Between Social Media And Friendship

Weeks ago, I had lunch with one of my best friends at McDonald’s. We talked about many things to catch up since we were both busy from work. We talked about our other friends. How are they? What are they up to? Do we still communicate with them? Sadly, the answer relies on social media. We are updated because of what they post. From time to time my best friend and I would check our phones. At some point, we were quiet and not talk with each other because of the other people online that we are also connected at the moment. By the time I was done, I put down my phone but she wasn’t. So I just ate my fries and looked around. And there they are – all the same. A father holding her daughter while talking to someone on the phone. A group of girls who seemed to not know each other after taking one too many selfies, now editing photos and picking which will get more likes on Facebook and those oldies who kept talking and laughing loudly about something funny in the past. At that moment, I remembered Gary Turks’s poem entitled “Look Up”.

I took a step back, and opened my eyes,
I looked around, and the realized
That this media we call social, is anything but
When we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.

Turk pointed out the negative effects of social media in a very creative way. But he made it clear in his YouTube channel that he have nothing against it, “this film is about the times we choose it over real connections and experiences.”

As of January 2016, about 2.2 Billion people all over the world are active social media users, conducted by Global Web Index. In this plugged-in world, having friends is just a click away. The question is, are they really your friends? And if so, how are you guys? Social media made us easy for us to connect and reconnect with our family, relatives and friends. But the quality of relationships is at risk. A study done by Robin Dunbar, a psychology professor at Oxford University, shows that you can count on only a few online friends during hardships (4.1{705ab26a425f20e547136f859880009f4c878436a589c1707f6286a79f0c0eb8}) while the other so-called friends (13.6{705ab26a425f20e547136f859880009f4c878436a589c1707f6286a79f0c0eb8}) only send their compassion through texts and other messaging flatforms. He also coined the term Dunbar’s number. It is a theory in which states that a person can only maintain 150 stable relationship in his lifetime.

Case in point: maintaining friendships over so many medium is challenging. But this may be a test of friendship after all. If you are in turmoil of the status of your friendship with anyone in particular. It may help to take time to think it over because ending relationship is messy. Since friendship is mostly based on communication, here are some questions you need to ask yourself before breaking up with your friends.

1. Do I get excited or irritated on my friends postings?
This could be a sign that both of you have drifted apart. The things you once liked or shared together no longer interest both of you. And even if you see each other again, it is just not the same.

2. Do I secretly rant over our friendship?
If you are doing this, you are not communicating well with each other. Misunderstanding can happen anytime. Do not let it spoil your relationship. If your friend keeps posting and tagging to make you feel humiliated or betrayed, talk it over.

3. Do we see each other face-to-face?
Staying connected online is not the same with having conversations in person. You can detect if a friend is sincere or not when you are together.

4. Am I the only one in this friendship who is trying to make it work?
Friendship is between people and not a relationship with yourself. If you tried communicating with no response or worse, seenzoned, maybe he/she ended it before you even realized.

To get my best friend’s attention, I sarcastically told her in a higher tone than my usual to stop it. She stopped and we continued talking. We didn’t take any pictures of how our day went or posted anything online for the world to see that we are very good friends and had fun together that day. We keep the balance of the use of social media and our friendship. And if you are considering to end things with your BFF, you might want to think it through. Break ups are not easy after investing a lot of yourself for your friendship. Remember, social media and friendship is a perfect combination to revive relationships before it dies out.

How To Get Better Communication

I’m sure you will have heard the saying ‘I say what I mean and I mean what I say.’

If only communication was that simple, we wouldn’t spend our lives in a perpetual state of conflict and misunderstanding. Take the simple phrase ‘that wasn’t what I wanted.’ You couldn’t be clearer. Could you?

Well let’s consider that. If I say ‘that wasn’t what I wanted’, what I really mean is, ‘I wanted something else’. Possibly something I’m certain I’d explained quite clearly to you, or potentially something I hadn’t explained at all but assumed you would know.

But as we all know communication is second nature to us all. After all, don’t we communicate every minute of every day?

