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What Makes A Great Leader?

Have you ever thought about what makes someone a great leader?

Is it charisma? Or rock solid self-confidence? Or maybe leadership is about seeing the big picture and being able to communicate this vision to other people?

If you think that this topic does not concern you, because your direct job responsibilities do not include leading other people, than think again.

Whether you want it or not, there will be times when you will have to lead other people. In fact, if you are a parent you are already a full-time role model, because your kids expect you to guide, support and inspire them (or at least that is what they should be doing).

Similar, if you ever want to get a job promotion, open your own business or become an authority in any field, then you will have to step up and become a leader. And not just a leader, but someone, who people respect, look up to and willingly follow.

Wouldn’t it be great if other people stopped questioning your decisions, pretending not to hear your requests or becoming defensive every time you ask them to do something?

Maybe you are already a great leader, but just in case take a look at the most important, yet rarely practiced leadership quality.

The truth about what makes a great leader.

Humility.

Say what? How can being humble help anyone become a better leader? We often ask this question, because we associate humility with weakness and often low self-esteem.

But if you take a few minutes to think about the great leaders you’ve met in your life, be it your dad or someone who you consider your mentor, you will realize that these people are very humble.

This is why you liked them in the first place. This is why they triggered your inner motivation and desire to do better.

It is not just my opinion. There is tons of scientific research that shows why humility is so important when it comes to leading other people.

If you are a humble leader, you will automatically:

• lead by example
• admit your mistakes
• recognize your followers’ strengths

What makes a great leader is not authority, but influence. The more people respect and genuinely like you, the more weight you will have when it comes to making decisions and motivating others.

If you try to show superhuman abilities or put yourself into a “I am superior to you” position, the chances are that you will be seen by others as pretentious or fake.

Unfortunately, many bosses that have every other quality to be great leader completely miss this point. This is why every 38 seconds someone in the world searches for “my boss is a jerk” term. So this problem seems to be universal.

Reference: http://www.arinanikitina.com/what-makes-a-great-leader.html

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Accept the fact that some things can always be changed

One thing that you can always change is your perception of, and reaction to, everything that happens in your life. It’s your life, you own it and that means that you have the power and the freedom to decide the meaning and value of every experience.

Many people are so locked into reaction mode that they fail to recognize their own ability to control their response. This mindset is a huge source of stress. Nobody makes us mad or happy, we choose those feelings. When we decide to exercise the ability to choose our emotional response, we tap into a huge source of personal power. We are not victims of our circumstances unless we choose to be.

Try this: The next time you feel like “reacting” instead of responding, ask yourself: “What else could this mean?” Then come up with three alternate meanings and choose the one that feels the most empowering. Now respond to that. Doing this will transform a stressful reaction into a successful response.

Reference: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/how-to-turn-stress-into-success/

Martial arts promotes positive thinking and in turn helps with general well being http://www.shudokanaikido.co.uk

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How to Turn Stress Into Success

What if you could take stress and turn it into success. Wouldn’t that be a better way to use your energy? Sometimes a simple shift in the way we direct our energy and focus can radically alter the way we experience life.

Often times, we don’t really need more time and energy. We just need to shift the way we are using what we already have. Let’s look at specific ways that we can create such a shift.

Step 1: Accept the fact that some things can’t be changed

We can’t change the past, period. Worrying about it will only create stress. One of the best things you can do for yourself is accept that fact. Everything that has happened in your life up to this point is history, it’s completely unchangeable. One of the biggest ways to waste your time and energy is to fret over the past; it’s gone so let it go.

Looking back at missed opportunities won’t recreate them. Feeling guilty over past mistakes doesn’t serve you. Harboring any kind of negative energy toward yourself or others over things that have already happened will only leave you feeling drained and frustrated. It is a complete waste of vital force to hang on to any negative emotional anchors from the past.

Try this: Make a list of any past events, situations, relationships, or mistakes that you feel bad about. Write them all down along with the negative feelings attached to them. When you are done, read each item and then ask yourself: “What do I need to do to get closure here?” If you need to apologize to someone, go do it. Most of the time all you need for closure is to let it go.

Once you’ve answered that question for each item, tear the list up and throw it, and those negative feelings, away. It’s trash and that’s where you should put it. The next time you are tempted to revisit those feelings or events, tell yourself “no emotional dumpster diving.”

Reference: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/how-to-turn-stress-into-success/

To be continued….

