Archive | August, 2011

Texting isn’t the same as talking

31 Aug

How often do you use your cell phone?  I’m not going to lie, I use mine a lot.  Well, I used to.  Over the past week I’ve definitely dialed down on the phone use and started socializing with people in front of me.  I just never fully realized how often I checked my phone until this week.  It’s astounding how reliant I became on my phone to be my connection with others. It’s actually rather scary.  Texting has been my main means of communication for a really long time, even if I have nothing really important to say I would send a meaningless text.  What is the point of that?  I honestly don’t understand why I felt it was so important for me to constantly be connected to someone. 

I remember a time when I hated texting. I thought it took too long and was pointless because you could simply pick up the same texting phone and call the person you wanted to speak with.  Yet, the busier I got the ease of texting set in and before I knew it I was on my phone non-stop, typing away.  I would choose the type of phone I wanted based on the texting features.  I was worse than a 16-year-old girl.

  So, I started thinking about why I needed constant contact and what it meant to me.  Texting someone never takes the place of seeing them and if what I had to say was really important wouldn’t it be better to just call them? Maybe it’s because I’d rather have a pointless conversation with someone than be left alone with my thoughts or maybe it’s because calling them took too much work.  But for one person in particular, texting them and having them text back was a constant reminder that they were thinking of me.  Every text was a signal that I crossed their mind for a brief nano-second and who doesn’t like to be thought of?  Whatever the reasons are or were for the constant texts, don’t the important people in your life deserve more than just a nano-second of thought?  The next time you have the urge to text a friend or a family member make the time for a phone call instead; it takes up more time, but also means a lot more. 

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/noGN8T

Should I say it again?

27 Aug

I saw this article the other day and started having a couple days worth of internal debate.  I was wondering if my “excessive problem talk” was truly causing problems.  On one hand, I want to say indignantly that I should be able to talk about whatever the hell I want and if that’s what it takes to make me feel better than so be it.  However, the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t sound right.  While I can understand discussing our problems is primarily a female trait, in the end what does excessive talk lead to?  Does it really make you feel better or does it simply allow you to vent about the same problems without actually finding a solution? If your constantly talking about the same problems and the same troubled areas are consistently coming up, is it really going to help bring it up one more time?

As brought up in the article, boys and girls have different coping skills and it’s important to find middle ground.  Communication occurs in many ways and it’s not all the same.  If the person you’re venting to isn’t responding to you the same way you would respond to them, it doesn’t mean they’re not listening.  It’s completely possible that they’re taking in everything you’re saying, they simply have nothing to respond to.  This may be frustrating and seemingly careless, but it’s important to understand that while their mute-ness is bothering you, you’re constant yapping is probably a nuisance to them.  At the end of it, if a mutual respect is present a common ground should be reached.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/p1ELoN

What’s said vs. What’s meant

23 Aug

I’m not sure if it’s just me or people in general, but I tend to over analyze what’s said to me. Instead of reading between the lines I often read what’s not even there. I’ve deduced that this is because we often choose to hear what we want to hear regardless of how wrong it is. Instead of taking things at face value, the constant thought of “there must be more” or “there’s something they’re not saying” runs through my jumbled head.

Perhaps this is because, so often people say what you want to hear without realizing the consequences or repercussions of their words. This occurs all the time. Words are spoken without second thought to avoid inevitable letdowns or impending conflicts. How do we decipher between what’s being said and what is really meant? It’s commonly said that people should say what they mean and mean what they say, but that’s not often executed.

I wish it could all be so simple and words could be easy to understand, but the older I get the more I realize that it’s not always like that. Words aren’t just words. They’re much more. They can hide the truth or reveal it. Words are a powerful concoction with the ability to stir up human emotion unlike anything. Yet despite how many times you analyze what was said or might have been said or could have been said it gets to an exhaustive point of realization that words are anything but solid.  At the end of the day they’re like emotions, they’re tangible.  Regardless of what you heard or what was said all you can do is accept it and move on.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/fmCRkD

How to: Network

18 Aug

Continually improving your networking skills is crucial for young professionals and recent graduates.  It can be a bit nerve-racking to attend networking events and intimidating to speak with potential clients or employers, but it’s a major mistake to avoid these opportunities.  Missing out on networking events due to nerves or fear is committing a huge disservice to yourself and all that you’ve accomplished thus far.  Job hunting is difficult enough when you know people in whichever industry you’re interested in, but it’s near impossible for a recent grad to break into an industry without having any connections at all.  We all know that word-of-mouth is received much better and more trusted than any kind of advertisement.  Networking and building valuable relationships with people in your prospective field works in the same way.  Leaving memorable and positive impressions on others are catalysts of success in finding job opportunities.

Attend events

Attend any local networking events in your city.  These events are intended to help professionals connect with others and to build clientele and new business ventures.  This is the easiest way to get to know local businesses and to get your name out there.  At these events, talk to people and distribute business cards.  The more people you talk to the more likely you are to have someone remember you.

Elevator speech

The way I think of an elevator speech is this: if you’re in an elevator with your dream employer and you only have 30 seconds to impress him/her what would you say? When put on the spot, very few people are able to divulge what makes them special, necessary and essential to any business so it’s helpful to already have a spiel prepared in case you are ever put on the spot.

Be confident

It’s incredibly intimidating to be around professionals who have been in the industry for several years and it’s normal to want to take a backseat in conversations for fear of sounding stupid, but don’t.  You have to start somewhere and in a sea of recent grads who often take the backseat, you need to stand out.  Don’t be afraid of sounding inexperiences because truth-be-told, you are inexperienced but at least you’re not afraid to be noticed and heard.