Communication though is not nearly as easy as we let ourselves believe. But there are some clearly defined approaches that can help.

1. Know your own and other peoples ‘default’ communication styles

This is most certainly the starting point. Without knowing your own and other peoples starting points there is little likelihood of understanding and effective communication.

So, how do we do this so we can understand and be more easily understood by other people (at least most of the time)?

In his book The Emotions of Normal People, published in 1928, Dr William Marston took a very different tack from other psychologists of the day who tended to focus on illness or deviance. Dr Marston wanted to understand how we can better understand each other in normal situations, and indeed how our behaviour changed from situation to situation. Marston found there to be four main personality traits base on our perceptions of our environment and of ourselves within that environment. The four personality traits, or ‘default’ traits, are Dominant, Influencer, Steadiness and Conscientious.

Marston’s research became known as the DISC behavioural model. If you know your own and other’s ‘default’ traits you will be in a position to communicate more effectively, cut off potential conflict situations at the pass, and influence your own or your team’s potential for success.

So what are these ‘default’ styles?

• Dominant styles want to ‘tell’ it as it is. They tend to be direct and to the point. When communicating with a D the best approach is to be direct, don’t waffle, be brief and keep it solutions orientated.
• Influencer styles want to ‘sell’ it through persuasion, positivity and fun. They tend to sell the big picture idea rather than sweat the detail. When communicating with an I the best approach again is to keep it brief, but light and upbeat, with not too much detail.
• Steadiness styles want to ‘listen and consult’. They tend to want a friendly, conflict free and unhurried approach. When communicating with an S give lots of time for them to reflect so they can decide at a steady pace and don’t come across as too challenging.
• Conscientious styles want it ‘written down’ with lots of attention to detail and clearly defined explanations. The tend to want a more distant, professional approach. When communicating with a C give lots of data, quality responses and show you have considered the risks involved.

2. Truly listen

There is an old saying ‘we have two ears and one mouth and should use them in that proportion’. I rarely come across this in practice. Too often we are desperate to get our two-pennies worth in so spend most of our time thinking what we will be saying next and looking for the gap that will allow us to interject.

Let’s be honest. Listening is hard.

Listening is about being willing to focus on the other person rather than the self. This is energy intensive (so can be tiring) and can make us feel vulnerable (because we might not know what we are supposed to say next). But in fact active and focused listening allows us to hear what is truly being said and opens up opportunities for higher quality questions.

On the one hand this illustrates to the other person that they are truly being listened to and builds rapport and their self-esteem. And on the other hand enables you to get the core root of what is really being communicated.

3. Clarity in our speech

If we refer back to our opening illustration, we can better see what clarity on your speech might mean.

Let’s consider that simple phrase ‘that wasn’t what I wanted.’

When I say ‘that wasn’t what I wanted’, did I really mean, ‘I wanted something else’. Possibly something I’m certain I’d explained quite clearly to you, or potentially something I hadn’t explained at all but assumed you would know.

Or did I really mean;
• ‘Let’s fight about this because you are challenging my power base’.
• Or possibly ‘I don’t like you anymore’.
• Or what about ‘I don’t appreciate what you have done and all the extra work you put in’.
• But it could just as easily have been ‘you’ve done this all wrong, your incompetent’.

The best approach I know to deal with this is through what Bev James, Author of DO IT! OR DITCH IT, called the ‘DISC walk’. When we need to communicate something of importance try looking at your phrase from the perspective of each of the DISC personality styles.

4. Non-verbal

The non-verbal aspects of communication are often overlooked for the more obvious (whether verbal or written). Yet non-verbal cues such as body language, including facial expression, tone and pace of voice have a powerful impact on how we understand the message being communicated.

Indeed, the non-verbal aspects are all the ‘first impressions’ that will enable our message to get through or cause it to get blocked. There needs to be congruence between the ‘image’ we convey and the other persons ‘default’ style, as well as congruence between the image and the message. A difficult balancing act.