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3 Ways to Turn Challenges into Opportunities

1) Turn your challenge into a game. When we take life too seriously, it’s easy to overreact to situations. Why not turn it into a game instead? If you tend to react negatively to challenges, try imitating somebody who always reacts positively. Make a game out of it, put yourself in character, play the role until you establish a new response pattern.

Role-playing makes it much easier to break ingrained habits then trying to tackle them head-on. It also makes the whole process more fun. You might feel self-conscious imitating somebody else, but trust me, no one will notice. What they will notice is how you respond positively to challenging situations. In return, they will respond to you in a positive way, and everybody feels better.

2) Use leverage! Leverage means that you exert the greatest amount of control with the least amount of effort. The time to do this is during the first few moments when you are faced with a new challenge. Once you start down a negative road, it is much more difficult to reverse your course. If you control your first step, you start out in the right direction, and it is much easier to maintain that direction.

This is true in all aspects of our lives. If you are a cookie monster (like me) and you’re trying to exercise control over your cravings, where is the best place to do that? If you said, “at the store,” then you are absolutely right. If you don’t bring the cookies home, you won’t be tempted to eat them. If you don’t take them off the shelf and put them in your cart, you won’t be tempted to buy them. So, the simple act of leaving them on the shelf gives you the greatest leverage for controlling your cravings.

In the same way, weighing a situation before we respond to it gives us the greatest leverage in determining the outcome. In other words, leave the negative response on the shelf.

3) Liberate yourself – Accept responsibility! The first step is to recognize that we are in control. We need to accept responsibility for our responses, and recognize that they assert a powerful influence on our life. How many times have you heard someone say, “That’s just how I am, I can’t help it.” Until we accept responsibility we won’t have any reason to change.

Accepting responsibility is a wonderfully liberating experience. It puts us in the driver’s seat of our own life. That means that we are in control, and we can change direction anytime we want to. It is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.

Some people shy away from responsibility because it brings with it accountability. So let me ask you this, is it more empowering to be accountable for your own actions and attitudes, or to make somebody else responsible?

You see, when we give away accountability we create a state of helplessness. So I encourage you, liberate yourself – accept responsibility.

Reference: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/turn-your-challenges-into-opportunities/

Shudokan Black Belt Academy, a More Positive Experience – Aikido Nottingham

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Self Development

We all want to live full, productive lives, but sometimes, we just don’t know where to begin. There is so much information ‘out there’ that it can be overwhelming and hard to sort out. Depending on the problem, what seems to work for one person, may not necessarily work for everyone.  There are so many different programs, strategies and techniques, that it’s hard to chose the right one.

One thing, however, is certain. If we want to accomplish anything in life and realize our full potential, we must have some skills – in this case, life skills.

Learning about and applying the 9 Essential Life Skills will help you. It will help you to:

  • Attain personal satisfaction and fulfilment.
  • Live life more consciously and deliberately
  • Know and understand yourself better

Often, the hardest part in any endeavour is getting started, however once you do, there is a surprising snowball effect. You will begin to feel good about what you’re doing and you’ll want to continue. You will want to keep improving yourself and you’ll want to become the best that you can be.

As you continue on the journey of personal development, you will become aware that there is so much more knowledge and information to be discovered, and uncovered, than you ever thought possible – knowledge about yourself, knowledge about others, knowledge about life and the world around you.

Why are these skills essential?

Because without having developed them, you will always feel that something is missing in your life. What good is all the financial success in the world if you don’t have self-confidence, know who you really are, what you want, or what you’re doing here? We’ve all witnessed many outwardly successful and famous people who have not been able to find personal happiness. No amount of fame or fortune could fill the void they felt inside.

Therefore, in order to enjoy the fruits of any achievement we must first be happy with ourselves and possess the following:

A healthy Self-Concept – which includes the three skills of:
1. Love Yourself
2. Know Yourself
3. Be True To Yourself.

The Critical Thinking that is needed to work on developing and honing the rest of the skills including:
4. Acceptance
5. Sense Of Humor
6. Have An Open Mind
7. Perspective
8. Resilience
9. Having A Personal Value System.

Personal development is an ongoing process and journey. ‘You already possess everything you need to become great’ Crow proverb

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

I’d like to share an inspiring story by an incredible man…

 

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7 Tips to Make You Happier

Would you like to be happier? I’ve gathered 7 tips you can put into practice immediately for more happiness in your life. The trick is to take what you believe will work for you right now, put it into practice, and build on your successes. You needn’t always be grins but I’m hopeful that you’ll get a few more with the following insights. Enjoy!