 

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/qjQvau, http://bit.ly/rc3EC2, http://bit.ly/r4OH4a

The benefit of meeting new people

16 Aug

I’ve addressed talking to strangers before in a previous post.  Mr. Kelley does not agree.   He believes there’s no point in sparking conversations with people you’re never going to see again.  In his opinion, why waste your time getting to know someone for a couple of minutes when you’re never going to use that information again once you walk away. I can definitely see his point and the rationalization behind it, but how would you get to know anyone new any other way?  It’s important to talk to people, even if it’s just for the day, because you never know who you’re going to meet.

Communicating and holding genuine conversations with one another is something we should all take time to do.  So much of our days are filled with work and facing a computer or TV screen that we forget that real people exist. All it takes is a single conversation to bring us back to reality.  I noticed that whenever I have a bad day or am in a terrible mood I don’t want to deal with people or exert the effort in sustaining any kind of conversation with anyone, let alone strangers, but when I do and it’s a positive exchange it has the ability to change my entire day.  That momentary lapse of negativity is all it took for it to disappear.

All it takes is one single conversation, with anyone, and your day could be better.  And the possibility of that one person being someone who could turn into a friend, client or employer isn’t so rare and for me, that’s never a waste of time.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/nh6AhK

How to: Discover new topics

12 Aug
When I discuss blogging with other new bloggers, I feel we all have the same problem: deciding what to write about.  This is probably the hardest and most time consuming process for me.  I’m so envious of those who never have a shortage of topics or run out of ideas because that my biggest problem.  Writing has always come easily to me, but coming up with a topic is where it gets tricky. When I hit a slump, here are somethings I do to get the ball rolling:

 

Reflect

Think about the past couple days and any occurrences or conversations you had with people that sparked your interest.   Many of the topics I’ve written about occurred that week.  Perhaps this isn’t the case with everyone, but when I re-read past posts I’m most satisfied with those in which I speak from personal experience and can relate the topics to myself.  I can’t deem myself an expert at anything because I haven’t done anything long enough to consider myself an expert at, but when I look back at my own experiences and consider what I’ve learned I know I have something to offer.

Search the interweb

I have a handful of blogs that I visit daily and they’ve been helpful at providing ideas and news articles that peak my interest.  The blogs I visit aren’t parallel to what I blog about, but they’re a great resource when I have a brain fart.  Peruse blogs that you’re interested in and maybe you’ll come across something that you have an opinion on or an experience you want to share.

Give it a rest

Today might just not be your day.  Try again tomorrow. Sometimes you just don’t have anything to write about and that’s ok.  Forcing a post is worse than waiting another day.  Constantly think about potential topics, but if none come to mind than there’s always another 24 hours worth of topics that may come your way.  However if you desperately want to post something, just start typing away and edit later.  Something good will eventually result.
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/qIBd44, http://bit.ly/nFpme1, http://bit.ly/qCyDLn

Yelling gets you nowhere

10 Aug


I love animals.  I think it’s safe to say that I like animals more than I like a lot of people.  Yet, when I say animals I mean dogs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m an equal opportunity animal lover, but dogs are by far my favorite.  However, Mr. Kelley has cats.  As in multiple felines.  In the beginning this posed a problem for two reasons: 1) Cats aren’t my favorite and 2) I’m allergic to their never-ending shedding. However, today problem number 3 became evident: they don’t respond to scolding like dogs do.  I can’t just raise my voice and yell at them when they do something wrong because they just look right through you with their moon-pie eyes and pretend like you’re not even there. And then it occurred to me why he likes his cats so much: like owner, like pet.  Mr. Kelley, like I’m sure most people (and apparently cats), don’t like getting yelled at.

Most people tend to shut down when someone is in their face scolding them loudly.  My last post was about getting someone to apologize and explaining why what they said/did was hurtful, but how you go about it makes all the difference.  Perhaps you deal with people who do respond to yelling and loud noises and in that case you’re one of the lucky ones because in my experience that hasn’t really worked well. No one likes to feel belittled or bullied and you’re definitely not going to get anywhere with someone who walks away from you’re yelling. So it’s important to consider who you’re communicating with and what their listening and conversing style is.  Yes, they’re the one who made you mad so who gives a crap what their style is, right?  As I’ve mentioned before, communication is a two-way street.  If you’re talking, you’re going to need someone to listen and if you’re not speaking in a way they understand than you’ve just wasted your time.

It’s difficult to think clearly when you’re upset or hurt and it’s natural to want to lash out and yell, but use your breath in a much more constructive way.

You can use “I” statements

  • Instead of saying: When you make plans, you don’t take anyone else into consideration; you’re such a selfish asshole.
  • Say: I would appreciate it if you consider my plans because when you don’t I feel like you don’t care about me.

You can use examples

  • Instead of saying: You’re so rude when you walk away from me when I talk to you.
  • Say: Would you ever walk away from a customer at work when they’re trying to talk to you about something?  I think I deserve the same respect.

Avoid “always” and “never” statements

  • Instead of saying: You’re always late and you never call to let me know.
  • Say: It’s disrespectful to keep people waiting when you know that you’re going to be late.  I would appreciate a phone call letting me know if  you’re running a few minutes or hours behind so I can accomplish other things in my day.

These are all examples of what I’ve found helpful when dealing with arguments and to be quite honest, they don’t always work. The other person may not see things your way and there might not be a solution.  Just know that by handling it calmly and explaining your side you’ve already go the upper-hand. You won’t look back and feel like an a-hole for yelling at a person who probably tuned you out.

Side note: I found the best way to deal with the cat is to fling handfuls of water at her until she scurries away.  Too bad it’s not so easy when dealing with her owner.