To deal with this we need to consider closely those things which can help or could hinder effective communication:
• Stance – is it open or closed? Are your hands open and exposed or closed and bunched? Are your legs firmly planted and balanced or crossed?
• Eye contact – is there contact or are they diverted? (be aware though that different cultures have different expectations around eye contact).
• Tone of voice – is it reasoned, aggressive, excited or bored?
• Pace – is the voice quick, even or slow? Clipped or rhythmic?

5. Written

If we refer back to our four DISC personality traits, each has a preferred written style.

• Dominant styles are likely to use bullet points that will be short and concise. In fact, in emails the whole message might be typed in the subject line.
• Influencer styles are the great talkers, but in written format they will also tend to use bullet points but with a friendlier range of words. In emails they will likely start and end on much more pleasantries.
• Steadiness styles are the great listeners. In the written format they can expect more detail, especially in relation to ‘why’ and ‘how this is likely to impact on the team’. In emails you need to be careful there is no ambiguity.
• Conscientious styles want everything written down. There emails will be very long due to their need to include lots of attention to detail. As a consequence, these are unlikely to be read by either a D or an I who will only read the headline.

6. Story telling

Stories are how we learn.

There are great advancements taking place in the fields of neuroscience that are showing us what the story tellers of old, in the oral tradition, have always known: our biology drives our emotions, such as the release of oxytocin (the feel good chemical) when we hear good aspects in a story, or the release of dopamine from our limbic (reward center) that triggers feelings of hope and optimism when we hear happy endings.

The old notion of having a beginning, middle and end to your story (message being communicated) relates specifically to our expected pattern that makes things easily memorable. This is related to what is called ‘episodic’ memory; the brain’s own need for direction and pattern, for cause and effect.

Bringing it all together

Communication has no quick fix, but does have predictable approaches that can minimize confusion and conflict, and ensure we get across as near to the message we are trying to convey as is possible. In a world which is becoming more complex, ambiguous and uncertain there is even more of a need for communication through well-crafted stories.

Reason You Need Low Maintenance Friendship

Friendship is a kind of relationship that affects you a person as it will become a valuable part of your being. But, some kind of friendships is better than others like those low maintenance that will not drain you with so much drama.

A low maintenance friendship does not mean settling down in a crappy relationship. Instead, this kind of relationship allows you to grow as an individual because the quality of the relationship comes out easily. They are the friends who do not demand constant communication nor hanging out. But, you know that they will always be there for you.

I am friends with four amazing ladies for ten years now, and we are nothing but low maintenance. And, these are the things I have learned from a decade of valuable friendship.

1 No drama

You are so busy with important things in your life that you don’t waste your time together with unwanted and unneeded drama. You would rather spend the limited days together having the fun you deserve to enjoy these rare moments.

With this kind of friendship, you have a wide understanding of each other that you are willing to forego whatever small misunderstanding you have. There is nothing much to fight about because your friendship is grounded on the simple foundation of realness

2 Fun in doing the simplest things

While watching the infamous TV series Gossip Girl, I realized why my low-maintenance friendships last. We don’t need the scheming, backstabbing and complicated action to have fun. We are perfectly fine with hanging out and talking over takeouts at home. All we need to be happy is the presence of each other, nothing fancy whatsoever.

3 They are real

They are as real as they come. There is no need to be someone you are not because your friends don’t really care about what others say about them. They always believe in the principle “what you see is what you get.” But, of course, there are many things exciting about you and your friends, you just chose to be real and upfront about it. The thing is, they don’t have to act or do something uncomfortable because they are fine with who they are.

4 They only have genuine support for you

You could not find envy and pretentiousness in a low maintenance friendship. As real as they are, they will be genuinely happy for your success and will support your dreams. You may not have the same dreams, but you definitely dream of the same magnitude. So you are never afraid because despite not talking every day, you know that they will always be there for you and vice versa.

5 Friendship and love come seamlessly

You generously give each other love and friendship that each one needs. The love you share is true and does unconditionally. A frenemy has never been in your vocabulary because really why invest in hate when it can be so exhausting.

I know that you have friends in mind while reading. So, cherish and value these kinds of friendship because they are rare jewels in the world full of hate and fakeness.