1. Listen to your inner child

I wonder sometimes what would happen if we all pursued the art of being a goofball. If both sides of a debate dropped their pickets and traded knock-knock jokes instead, what would change? Would we see each other differently? As opportunities, rather than problems?

2. Let some plans go

Giving up goals works in any area of your life. Take health and fitness: I used to have specific fitness goals, from losing weight or body fat to running a marathon to increasing my squat. Not anymore: now I just do it because I love it, and I have no idea where that will take me. It works brilliantly, because I always enjoy myself.

3. Be grateful for something every day

One benefit of being grateful and expressing your appreciation to others is the reciprocal nature of such things. The natural response to somebody saying, “thank you” or “wow, I really appreciate you” is the discovery of reasons to respond in-kind. If you’re constantly finding things to be grateful for and sharing your discoveries with others, be assured that they’ll begin to notice things you do and express their gratefulness to you before long!

4. Reduce your exposure to negative media

If information isn’t helping you make decisions and only makes you feel miserable, why are you consuming it? Surrounding yourself with celebrity magazines and television shows featuring spoiled rich kids can fuel that urge to compare.

5. Nurture happiness where you find it

Be grateful for your joy, every day. Be in the moment with that activity, instead of having your mind drift elsewhere. Refresh your joy often, by starting over or approaching things from a new angle or doing something a bit differently. Find new people to share this joy with, people who love it as much as you.

6. Learn to say “NO!”

At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative.

7. Get and stay organized

The National Association of Professional Organizers estimates that a huge percentage of work days are lost to people looking for things they have misplaced.  Disorganization is the enemy of productivity, and it may even fuel procrastination.  A few minutes spent every night organizing papers, assignments, long-term deadlines and goals can pay off handsomely in higher well-being and accomplishments.

 What have you found makes you happier?

 

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The D-word

I found this weeks article by a strange route. As a Twitter user I naturally follow Steven Fry, I mean who doesn’t. And early on Friday he tweeted that The Telegraph had posted a great piece about Depression.  The article in question was written by James Rhodes and the original; can be found on the Telegraph’s site.

Bravo to MPs who admit their struggles with depression: the disease is awful enough without the stigma

So MPs battle with stress and depression. This is, apparently, news. Of course they do. As do bankers, soldiers, rock stars, porn stars, surgeons, welders, schoolchildren and royalty. Depression, like alcoholism, is the great social equaliser, respecting neither age, wealth nor race.

Alain de Botton tweeted yesterday that: “Politics [is] a cycle of disenchantment with people one should never have hoped so much from in the first place”. A valid and just point to my mind. And yet how courageous, how shockingly honest for a number of MPs to “out themselves” as suffering from depression, especially in a culture where admitting as such is only very slightly above admitting that one has herpes.

As with all mental illness there is, still, a stigma surrounding depression. Even the word “depression” is depressing, conjuring up images of Sylvia Plath, squalid bedsits, drawn curtains and the bedraggled, unwashed, unemployed wretched. Perhaps for some people it also brings to mind images of work-shy masses on benefits, finding any available excuse to avoid employment and claim disability allowance.

And as with any stigma, the solution to ridding oneself of it is in the understanding of it. Sadly, in my experience, this is almost impossible without going through it oneself, which is why perhaps it is still something of a taboo subject cultivating a “pull yourself together” mentality that serves only to further propagate the myth of depression-as-self-imposed-weakness .

In the immortal words of Kay Redfield Jamison, one of my great heroes whose book An Unquiet Mind should be required reading for everyone:

Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re ‘not at all like yourself but will be soon,’ but you know you won’t.

And this is why understanding it, and thereby destigmatising it, becomes, dare I say it, impossible unless you have wrestled with the black dog yourself. And this raises yet another problem which only increases ill will and resentment; depression has become a kind of exclusive “club”, where the membership fee is prohibitively expensive, albeit unnegotiable, for most (marriages, jobs, hospitalisations, scars, family estrangement) and those who haven’t joined feel, perhaps understandably, aggrieved by the “special and different” brigade of shouty “you don’t know how terrible it is to suffer from depression” people.

