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Why There’s Nothing Wrong With You Being Single

Why There’s Nothing Wrong With You Being Single

“I’m single because I was born that way.” – Mae West

Are you worried about being single and coping with all those rather nosy questions about your status?  Numerically, no need to worry at all because one in two people in Manhattan are actually single. Nationwide that adds up to 100 million people and growing, according to the Census Bureau.

Guess what?  Numbers apart, if you are single, you are much more likely to do better in your career, be more sociable, be healthier and also do voluntary work. These are the findings of Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist who wrote a book called Going Solo.

Still not convinced?  Read on because I am going to list 10 reasons why there is nothing wrong with being single. Welcome to singledom.

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1. Because you relish your freedom and independence

This goes for both singles and divorced women. Studies done at the Kingston University in London found that women following divorce were happier than they had ever been (for up to 5 years) after divorce. Being free of any awkward and messy ties was a big part of this. As for singles, you never have to ask your partner or spouse before deciding anything. You are totally free to spend money as you please, go to bed when you want to, and watch that late night film without having to negotiate anyone’s permission.

2. Because you know what you want

One of the reasons for so many unhappy marriages and long –term relationships is that the fear of loneliness took over when deciding to get hitched. This means that many singles made the wrong choice. But you know what you want in a partner and you are not going to compromise just because of parental and peer pressure. No, your standards are not too high and don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.

3. Because you are happy

You have enough interests, friends and job satisfaction to keep you going for a long time yet. You are happy when alone and think of it as ‘restorative solitude’, rather than a negative feeling. Above all, you feel that you are self fulfilled as a single entity.  You are also keenly aware that the happiness of married men and women has been steadily declining over the last three decades as a University of Pennsylvania study has shown. Marriage does not always mean happiness and one study of over 1,000 couples found that marriage was a ‘blip’ and had no long term effect on happiness.

4. Because you know your limits and defects

You have enough self awareness to know that you are not the Mr or Ms Perfect. You are well aware of your defects and how they could be obstacles in a long lasting relationship. Above all, you are able to forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made in the past but you do not let these pollute your outlook on life.

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5. Because you enjoy the financial benefits

Have you ever thought why so much marketing is aimed at singles?  They have done their homework and like you are aware of the enormous scope for spending when in singledom. You can spend much more on fitness, clothes and holidays than you would if you were married. You do better financially when buying a house and also in planning retirement benefits. You can also save up to 5 percent of monthly salary according to Forbes magazine.

6. Because you can really appreciate your family and friends

“A single rose can be my garden – a single friend, my world .” – Leo Buscaglia

If you have maintained a healthy and affectionate relationship with your family, you really appreciate them. In addition, your friends are just as important to you as your immediate family is. If you are a woman, you have a greater capacity for making friendships with other women. Men have more difficulty in bonding with other men.

7. Because you can really work on your career

Family obligations for men and women are not always recognized in the workplace. They should be of course, and ought not to be a barrier to having a brilliant career. Recent legislation in the USA is now concentrating on how this can be eradicated.

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While singles often have to take care of elderly parents, they are in many ways free of other responsibilities such as bearing and rearing children.

While you are aware of the favorable bias towards married people with children in the workplace, you are not let that going to stop you. You are the one who is free to read, study and attend extra training skills programs. You will never have to ask your spouse for permission. Being single is going to really help you in your career.

8. Because you are healthier and will live longer

Most experts have reported that marriage can help you live longer. But this is not always true as a lot depends on the lifestyle and the mental stability of the partners in any marriage.  But look at these advantages:

  • You have a much better quality of sleep being single. No worries about having to put up with snoring.
  • You do not need to spend much time on housework.
  • You have more time for fitness, running and the gym.
  • You are much less likely to suffer from stress because of family problems, children and marital conflicts.
  • You have more time for friends than married people.
  • You can have fabulous holidays without being encumbered by a family in tow.

 9. You are in total control

Enjoying singledom means discovering yourself, your passions, what you really appreciate and what makes you happy. Being yourself is the great benefit when you are in total control. There is another wonderful advantage in that moving house, changing job and relocating all become so much easier when you are the one who decides.

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10. You can always change your mind

The greatest advantage of all is that you have the wonderful option of changing your mind, should you want to opt for a more long term relationship or even marriage. Nobody can dictate when, how or with whom you could do this. You haven’t signed anything yet!

“As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.”– Hermann Hesse

Let us know why you are happy or unhappy being single in the comments below.

 

Featured photo credit: Single tree/Martin Fisch via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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