A deep feeling of gratitude can emerge, as we open to the experience of being helped.
Most of us pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency. We like to be responsible for taking care of ourselves and pulling our own weight in the world.
This is why it can be so challenging when we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to rely on someone else.
This can happen as the result of an illness or an injury, or even in the case of a positive change, such as the arrival of a newborn.
At times like these, it is essential that we let go of our feeling that we should be able to do it all by ourselves and accept the help of others.
The first step is accepting the situation fully as it is.
Too often we make things worse either by trying to do more than we should or by lapsing into feelings of uselessness.
In both cases, we run the risk of actually prolonging our dependency.
In addition, we miss a valuable opportunity to practice acceptance and humility.
The ego resists what is, so when we move into acceptance we move into the deeper realm of the soul.
In needing others and allowing them to help us, we experience the full realization that we are not on our own in the world.
While this may bring up feelings of vulnerability, a deep feeling of gratitude may also emerge as we open to the experience of being helped.
This realization can enable us to be wiser in our service of others when we are called upon to help.
It takes wisdom and strength to surrender to our own helplessness and to accept that we, just like every other human being, have limitations. The gifts of surrender are numerous.
We discover humility, gratitude, and a deepening understanding of the human experience that enables us to be that much more
compassionate and surrendered in the world.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH –
The degree to which you open up to and embrace the life energy that you use as raw material for your thoughts and feelings.
EMOTIONAL HEALING –
Removing the gunk that clogs up and inhibits the flow of life energy moving through you.
A fusion of thought and feeling that expands your consciousness.
4 Out-of-the-Ordinary Compliments That Can Truly Flatter Someone
Life can be hard; why not make it a little bit more special for someone you love?
A heartfelt compliment can often feel like a helping hand.
It can boost our motivation when we feel like quitting, help us push through nightmare-inducing days, and remind us we’re special to someone out there.
But there’s a catch.
When trite and vague, compliments can harm instead of soothing.
Despite the complimenter’s best intentions, our self-doubt often raises alarms that make us question the compliment’s validity.
Instead of feeling flattered, we wonder about the complimenter’s agenda.
It’s no wonder, then, that a recent study concluded that the most flattering type of praise is specific. When
complimenting, pinpointing what truly makes someone stand out from the crowd is like offering evidence that drowns the receiver’s inner critic.
Most importantly, it makes people feel seen, which is the best type of compliment in itself.
That said, if you don’t know how to start making your compliments more specific, I’ve listed four that have blown my mind and brightened my days.
By far, these are the best compliments I’ve ever received. And after including them in my “compliment repertoire”, I’ve also made people I love smile from ear to ear.
Hopefully, they’ll feel like a helping hand to your loved ones as well.
“That Says a lot About how…”
The other day I reached out to a coworker because her mother was sick. Her response shook me.
“Thank you for asking,” my coworker texted back.
“That says a lot about how thoughtful you are.”
Had she only replied with the initial thank you, it would’ve already been specific enough.
But her response stuck with me for months because of the second phrase.
With it, she elevated me as a person.
She reminded me I’m good and thoughtful, which is something beautiful to do in a world where we often only share ugly news and gossip.
What shocked me the most, though, was that I didn’t question my coworker’s claim.
Though I normally snort in disbelief when someone calls me “thoughtful” (courtesy of my inner critic), since my coworker also mentioned the exact action she appreciated (me inquiring after her
mother’s health), my self-doubt evaporated.
After her text, I felt like Mother Theresa.
“You Walk the Talk.”
It’s no secret that many people like to “talk the talk” but never “walk it”.
That’s why complimenting someone when they actually come through can feel exhilarating.
Keeping promises can be hard, so when you tell someone, “You walk the talk” (after they’ve done it, of course), they’ll feel rewarded and valued.
Like before, they’ll feel good about themselves because their inner critic won’t be able to counter your evidence-based compliment.
But it’s more than that.
According to a recent study, moral outrage combined with action is attractive to long-term
relationship seekers. In other words, when someone acts upon their convictions, they become irresistible.
By praising someone’s “walk-the-talkiness”, you’re essentially making them feel good and sexy.
“They Must Be Very Proud of You for…”
Whether we admit it or not (and despite its disadvantages), we often crave someone’s validation.
No matter whom, there’s someone out there whose approval can brighten or ruin our days.
