Posts tagged: Relationships

Video: Why talking to strangers is easier than you think


It doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that talking to strangers has become more difficult. With a million devices in hand and a million distractions to boot, the art of small talk feels increasingly lost to our digital networks.

And this is bad! According to recent studies, not only are artificial encounters like social media detrimental to our overall happiness, but they often come at the expense of activities like engaging with strangers and meeting new people in real life. And, as more studies have shown, these activities are attributed to overall higher feelings of personal satisfaction.

The case for talking to strangers

The truth is that we are social creatures, who crave connections to other people. Even fleeting ones with strangers. To prove this point, Nicholas Epley, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, and a student conducted a study where public-transit riders were asked to engage with other
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What toddlers can teach us about working with picky people


On the fourteenth round of edits, I sat befuddled when she asked if we could return to the original edit of her document. As a freelance writer, I tend to encounter a perfectionist every once in a while.

But there are perfectionists and there are picky people. This client, she was the latter.

 

The difference between perfectionists and picky people

Perfectionists have a standard, are usually decisive, and often can express to you exactly what they want. Once you have an understanding of that person’s needs, you simply just deliver their vision of perfection as best you can. But picky people don’t really know what they want. Therefore, they can take you on a long, frustrating, journey of guesswork until they do.

At about the four-month mark for a project that should have taken one month, I decided to switch tactics and hopefully put the project to bed. The constant return of minuscule requests
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How to turn empathy into your secret strength


Growing up I was constantly labeled the “good listener.” Being a highly-sensitive person gave me the gift of being able to sense other people’s emotions, often without them saying a word. Over the years I’ve come to realize what a powerful strength empathy can be. Now as a coach and licensed social worker, it’s part of my job description.

 

What is empathy, really?

In a world where life is busy, complex, and filled with stress, empathy is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the ability to detect other’s emotions and understand their perspective. When we feel accepted and validated, it builds trust, heals, and leads to greater happiness.

Empathy isn’t reserved exclusively for our personal lives, either. It’s what you need to comfort a grieving co-worker, get people on board with your ideas, or diffuse tension
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How to escape the Drama Triangle


As everyone knows, conflict is an unavoidable part of any relationship. But do you ever feel like drama follows you everywhere you go? It can be frustrating (and tiring) to be trapped in unnecessary, overblown struggles on a regular basis, be it at work or at home.

But frequently having to deal with sagas doesn’t mean you’re cursed. Nor does it mean you’re weak or doomed to have dysfunctional relationships forever. You’re just caught in the Drama
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Why ‘sorry’ may actually be one of the hardest words


 Elton John, Chicago, Adele, and Justin Bieber all agree that it can be hard to say you’re sorry. What everybody else agrees on is that it can be absolutely infuriating when someone doesn’t apologize when you think they clearly should. Or, instead, when someone delivers one of those patently half-hearted non-apologies.

But if you’ve been on the receiving end of a lackluster apology (or never received an apology at all) for an offense, there might have been more than just stubbornness or selfishness at play.

One reason that some of us resist admitting fault has to do with the fact that apologizing can be a scary thing to do. It forces us to be vulnerable and it gives another person the power to reject our efforts to make something right. “Fear-based thinking leads us to believe that apologies are a sign of weakness,” we
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How to leave when you know it’s time to go


My first marriage was to someone who turned very quickly from composed, passionate, and loving into someone else. Helplessly, I watched as she struggled with countless and difficult challenges. She always perceived herself as a victim, suffered from low self-esteem, was absolutely terrified of abandonment, lived in constant chaos, and more.

How did I fall in love with and marry her? Aside from her two adorable kids, she had another complicating trait— she is a chameleon, always being who you want her to be. She became the woman I wanted to marry…only, beneath it all, she wasn’t really that someone.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on. But, at the same time, I came to love her two children; I became a father figure to them, which was something that I craved, and I thrived in that role.

Despite these reasons, it still took me three years
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How to negotiate a power struggle at work


Power struggles personify the worst kind of office politics. They sap energy. Distract from purpose. And hold the potential to derail success and happiness.

It’s the rare individual who actually enjoys a power struggle. Most of us want to do what we’re paid for, joke around with our colleagues, and feel like we’ve contributed.

That’s not so easy when emotions are running high. Empathy is replaced with an “us or them” mentality that can quickly escalate. Then we’re stuck either dodging bullets or picking sides. What other choice do we have?

The heart of the struggle

Power often evokes the image of a corner office where people in expensive suits lay down the law for the rest of us. But the reality is, power — and the fight for it — can come from anywhere.

To help us understand workplace struggles, and how to respond to them, we asked our colleague Sara Kalick
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