Why You Still Need Conflict In Your Life

Have you ever stopped to think why you respond to conflict like you do? This is not only interesting information, but very valuable information for anyone who finds conflict in their life… oh yes, that is ALL of us! I do not remember where I read this information, or I would give proper recognition, however, this is so good – I just have to share it.

What is conflict?

1. a serious disagreement or argument

2. incompatibility or at a variance; clash

What do we feel when we have conflict? We feel a range of emotions from anger, to fear, to hurt and so on.

The definition of emotion is: energy in motion

To add to that definition, emotional energy follows the path of least resistance. Where it has gone before it will go again!

Picture every emotion you have ever had. It was, indeed, energy in motion. And, we have all experienced the same emotions when we are in the midst of a conflict similar to others we have previously experienced.

Here is the part I find both fascinating and frustrating. Each time we find ourselves in a similar conflict – not only does our emotional energy follow the path of least resistance – but, each time that path is traveled the path becomes 10 times stronger! Picture a path through the grass that one person has walked down. Their may be very little evidence that the grass has even been walked on. But picture the same grass after ten people have walked on it and it is becoming quite compacted down. Picture once more that grass after one hundred people have walked on it. There is an undeniable path worn.

If we compare the grass to each time we have a particular emotional response… after just three times it has already had the equivalent of 100 people walking down that path.

It isn’t hard to see why, in the midst of conflict, we find ourselves having the same behavior, saying the same words and experiencing the same outcome.

I often respond poorly to conflict, but it is also possible to respond to conflict in better ways. Personally, I desire to turn the cycle around so that each time I experience the same, or similar conflict, the path I follow to ending (or diffusing) conflict becomes ten times easier.

Path #1

Conflict occurs

Negative emotional arousal/response

Poor result

Emotional unrest

Path #2

Conflict occurs

Positive (good/neutral) emotional arousal/response

Better result

Emotional rest

As a Christ follower, I am very aware that I am weak in my good intentions. That is why I count on God working in me to do this. I desire to change and He does the changing.

Types Of Your Friends

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in your life that is friends with you for life you are truly blessed. Those types of friendships are usually between a married couple who stay together for life.

Know the value of just being a friend. Why is it that every opposite sex relationship thinks they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Why can’t we just have guys that are good friends and girls that are good friends? Even a marriage relationship needs to have a strong foundation of friendship. What is a friend anyway? Well, it is a person you know and with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations. Although your spouse should be your best friend, still your friendship should have nothing to do with sexual relations. And as far as family, yes, you may have a friend who is also related to you but even then your friendship should not have anything to do with being related to them. These two explanations are what I mean by ‘Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Don’t undervalue friendship, both having friends and being a good friend.

Let’s look at the different kinds of friendships:

• THE SOCIAL FRIEND: This is the kind of friend that most people have most of. This kind of friend is not someone who you hang out with all the time or live with but you know them and associate with them at a bar, church, store or some other public place. Friends you have that have moved far way fall under this category. They are nice to talk to when you see them and are usually good for a laugh. They are not good for sharing a problem with. Sometimes you leave wishing you hung around together more but that just isn’t this kind of friend. Just accept your relationship for what it is.

• THE COUNSELOR: This is a friend you go to when you need advice or just someone to listen. You value their wisdom or at least the fact that they are good listeners and empathize with you. You can tell this kind of friend almost anything without fear of gossip or condemnation. They are the kind of friend you can trust but you just don’t hang out together, unless you want to talk about something important.

• FUN BOY/GIRL: This kind of friend can usually be counted on to go somewhere with you at a moment’s notice. They like hanging out with you whether it is going to the store or a bar or whatever. They are good tension relievers because you know you are just going to have a good time, let your hair down, maybe even be a little crazy. This kind of friend is not the kind of friend you go to for advice; in fact you should not put a damper on your relationship by getting serious with them about something. They are trustworthy and you know they aren’t going to gossip about what you do together. Don’t expect anything else from this kind of friend; just have a good time.

