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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 January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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