clear from the beginning what you expect from your partner and the relationship. If you’re serious, then you should feel comfortable telling them you want to get married at some point and whether you would like to have kids, for example. Just make sure you present this in a positive way, so your significant other doesn’t feel like you’re issuing an ultimatum.

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    6. Your boundaries.

    You might be happily in love, but you don’t want to become one person. No matter how much you have in common and how much you love spending time together, you need to keep a part of your identity separate from them. Make your boundaries clear about how much time you need alone, how much physical space you need when you’re together, and what you’d like to do with your free time.

    7. Your beliefs.

    It doesn’t matter whether you and your partner share the same beliefs, as long as you’re upfront about them. Don’t hide your religion or political affiliation just because your partner thinks differently. This could cause major problems later. Be truthful about your beliefs from the start so your partner will know where you stand.

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    8. Your personal problems.

    This goes for problems happening now, or things that have gone on in the past. Tell your partner! Being in a relationship means you’re in a partnership. You have someone to share the burden with, so take advantage of that! Don’t worry if they’ll yell at you or judge you – if you’re truly in love, you can get past anything.

    9. Your financial status.

    You don’t have to pull out bank statements, but if you have a lot of debt or college loans, make sure your partner knows. Some people work really hard to keep good credit scores, and they need to know if your money issues will affect them once you’re married. It doesn’t mean that money is a deal breaker, just that you may have some things to work through before you join finances with your sweetie.

    Featured photo credit: QuinnDombrowski via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on April 11, 2019

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

    I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

    I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

    Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    How Communication Skills Help Your Success

    Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

    Create a Positive Experience

    Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

    When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

    What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

    Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

    As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

    Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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    Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

    Help Leadership Skills

    It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

    Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

    As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

    Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

    If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

    Build Better Teams

    Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

    In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

    If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

    When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

    Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

    Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

    1. Listen

    Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

    Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

    People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

    Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

    Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

    2. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

    Here is a good way to think about it:

    Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

    You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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    3. Minimize

    I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

    He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

    Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

    State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

    The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

    4. Over Communicate

    So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

    What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

    Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

    Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

    Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

    There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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    5. Body Language

    The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

    When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

    In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

    When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

    Conclusion

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

    Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

    There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    Now go communicate your way to success.

    More Resources About Effective Communication

    Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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