• SPIRITUAL BROTHER/SISTER: This kind of friend is most often found in churches but not always. This kind of friend is someone that is fun to be around but not like Fun Boy/Girl. It is a more laid back relationship that you can sit around with them at home and talk about God, family or spiritual matters. This kind of friend will pray for you and even help you out on a project or a loan or something. You can’t really cut loose like you can with Fun Boy/Girl but it is good to have this kind of friend when you just don’t want to be too wild but want to have a good time. This is the kind of friend that you just leave with a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’. This friend leaves you with a fulfilled feeling. They make you feel good about yourself. They are sometimes good for sharing things with like The Counselor but usually they just are a pleasure to know.

• WORK FRIEND: This is the friends that you have at work. You interact at work only. This may include going to break together, maybe even shopping with them or running an errand during lunch or after work. They are usually not good to get advice from but on some occasions things might be discussed and you give each other advice. Mostly though you talk about the job, family and other friends.

• LIFETIME FRIEND: This friendship is very rare and as I said usually is found in marriage relationships they stay together for life. This friend is all the above all rolled up in one.

The Bible has this to say about friendship: “A good friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of human relations we should desire on all levels whether friend or spouse. Look at what the Word has to say about the value of friendship: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17). 1 Samuel 18:1 describes the friendship of Jonathan and David being so strong that their ‘souls were knit together’.

How To Remember Long Lost Friends

I don’t remember when they first popped up in my life, but I suspect I was about four years old. My memories before kindergarten are few. The family living room was the first room you entered as you came in the front door. We lived in a two family house on the first floor, with my grandparents on the second floor. They actually owned the home which was located on a busy avenue in a small New Jersey city.

My imaginary friends lived in the wall behind the front door. I would knock on the wall and press my face up against it trying to look through the painted sheet rock to catch a glimpse of their world. I guess I created Cooney, Chetty and Susan because I wanted someone to play with. I was so ahead of my time creating a virtual play date.

Usually when asked if they wanted to play, Susan was most times the only one who could, because Chetty and Susan were always going to Florida and leaving Susan home. I felt bad for her. We would dance for hours in the living room, doing fabulous stunts off of the hassock looking at ourselves in the wall of mirrors my parents had installed at the time. That was the style in the 70’s. We had an entire wall of mirror tiles with a crackle film overlay. So hip! Oh, don’t dare get your fingerprints on them though as you would hear the wrath of my mother. It was one of the many things that ticked her off.

I remember running over to the half wall in between the dining room and the kitchen as my father and mother were seated finishing dinner, telling them tales of my friends and just sitting there chewing and nodding their heads as if this was normal and just fine with them. I was friggin’ crazy and they let me go with it. If I’m being truthful, I always had the feeling they thought I was a bit off.

Can’t recall when my friends disappeared and we stopped playing together, but I have yet to doubt their existence. I wonder why I named them these crazy names. I mean Susan is mainstream, but Cooney and Chetty? Their names are as familiar as the friends I had in elementary school. I have no recollection of their appearance. That will forever remain a mystery.

Experts would say children develop imaginary friends to help deal with change or times of transition. Maybe subconsciously I knew that my life would change soon, sort of a sixth sense, because up until this point I think we were happy as a family. Again my memories at this age and younger are sparse. All I do know is my imaginary friends were comforting to me, like a blankie or stuffed animal.

Guide To Get Personal Connections

Building social connections is both a skill and an asset. The wider connections of friends we have, the happier and fuller we become as individuals. Regardless of age, sex, race, and financial disposition, we all need to create and grow a network of friends and acquaintance to make our lives more worthwhile.

Aside from family, money, and life insurance among many other things, one other important ingredient to lead a worry-free life is having a solid set of friends. It is our friends that we need when we are down and depressed. It is our friends who turn to when we just want someone to talk to, or someone to listen to our woes. It is also our friends and acquaintances that we need by our side when all that we want is hang loose and chill. There is nothing but truth in the adage, “no man is an island.” It is a fact that we need friends, and we cannot live this life happy, healthy, and worthwhile without them.