Yes, it’s terrible. As is cancer, long-term unemployment, Piers Morgan’s Twitter follower count, diabetes, divorce and the majority of reality TV shows. But none of those things is stigmatised and those who have suffered from them do not have to “admit” to it. There is no admission of being divorced, but there is definitely an admission of suffering from depression, as if it were some mental crime for which they (the afflicted) are responsible for.

What is necessary to combat the stigma surrounding depression is a humble and honest relating of the experience of it. Nothing more, nothing less. Witness Stephen Fry’s The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive documentary as the perfect example.

For those who have and do suffer from depression, it has, with a bit of luck and the right support, the potential to be a life-changing positive experience. It was a shocking moment when, a few years ago, I suddenly understood for the first time that not only was killing myself a valid, indeed necessary choice, but that taking my young son with me also seemed equally valid. The (warped) reasoning was, perhaps obviously, how could I leave him in this world of hostility, pointlessness and terror when I could do both of us a favour and disappear forever? That for me was ground zero. The great bottoming out so painfully necessary to emerging from an episode of chronic depression. And having come out the other side, whilst not invincible, I’m armed with an (albeit sporadic) feeling of enormous inner strength that allows me to know absolutely that a good life is not only possible, but eminently achievable.

And yet it will only be when the thinking and behaviour of the depressed is met with kindness, empathy and compassion that the stigma surrounding depression will be on its way out. MPs sharing their experience in such an open manner is a step in the right direction.

I hope you enjoyed that, I know I did.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy, a more positive experience – Aikido Nottingham

 

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7 Simple Ways To Say “No”

Refusing someone’s request can be a really hard experience if you are feeling unconfident. So this week I have found an excellent piece on how to say no, and more importantly how to feel good about it. I found this article on Zenhabits.net.

Do you have difficulty saying “no”? Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself?

Well, you’re not alone. In the past, I was not good at saying “no”, because I didn’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.

For example, whenever I get requests for help, I would attend to them even though I had important work to do. Sometimes the requests would drag to 2-3 hours or even beyond. At the end of the day, I would forgo sleep to catch up on my work. This problem of not knowing how to say “no” also extended to my clients, business associates and even sales people.

After a while, I realized all these times of not saying “no” (when I should) were not helping me at all. I was spending a lot of time and energy for other people and not spending nearly as much time for myself. It was frustrating especially since I brought it upon myself. I slowly realized if I wanted personal time, I needed to learn to say “no”.

Why We Find It Hard To Say “No”

To learn to say “No”, we have to first understand what’s resisting us about it. Below are common reasons why people find it hard to say no:

  1. You want to help. You are a kind soul at heart. You don’t want to turn the person away and you want to help where possible, even if it may eat into your time.
  2. Afraid of being rude. I was brought up under the notion that saying “No”, especially to people who are more senior, is rude. This thinking is common in Asia culture, where face-saving is important. Face-saving means not making others look bad (a.k.a losing face).
  3. Wanting to be agreeable. You don’t want to alienate yourself from the group because you’re not in agreement. So you confirm to others’ requests.
  4. Fear of conflict. You are afraid the person might be angry if you reject him/her. This might lead to an ugly confrontation. Even if there isn’t, there might be dissent created which might lead to negative consequences in the future.
  5. Fear of lost opportunities. Perhaps you are worried saying no means closing doors. For example, one of my clients’ wife was asked to transfer to another department in her company. Since she liked her team, she didn’t want to shift. However, she didn’t want to say no as she felt it would affect her promotion opportunities in the future.
  6. Not burning bridges. Some people take “no” as a sign of rejection. It might lead to bridges being burned and relationships severed.

If you nodded to any of the reasons, I’m with you. They applied to me at one point or another. However, in my experience dealing with people at work and in life, I realized these reasons are more misconceptions than anything. Saying “No” doesn’t mean you are being rude; neither does it mean you are being disagreeable. Saying “No” doesn’t mean there will be conflict nor that you’ll lose opportunities in the future. And saying no most definitely doesn’t mean you’re burning bridges. These are all false beliefs in our mind.

At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative.

7 Simple Ways To Say “No”

Rather than avoid it altogether, it’s all about learning the right way to say no. After I began to say no to others, I realized it’s really not as bad as I thought. The other people were very understanding and didn’t put up any resistance. Really, the fears of saying no are just in our mind.

If you are not sure how to do so, here are 7 simple ways for you to say no. Use the method that best meets your needs in the situation.

1. “I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.”

