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The Real Rules of Attraction We Should Stop Neglecting

The Real Rules of Attraction We Should Stop Neglecting

What are the real rules of attraction? What governs the way we are inspired by, seek out and want to be close to other people? Much of society tells us it is how we look, how few wrinkles we have, how tall we are, how white our smile, how big our muscles, and how much money we have. But do these really form the basis of attraction? There is a secret to attraction (well, hopefully it’s not so much of a secret anymore) and a secret behind that secret. I’m going to share both with you.

The first secret to attraction is confidence. Many people are aware of this already. Confidence communicates to others that we are valuable, that we have something to offer. It is also attractive because many people want to feel more confident, and the easiest way to feel more confident is to have it reflected back to you by the company you keep. Confidence inspires people. A confident person can make those around them feel stronger by encouraging them to take some risks in the direction of their dreams. We all need more of that in our lives. But what is it that makes people confident?

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Here’s where the other secret comes in. We all want to be confident, but how? Can we just tell ourselves to be more confident? What if we act confident? How about those positive affirmations we can get from the internet and say a few of those every morning? Set our intention? The true secret to confidence is self-love. That’s right. It’s not bluster, cockiness, arrogance or Alpha behavior; it’s the warmth and care we provide for ourselves. Confidence is feeling secure with ourselves, with our true personality, with our quirks and weaknesses, and being fully human without hiding. For that, we need love. We all make multiple mistakes and show our full range of humanity, strong and weak, every day.

But what’s up with those affirmations? Well, affirmations can help, like setting your intention, but the problem is that many times we are masking an underlying lack of self-confidence by trying to talk ourselves into being more confident. It’s a band-aid, and it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. To develop a stronger sense of self-love that stands the test of time and weathers life’s challenges, we need a sense of self-compassion that extends to our core. So we’re not trying so hard to feel better, we just do.

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To learn more about self-compassion, I recommend you interact with the wonderful work of Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. These two researchers have fleshed out what it takes to develop self-love from the inside out and have it at your core. Another reason self-compassion and confidence are attractive is because most of us get anxious and fearful about life. Self-compassion helps us weather the storm, and everyone needs that kind of reassurance that things are going to be okay. Self-compassion increases resilience in the way we deal with life. Resilience communicates to the lizard brain that we have a better chance of survival. We all want to survive, right? Ninety percent of our interactions with one another are unconscious, meaning we’re not aware of most of the information we’re picking up. Much of that information has to do with safety and security. Resilient people give off a sense of security, of stability, that calms others and makes them feel more secure as well. That’s attractive.

So, we’ve covered the true secrets behind attraction, the real rules that govern why others want to be near us and share life with us. Self-love and self-compassion have great benefits to us as individuals as well. The more we internalize a sense of self-care, the less stress we have, the better our immune system functions, and we can even live longer! There is also a lot of research on how a good relationship can improve all these areas–another reason to be attractive so we can find life partners. Attraction doesn’t stop after finding a mate; it’s a key component of keeping a relationship alive and secure. Learn about self-compassion and be a beacon of love all human moths out there want to flock to!

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One more tip about self-compassion. We develop it partly through our relationships, so don’t neglect relationship education for you and your partner! That’s where you’ll learn how to build a secure and fun partnership that can help build self-love into the core of your being.

Featured photo credit: Portrait of a beautiful blonde woman in autumn park/yanlev via 123rf.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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