But friendship doesn’t mean that you need to be with them every minute of every day. That’s the beauty of genuine and pure friendship- you don’t have to be with each other’s company to feel loved. The connection is what makes friendships special. Common interests, passions, and hobbies connect people and help them to create friendships. These connections grow once you know your friends more. The connection then turns to love, care, and loyalty. With all these ingredients, you have a friendship that will last forever.

Aside from companionship, love, and care, there are also many perks to having a wide circle of friends. You gain benefits more connections, more information, and assistance as you build solid friendships with the people around you.

If you feel unsatisfied with your social life and would like to make it more worthwhile, here are some tips to boost your social connections.

1. Sign up for social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You probably have all of these already. But if you still don’t have that many friends, try to browse through their friend suggestions. Join an online group that features your interests and hobbies. Start a conversation with acquaintances, and let these conversations lead you to knowing more people sharing the same interests as you!

2. Join local community groups you are most passionate about. If you are an animal lover, we are pretty sure there are animal advocacy group within your community. Great friendships often start between people who share the same passion and life advocacies.

3. Go to church. The church is a great venue for earning friends and building strong social connections. This is especially true if you want to further strengthen your faith as well as values in life.

4. Talk to your colleagues. To make the workplace bearable, start striking up conversations with your work mates. Having them around should not be stressful, but should be fun and interesting too.

5. Say hello to your neighbors. Don’t be the snobbish, grumpy neighbor. Connect with your neighbors as they make excellent friends especially when you simply want to chill and talk about home and family life.

How To Eliminate Conflict With Your Partner

It’s just another day, I hate it, just another day! I get up, do my every morning thing, carry in my right hand, my coffee cup and drag myself to the car and drive to my work.

I don’t tolerate my wife to say too much because she is a “zero” and nothing else than trash can food. The moment she tries to communicate with me, I simply cut her off and finally she get the message not to bother me with all that crap and nonsense!

She is a failure anyway, so why should I listen! Live moves on day after day, after month, after year and nothing is changing. A couple of years and hopefully I’m dead, great, nobody will miss me! Whining, Whining, Whining…

No kidding, that sound like not a good relationship if you ask me, why the approach to the opposite party? A relationship is not to criticize instead help each other, lift each other, make each other feel darn good and important, as well be mindful with our thoughts.

Being on the same page with our partner is the number one requirement in order to live that united life together. We could say: “thinking and caring about each other at all time is a serious responsibility.”

Being negative towards the opposite party can create as much as being positive and will affect both our life experience. Attract the beliefs and desires from each other will create harmony in any relationship.

So, is this just another moody day and who is the moody person here, both parties might ask themselves that question. Does life exist of working, criticizing, offending, down playing, I’m much better than you, yelping? NO! With capital letters.

Our success and failures are not caused by “the world out there” but by the love, care we carry inside our heart. This is not a brain surgery neither high technology and we don’t need to spend years of psychoanalysis to find the way to respect.

A negative mindset drains your energy and create a self-perpetuating cycle of disappointments, worry, fear to fail and fear to make a mistake. The other site of the coin is that positive thinking creates hope and self believe. With a little bit of mental pushing power we should be able to control our mindset.

Let’s sit down here for a short moment and ask our self about the person who is working and working and does not believe in quality of life, so that person spend a big time of the day in a stress full environment, get ruled by the clock, the upper level authorities, appointments, customers, fighting for its own little space in the company, and much more.

Coming home late in the evening, rest for some hours and take off the next morning again is sure not enough to unwind all the stress. So let’s assume that both parties are moody the moment they are in each others neighborhood.

Here are the 15 ways to eliminate the moody moments:

You remember what I said in the beginning of this story; “The moment she tries to communicate with me, I simply cut her off and finally she get the message not to bother me with all that crap and nonsense!” Here is the answer to the problem of not being able to listen to a family member, instead simply cut off the person and depreciate that party.

Let’s wrap this up and nail some solid points down that might clear the air for both individuals:

1. Don’t try to do many things at once!

2. Prioritize, let them know, and do the essential things first!

3. Don’t take on everything yourself!

4. Learn to say politely “No”

5. Meetings should be to the point and not dragging on!

6. Going home, close the door of your job. Coming home, take your rest for some minutes, sit down, relax, rewind, think about the daily blessings and have a little talk with your partner!