If you are too busy to engage in the request/offer, this will be applicable. This lets the person know your plate is full at the moment, so he/she should hold off on this as well as future requests. If it makes it easier, you can also share what you’re working on so the person can understand better. I use this when I have too many commitments to attend to.

2. “Now’s not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?”

It’s common to get sudden requests for help when you are in the middle of something. Sometimes I get phone calls from friends or associates when I’m in a meeting or doing important work. This method is a great way to (temporarily) hold off the request. First, you let the person know it’s not a good time as you are doing something. Secondly, you make known your desire to help by suggesting another time (at your convenience). This way, the person doesn’t feel blown off.

3. “I’d love to do this, but …”

I often use this as it’s a gentle way of breaking no to the other party. It’s encouraging as it lets the person know you like the idea (of course, only say this if you do like it) and there’s nothing wrong about it. I often get collaboration proposals from fellow bloggers and business associates which I can’t participate in and I use this method to gently say no. Their ideas are absolutely great, but I can’t take part due to other reasons such as prior commitments (#1) or different needs (#5).

4. “Let me think about it first and I’ll get back to you.”

This is more like a “Maybe” than a straight out “No”. If you are interested but you don’t want to say ‘yes’ just yet, use this. Sometimes I’m pitched a great idea which meets my needs, but I want to hold off on committing as I want some time to think first. There are times when new considerations pop in and I want to be certain of the decision before committing myself. If the person is sincere about the request, he/she will be more than happy to wait a short while. Specify a date / time-range (say, in 1-2 weeks) where the person can expect a reply.

If you’re not interested in what the person has to offer at all, don’t lead him/her on. Use methods #5, #6 or #7 which are definitive.

5. “This doesn’t meet my needs now but I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.”

If someone is pitching a deal/opportunity which isn’t what you are looking for, let him/her know straight-out that it doesn’t meet your needs. Otherwise, the discussion can drag on longer than it should. It helps as the person know it’s nothing wrong about what he/she is offering, but that you are looking for something else. At the same time, by saying you’ll keep him/her in mind, it signals you are open to future opportunities.

6. “I’m not the best person to help on this. Why don’t you try X?”

If you are being asked for help in something which you (i) can’t contribute much to (ii) don’t have resources to help, let it be known they are looking at the wrong person. If possible, refer them to a lead they can follow-up on – whether it’s someone you know, someone who might know someone else, or even a department. I always make it a point to offer an alternate contact so the person doesn’t end up in a dead end. This way you help steer the person in the right place.

7. “No, I can’t.”

The simplest and most direct way to say no. We build up too many barriers in our mind to saying no. As I shared earlier in this article, these barriers are self-created and they are not true at all. Don’t think so much about saying no and just say it outright. You’ll be surprised when the reception isn’t half as bad as what you imagined it to be.

Learn to say no to requests that don’t meet your needs, and once you do that you’ll find how easy it actually is. You’ll get more time for yourself, your work and things that are most important to you. I know I do and I’m happy I started doing that.

Once again this was sourced from Zenhabits.net.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy, a More Positive Experience – Aikido Nottingham

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18 Common Phrases to Avoid in Conversation

Social faux-pas can be the bane of even the most skilled conversationalist. We all put our foot in it sometimes but this article I stumbled across proved to be very helpful. I found this on Realsimple.com, via Stumbleupon of all things.

18 Common Phrases to Avoid in Conversation

Some things should never be said―like these phrases. Here, what to say instead.

What Not to Say About Someone’s Appearance

1.

Don’t say: You look tired.”

Why: It implies they don’t look good.

Instead say:Is everything OK?” We often blurt the “tired” comment when we get the sense that the other person feels out of sorts. So just ask.

2.

Don’t say: Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight!”

Why: To a newly trim person, it might give the impression that they used to look unattractive.

Instead say:You look fantastic.” And leave it at that. If you’re curious about how they lost the weight, add, “What’s your secret?”

3.

Don’t say: You look good for your age.”

Why: Anything with a caveat like this is rude. It’s saying, “You look great―compared with other old people. It’s amazing you have all your own teeth.”

Instead say:You look great.”

4.

Don’t say: I could never wear that.”

Why: It can be misunderstood as a criticism. (“I could never wear that because it’s so ugly.”)

Instead say:You look so good in skinny jeans.” If you slip, say something like “I could never wear that…because I wasn’t blessed with your long legs.”

What Not to Say in the Workplace

5.

Don’t say: That’s not my job.”

