I’ve oftentimes heard people say, “What you do isn’t who you are.” To that I say,” Well it kinda is.” I understand that your job doesn’t define you because you, as a person, could “do” many things, but from my experience I’ve found that what people do for a living says much more about them than they think. One aspect in particular is their communication style. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with their learning style as well. People within specific industries communicate a certain way, not just with others within those industries but with everyone. This can be pretty frustrating when it comes to building, maintain and sustaining relationships with people different than you.
For example, I noticed people in sales are extremely personable. They get into details, care about personalizing each conversation and they’re wonderful at bullshit. On the other end of the spectrum are engineers, they’re matter-of-fact, to-the-point and would rather have facts than fluff. Depending on who you’re asking, one style is definitely better than the other but the important thing is being able to tailor your style to those around you. It’s not beneficial to or for anyone to simply choose one communication style and stick to it because you’re neglecting to consider the handfuls of people who aren’t the exact same as you are. Being open to speaking and adapting to others will greatly increase your chances at being effective communicators .
We all need support. Whether that comes in the form of friends or family, having people that support and listen to you is one of the most essential things we need in life. They may not always say what you want to hear, but they know what needs to be said. It may not be nice or sugar-coated, but if that’s what you’re looking for I’m sure there are a handful of other acquaintances that can easily tell you what you want to hear. The older I get the more I realize the vital importance it is for us to surround ourselves with good people who genuinely have our best interest at heart. They are the ones who know your flaws, imperfections and drawbacks, but love you know matter what. They love you not in spite of or despite of any of these things. They love you because of them.
My last post was about the importance of talking about your problems with others. This is when your support system really matters. Whether it’s relationship issues, work issues, or anything in between your support system will be the ones to point you in the right direction. They give advice that may seem obvious to you, but you might not want to hear. They’re also usually the only ones who have the audacity to tell you to pipe down when you’re making a big deal out of nothing. They are the ones who you call over and over again with the same problem, knowing that they’ll always answer. What they say may be a hard pill to swallow, but you do because you know they only want what’s best.
Sometimes you just need to vent. I know there are people who are perfectly content keeping their issues to themselves, but I’ve never been one of those. At times I wish I could just keep my problems to myself and just deal with it on my own, but most of the time I realize that talking things out and discussing problems that bother me with other helps me in a million ways. Opening up to friends or family gives you insight into your problems that you may not have had. It’s cathartic. Sometimes, the more you talk about it, the better you feel. It may seem counterproductive to talk about your problems over and over, but sometimes that what you need to do to recognize what’s really wrong and that’s the key to finding a solution.
Keeping everything bottled up may seem like a good idea initially, but you can’t keep it in forever. Problems will inevitably surface and by then it may be too late to look for a solution. This is unfair to yourself and to those who may be involved. Problems don’t simply go away because they aren’t acknowledged. In the long run, it’s best to identify what the issues are, talk about it with those you trust and find a solution to improve the situation.
Why do we always believe the worst about ourselves? No matter how good you know you are or what amazing things you know you’re capable of, why is it that the criticisms always win out? Whenever compliments are given or kind words are exchanged why do we usually have the knee-jerk reaction to reject them? Surely it can’t be because the majority of us have low self-esteem, so what makes us automatically believe the bad things but think the good things are fallacies?
It’s so easy to understand the negative things about ourselves because we are our own worst critic. I think we each strive to be better with each day and continual improvement is a never-ending process, so when people acknowledge positive things about you your automatic reaction is to reject it. We continually think that we can be smarter, kinder, more generous, more attractive, etc. When in reality maybe we’re fine the way that we are. Sometimes changes aren’t necessary. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, I know, but perhaps who we are is pretty freakin’ great. Not everyone is going to appreciate everything about you, but when you come across those that do revel in it and belive it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better, but there’s also nothing wrong with acknowledging that there are things about you that are good, aspects that should remain unchanged and traits that deserved to be recognized.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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