7. Be an open book for your partner and don’t live a secret life created by” the life of fear to fail”

8. Don’t let the job take over your life!

9. Take your days off, take a chair and sit down somewhere you can relax and dream away without any noise around you and being bothered!

10. Force yourself to exercise on a daily base and definitely on the days off!

11. Create a hobby that grabs your attention!

12. Create a mile post of accomplishment with that hobby!

13. Learn to count your blessings in life and do NOT take everything for granted!

14. Do not answer the cell phone on your days off!

15. Fight for your own space in life and do not allow others to influence you and make a different “You” out of “You”

Here you have it, I didn’t leave any ingredient out!

All About Listening

His Ability to Listen

Hearing and listening are two different things. You can hear a siren; you can hear your neighbor berating each other. Unless you are waiting for an ambulance or you are looking for another topic to gossip about, then you are not listening. Listening takes great effort. Whenever my wife and I are in the car that is when we have some of our best conversations. As she is talking, sharing with me her most life changing idea, then at a pivotal point in the conversation, she decides to invite my input by asking what do you think. At this juncture of the conversation will decide if I have a future with her or not. I need to choose my next words carefully. What if I were to say could you repeat what you just said honey, then that will prove that I was not listening. Where was I all along? How will she feel? Well for one she is going to internalize this issue by thinking that she is not important.

Work Environment

The same principle can be applied to the workplace. A good leader will always be a good listener. Imagine that one of your team members has a problem or an idea they need to share with you. So, this team member mustered up some bravery to reveal what is in their heart. After they are finished sharing, what you do next will determine your success in this company. If your response proves that you were not listening, and this is the culture you have created in your work environment, your greatest asset which is your team will no longer be a team or your team. Yes, both you and they will work in the same building, but you are no longer a team. Their priority is to do the bare minimum and to watch the clock.

John Maxwell illustrates it very well. As soon as the clock hits leaving time, the only thing you will see inside the workspace are papers floating in the air from how fast they left the building. If you should look through the window, there would only be leaves floating. You may wonder how come they can leave so fast, well that is because as soon as they arrive at work, they back their cars into the parking space. They are already thinking about leaving.

Steps To Good Listening

So how do you listen? As they are speaking, you want to be looking them in the eye or at whatever they are showing you. But do not steer. You want to be nodding your head where ever you can agree but not like a bobble head. Sometimes you can nod your head at areas that you do not agree; this does not mean that you agree with them. Instead, you are saying that you hear what they are saying and you understand. Use words like “yes” this will let your team know that you are listening. Ask question as they are sharing, this will confirm to your team that you are following along. Do not interrupt and take over the conversation. This is their moment allow them to run the show. If you must comment, start with words like, “so what you are saying is… ” but keep it brief. When they solicit your input or if you see a problem with the idea start with words such as what if we were to do it this way or that way so that… “ I must encourage you that you are not losing power or face by asking your team member what they think. Instead, you are empowering them and confirming to them that they are a valuable player.

At the end of this conversation, your team member will walk away thinking that you are the greatest leader. That you do care, and that they are in a place where they are valued. They will go the extra mile for you if needed; they will defend you if needed. They won’t even notice that there is a clock on the wall.

Tips To Solved Your Conflict

When we’re in a conflict, we tend to think that the best way to resolve it is to stick with our point of view as strongly as possible. We’ve been taught that one of us is going to win and the other is going to lose, and we don’t want to be the loser. There’s often a feeling that losing means doom and so we fight desperately to keep to our position. Strangely, the reality is that this strategy doesn’t often work, especially if you’re trying to be part of a long-term relationship-be it romantic, business organization, parent-child, friend-to-friend, whatever.

What if there were a way that had a higher percentage of actually resolving problems and conflicts? There is! I learned it a long time ago. It comes from Process Work, developed by Arnold Mindell, Ph.D.-a kind of therapy I specialized in for a long time.

The “Three-Legged Stool” of Conflict Resolution

Think of a conflict as having three basic positions: my position, your position and the “objective observer” position.

