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Why the Sister-Sister Relationship Is Always Love-Hate

Why the Sister-Sister Relationship Is Always Love-Hate

A sister-sister relationship is special in many ways. Few people will understand your childhood and the things you’ve gone through better than a sibling. When it comes to sisters, though, we constantly oscillate between loving and hating one another. Your sister will likely be with you for some of your best memories in life, but also have a special knack for getting under your skin. And she’ll say the same about you. You might be fighting like cats and dogs or acting like best friends, but the sister-sister relationship is never boring.

You borrow things from your sister…

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    What’s better than always having an extra closet to look through? Having a sister means you double the clothes to pick from (as long as you share similar styles).

    …but she always steals your clothes.

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      On the other hand, your sister is more than likely to steal your things without asking, and possibly never return them.

      You’ll always have someone to vent to…

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        Having a sister is an incredible way to vent your social and romantic troubles. Your sister always seems to have experienced something similar.

        …but sometimes she’ll spill the beans.

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          Unfortunately, many sisters have been known to share certain people’s secrets. (I.e., yours.)

          You get each other in ways no one else can…

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            Growing up in the same house with similar situations means that you and your sister understand each other better than almost anyone else. It’s truly a special relationship, one that you likely won’t experience elsewhere.

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            …but people always expect the two of you to be the same person.

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              At the same time, because people see you together so much, many of them expect the two of you to be the same. Not only that, teachers, friends, and others will undoubtedly expect you to have the exact same traits as your sister.

              You always have someone to get advice from…

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                Having a sister around is the perfect sounding board when you need advice.

                …but sometimes you get advice you didn’t ask for.

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                  Unfortunately, that same source of wisdom likes to give advice even when you’re not in the mood or don’t want to hear it.

                  You have a partner in crime…

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                    Having a sister is great because you have someone to go to when you need to pull off a scheme. Last-minute Halloween costumes, forgotten projects, or toilet-papering an ex-boyfriend’s house are all game.

                    …but sometimes she’ll blow you off.

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                      That is, if she’s home. If you’re the less popular sister, your sister will sometimes blow you off for her friends.

                      You have someone to cover your weak spots…

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                        Sisters are great because they’re willing to help you out in ways you’re not skilled. Whether that’s homework, your social life, or any other concern, they’ve got your back.

                        …but sometimes they’ll steal the spotlight.

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                          However, having a sister with things to teach you means she is also likely quite talented. Just as people expect you to be the same, sometimes it can be difficult to avoid being caught your sister’s shadow.

                          You always have more makeup and hair products at your disposal…

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                            Just like having another closet to pick through, having a sister also means having extra makeup and beauty tools at your fingertips.

                            …but sometimes there’s not enough room in the bathroom to breathe.

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                              If your sister is really into beauty tools, you might find that sometimes the bathroom doesn’t have enough space to brush your teeth in.

                              You have someone to help you with your social life…

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                                Sisters are also great tools for your social life. Whether you need someone to give you advice, or simply an excuse to get you out of an unwanted commitment, sisters will usually come to the rescue.

                                …but it’s not fun if you’re the less popular one.

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                                  If your sisters are more popular than you, it can be difficult to struggle socially while watching your sister have it all.

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                                  You always have someone who understands why that time of the month sucks…

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                                    Another serious positive to having a sister is someone to commiserate over your monthly visits.

                                    …and someone to fight with when you’re both in a bad mood (at that time of the month).

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                                      With lady troubles come hormonal problems, and it can be easy to get really catty with each other when both of you are on different sides of your cycle.

                                      You always have someone to borrow female protection from…

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                                        Sisters are also there to bail you out when you need feminine protection. Whenever you are out and about, but don’t want to ask someone you’re with, a sister always bail you out.

                                        …but she also might use the last tampon without getting more.

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                                          Similarly, sisters are known to take the last tampon from the bathroom without asking Mom to buy more.

                                          You have someone to shop with…

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                                            Sisters can be an incredible shopping partner, especially when you share similar styles.

                                            …unless she looks better in everything you try on.

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                                              It is slightly frustrating, though, if you go to the mall and everything looks better on your sister.

                                              You can have a sleepover with someone every night…

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                                                Sisters are also a lovely part of life when you’re young and get to share a room. Sharing toys and a bunk bed can make it feel like a sleepover every night.

                                                …until you’re old enough to need your space.

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                                                  Then your shared room becomes an estrogen-packed prison.

                                                  You’re adorable in matching outfits when you’re little…

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                                                    And the pictures will make your future significant others melt.

                                                    …but when you’re teenagers you could kill each other for showing up to breakfast in the same outfit.

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                                                      Especially as teenagers, sisters stubbornly commit to their outfits. Especially when you show up in the same thing, it can be frustrating.

                                                      Featured photo credit: beautiful hipster young women sisters friends in the city via shutterstock.com

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                                                      Alicia Prince

                                                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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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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