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November 10, 2017 Have you ever wanted to improve the way you connect with others?
Start by understanding yourself. You are half of the equation. Get to know yourself better. Think about your tendencies. Recognize patterns as you interact in business, socially and with family members. That will help you develop a skill known as “theory of mind,” or empathy.
Self-awareness and empathy are intimately connected. Know who you are and how you react first. There is a difference between you and the folks you communicate with. Figure out what it is. Why? Because you will learn what makes them tick.
Not surprisingly, self-awareness and empathy are two of the main pillars behind emotional intelligence. Empathy is other-awareness. In other words, empathy is literally the direct counterpart to self-awareness.
Why is empathy important? If you just project your own perspective onto others you miss the boat. We are all different. It’s not like we’re from a stamping machine (place punch line here). See what the other person is like, how they think, what they like and dislike. Find common ground. Learn from others. In turn perhaps they will learn from you. Good students make good teachers.
Friend (in tears): Last week I lost my little dog. She was 12-years old.
Me: I don’t have a pet; haven’t had one since I was a kid.
Friend: It’s like I lost a member of my family.
Me: I feel your pain.
Whoa. I may feel sorry for my friend’s sorrow and express it, but empathy isn’t in the mix.
Surely you’ve heard the expression “I feel your pain” when somebody tries to express empathy. Unless they’ve been in the same situation they can’t feel the other person’s pain. Sympathy is different than empathy.
How can I improve my self-awareness, you may ask. Here are five effective ways to start you off. You can begin practicing them immediately.
Meditation can help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations. Seated and quiet even for five minutes is a good start.
Personality Quizzes (on-line everywhere)
Contemplation: Think before you speak. It will save you pain and time, you will feel smarter. Keep in mind that some things are not worth a response. Nod appropriately and move along.
Roleplaying – see above.
Talk Less Listen More (be sure to practice this.)
Most of us make more noise than we realize. Silence is not the enemy. Jungian theory tells us all the world’s problems occur because we are unable to sit quietly, undistracted in an empty room for one hour. No sleeping, no phone, no laptop, no music. Try it … then get the rest of the world to join you. Be invested in listening. Listen to what the talker is saying without interruption. Listening and being silent are gifts of strength.
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Terry Martin Ph.D
KNOW YOU, KNOW ME FIRST
November 10, 2017 I have a thing about people who say the right thing, then do the opposite. I’m not talking about politicians. That’s a whole different subject. I’m talking about folks who say they want to grow or prosper, but they resist change. Their aspirations are unattainable because their actions are 180 degrees from their goals.
Q: Do you have future plans?
A: “I want less stress in my life. That would make me happy. But people are against me. Nobody gives a hoot.”
I asked a simple question and got Act I from Hamlet. Thanks.
Life can be difficult, but help is on the way. Let’s discuss rituals - actions performed regularly to reduce anxiety, heighten confidence and develop self-discipline.
• Members of the U.S. Military make their beds, first thing every morning.
• Meditation and prayer to start the day play a positive psychological role.
• Athletes win a game and drive the same route the next day.
• Some people buy lottery tickets every day.
I’m not campaigning for obsessive-compulsive actions, merely suggesting you keep routine in a sacred and special place.
Nothing may seem to change, but you'll look back and see the power of daily rituals.
Integrity helps. Never settle for less than what you are capable of. Communicate clearly. Ask people for whatever you want or need. Speak the truth, even when you are judged. Behave in harmony with your morals and values. Make choices based on what you believe, not what others believe. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard, especially when nobody's looking.
Assess your self-talk. Mental strength is imperative. It’s a sign of toughness, not stubbornness.
Simplify everything. S-l-o-w things down.
Shed unnecessary clutter, negative influences and toxic relationships.
There is a difference between what you want and what you need. Be mindful of what is essential and what’s unnecessary. We outgrow things we thought we couldn’t live without. Eventually you will end up doing the right things.
Our label at birth is Human. Why change your label to Depressed, Divorced, Diseased, Rejected or Poor Human?
If anything, become a Dignified Human or Successful Human. How about Wild & Crazy But Fun to Be With Human?
Friends who appreciate you and think you are a good person are the ones to be with. Gravitate toward them.
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Why is That?
SAYING ONE THING,