Why: If your superior asks you to do something, it is your job.

Instead say:I’m not sure that should be my priority right now.” Then have a conversation with your boss about your responsibilities.

6.

Don’t say: This might sound stupid, but…

Why: Never undermine your ideas by prefacing your remarks with wishy-washy language.

Instead say: What’s on your mind. It reinforces your credibility to present your ideas with confidence.

7.

Don’t say: I don’t have time to talk to you.”

Why: It’s plain rude, in person or on the phone.

Instead say:I’m just finishing something up right now. Can I come by when I’m done?” Graciously explain why you can’t talk now, and suggest catching up at an appointed time later. Let phone calls go to voice mail until you can give callers your undivided attention.

What Not to Say During a Job Interview

8.

Don’t say: My current boss is horrendous.”

Why: It’s unprofessional. Your interviewer might wonder when you’d start bad-mouthing them. For all you know, they and your current boss are old pals.

Instead say:I’m ready for a new challenge” or a similarly positive remark.

9.

Don’t say: Do you think I’d fit in here?”

Why: You’re the interviewee, not the interviewer.

Instead say:What do you enjoy about working here?” By all means ask questions, but prepare ones that demonstrate your genuine interest in the company.

10.

Don’t say: What are the hours like?” or “What’s the vacation policy?”

Why: You want to be seen as someone who focuses on getting the job done.

Instead say:What’s the day-to-day like here?” Then, if you’ve really jumped through every hoop and time off still hasn’t been mentioned, say, “Can you tell me about the compensation and benefits package?”

What Not to Say About Pregnancy and Babies

11.

Don’t say: Are you pregnant?”

Why: You ask, she’s not, and you feel totally embarrassed for essentially pointing out that she’s overweight.

Instead say:Hello” or “Great to see you” or “You look great.” Anything besides “Are you pregnant?” or “What’s the due date?” will do. Save yourself the humiliation and never ask.

12.

Don’t say: Do you plan on breast-feeding?”

Why: The issue can be controversial, and she may not want to discuss her decision publicly.

Instead say: Nothing. Unless you’re very close, don’t ask. If you slip, make up for the blunder by adding, “And do you feel comfortable telling me?”

13.

Don’t say: Were your twins natural?” or “It must have been hard for your child’s birth parent to give him up.”

Why: You’re suggesting that natural conception is better than in vitro fertilization (IVF) or adoption.

Instead say: To a parent of multiples, try a light “Wow, you have your hands full!” To an adoptive parent, say the same stuff you would to any other parent: “She’s adorable!” or “How old is he?”

What Not to Say to a Single (or Newly Single) Person

14.

Don’t say: You were too good for them.”

Why: You are basically saying they have bad taste. And you’ll be embarrassed if they ever patch it up.

Instead say:Their loss!” It gets the same point across without disparaging their judgment.

15.

Don’t say: I’m glad you got rid of them. I never liked them anyway.”

Why: She’ll wonder about your fake adoration for them while they were together.

Instead say:I’m confident you’ll find someone who will give you exactly what you want.” It focuses on what’s to come, not on the dud you’re glad they’re done with.

16.

Don’t say: How could someone as perfect as you still be single?”

Why: A statement like this comes off as a backhanded compliment. What they hear is “What’s wrong with you?”

Instead say:Seeing anyone?” If they’re tight-lipped about their love life, move on to other topics.

What Not to Say During a Fight with Your Partner

17.

Don’t say: You always” or “You never” or “You’re a [slob, jerk]” or “You’re wrong.”

Why: Speaking in absolutes like “you always” and “you’re wrong” is playing the blame game, and resorting to name calling makes your partner feel helpless, which puts them on the defensive and makes a bad fight worse.

Instead say:I’m upset that you left the dishes in the sink again. What can we do so that this stops happening?” Starting with the pronoun I puts the focus on how you feel, not why they are in the doghouse, and it will make them more receptive to fixing the problem.

18.

Don’t say: “If you really loved me, you would...”

Why: The more you treat your partner as if they’ll never satisfy you, the less satisfied you’ll be. Controlling your partner by imploring them to do something isn’t a good way to build intimacy.

Instead say:I feel taken for granted when you don’t help around the house. I would feel better if we could…” The best way to keep a productive fight from becoming a dirty one is to be clear about why you’re upset and then offer a solution.

 

Once again this was sourced from Realsimple.com.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy, a More Positive Experience – Aikido Nottingham

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