In relationship conflict of any sort, your first job is to notice in which position you’re starting. Are you actually advocating for your own position-“My Position” or are you-without knowing it-advocating for the other person’s position-“Your Position” in the figure? How can you tell? Well, let’s say the conflict is between yourself and your partner about whether to buy a new car or a used car. Your partner wants a new car and you think you should save money and buy a used car. Your argument is that you need to save money for the future and for other things and that if you buy a used car, that money will still be there. In that case, you’re already in “My Position.” But if you’re saying, “I know you think buying a new car is better because it will last longer,” you’re in “Your Position,” that is, for the moment, you’re taking your partner’s point of view.Which position are you in now?

Standing for the Position You’re In

Whatever position you find yourself in, take it over as fully as you can. In the example above, “My Position” might be: “It’s important to me that we’re prudent around what we spend and take the long view. To think about our priorities, to think about what’s most important and less important.”

If you find yourself in your partner’s position, “Your Position” above, you can stand for that position: “I know you want to buy a car where you know it doesn’t have hidden problems that might end up costing a lot to repair.”

Helping the Other Person Stand for Their Side

If you find yourself in “My Position,” and you’ve stood for it, then it’s important to help the other person stand for their position, expressing it as fully as possible. You can start by asking the other person to tell you what they’re thinking or feeling. If they get stuck or are afraid they’ll get shot down, you can start them off by taking their position, as above.

Maybe your partner’s “My Position” would be: “I AM thinking about the future and about priorities! If we get a new car, it’ll last longer and we won’t have to spend money on either another car or on repairs. How about if we look into new cars, see how much they cost. And we can also think about what things we need to spend money on and make a budget.” Either you or your partner can express this position.

Anticipating the Other’s Concerns Helps with Relationship Conflict

Your partner can help her or his position by also taking your position and anticipating what your worries might be: “I know you’re worried that I might not be thinking about our future financial situation. That’s why I went through our IRA’s and our projected income for the next 10 years and have figured out what we have left over after regular monthly expenses.”

Switching Positions Helps with Conflict Resolution

With this three-position conflict resolution model (we’ll get to the third position below), you each switch back and forth between “My Position” and “Your Position,” continuing to express each position as fully as possible. You literally step in and speak as if you are your partner, and your partner steps in and speaks as if he/she is you. You each keep alternating between your own position and the other person’s position.

More and more information emerges, until the situation is deeply resolved. It’s important, when taking a position-especially the other person’s position-to really stand in the position and speak ONLY from that position. It can be tempting to be sarcastically in the other person’s position or to pretend to be in it while really coming from “My Position.” If you’re speaking from the other person’s position, really feel into it and, for the moment, speak as if you actually are the other person, or come from a place where you really relate to their position. You can do this by remembering when you’ve been in their position at some point in your life, or imagining being in it.

Objective Observer

The “Objective Observer” position can be really useful, too-for example, when you’re stuck and don’t know how to move further toward conflict resolution. You can each step outside yourselves and, in your imagination, “see” yourselves. Notice what you see and step in and be it. Maybe you notice that the “you” in front of you is feeling hurt and small. Rather than trying to counteract that and be strong, go back into yourself and really show how small and hurt you are, maybe by letting yourself cry or by rolling up into a ball, etc. Actually showing what’s going on can help, because, much of the time, we don’t see or hear each other’s messages if they’re too subtle. When we make ourselves more visible, the other person can react to what’s actually going on instead of what they imagine is going on. This often moves us toward resolution.

Using the Model For Inner Conflicts

This model works with inner conflicts as well as relationship conflict-times when you’re torn about something. First, figure out what the two polarized positions are. Notice which one you’re in right this second. Take that position strongly and deeply. Then literally step out of that position by moving your body over to face the first position. Feel into the other position and speak from it strongly and deeply. Keep going back and forth, trying to listen to each position. If you get stuck, or just need an overview, step into the Objective Observer position and notice what’s going on with each of the other positions. Then step in and-without judgment-do what you saw. This tends to help create solutions.