Once you know someone well, you can tell who their validation-kryptonite is, and you can use that knowledge to help them feel better when they’re experiencing both highs and lows.
By saying, “they (insert here whatever name or names) must be very proud of you for…,” you encourage the other person to think about their positive qualities and deeds.
Most importantly, you remind them they’re enough.
Plus, if you know everyone involved intimately, you can take this up a notch (as long as it’s sincere, of course).
For example, I spoke with my sister the other day about how I sometimes feel like a disappointment because I chose to teach and write over my engineering career.
“You’re wrong.” My sister shook her head.
“Mom is proud of you.
She’s told me several times.”
I still feel high after that conversation.
“It Means a Lot Coming From You.”
One of the many reasons I love my husband is that he’s constantly making me feel special and good and beautiful and smart.
The other day, we were talking about philosophy (we’ve spent too much time together during the pandemic), and he shared some brilliant insight he’d had after he read an article.
“That’s clever,” I told him after I rephrased what he’d said.
“Thanks.” My husband beamed, his chest puffed. “It means a lot coming from you.”
My husband grabbed my hand. “When someone smart tells you you’re smart, you feel Einstein-level smart.” (I told you my husband is amazing.)
By responding to someone’s compliment by saying it feels doubly special because of who they are, you’ll lift their mood for a day. Heck, a month.
Make Someone Feel Special Today
Life can be hard.
There will always be moments and comments that mine our self-esteem.
There will always be people determined to put us down.
So why not make an extra effort and offer an out-of-the-ordinary complement to someone you love?
It will make the other person feel special and lift your mood.
After all, the examples mentioned above share one crucial quality: gratitude, a well-documented practice that enhances our well-being and decreases negative emotions.
By using these four compliments, you’ll brighten a loved one’s day — and your own.
10 Fatal Mistakes that Kill Conversations
And how to avoid them.
Think about the people you enjoy talking to most. They make everyone feel better — a little smarter, a little calmer.
Now think about the ones you enjoy talking to least. It feels like a chore. The entire time, you just want it to end.
Afterward, you need a drink.
A good conversationalist is a good listener. They’re responsive. The best conversations have a few things in common — a mix of funny stories, factoids, anecdotes, observations, and questions. Or
if they’re serious, they show sincerity and respect. That’s pretty much it.
A good conversation is simple, and it’s actually not hard with a little practice. You don’t have to light everyone’s minds up with witty banter. You don’t have to be a conversation genius.
In fact, trying to is what normally kills conversation.
Mainly, you just have to avoid irritating people. Like great conversations, the worst ones also have a handful of things in common — usually it’s someone using conversation as a means to another
1. Trying too hard to get something out of it
The worst thing you can do in a conversation is push an agenda. People know when you’re talking to them just to get something.
How to fix it:
Don’t ask for anything. Even if you’re talking to someone you want something from, don’t ask. Wait for them to offer.
If you have to ask, do it later.
2. Trying to bullshit everyone
Some wannabe entrepreneurs call this a skill. It’s not. The second you pretend to know more than you do, people can tell. They’re usually just too polite to call you on it. Or they just write you
Here’s how to fix it:
Get comfortable with asking questions, and saying, “I’m not sure.” Faking expertise loses way more respect than taking on the role of a novice. Besides, that’s how you become an expert in the
3. Making it all about you
A selfish talker will use anything you say as a jumping off point into their own stories. They’ll ask the most random questions like, “Have you ever been to Egypt?” or “Have you read Infinite
Jest?” Because they have, and they want to tell you all about it. They also offer way too much information, and name drop like crazy. Anyone who does this only wants a spotlight.
Here’s how to fix it:
Don’t walk into a conversation with the goal of telling your favorite stories or sharing your most precious knowledge.
Let a conversation follow its own path. Let other people talk and tell their stories. Responses will pop into your head. If you remember a story or some piece of information in the moment, that’s
the thing you should share. It should come spontaneously.
4. The dreaded humble brag
Everyone feels tempted to share good news, or just promote themselves. We’re all good at something. We’ve all done exciting things. Most of us get engaged, married, or promoted.
The problem is when you get so focused on your good news, you assume nobody else has ever done anything meaningful with their lives. You assume up front they won’t be happy for you. That’s when
you immediately try to downplay the big news you just shared. Trying to be humble usually comes off as arrogant and condescending.
Here’s how to fix it:
If you have good news, just spit it out. Humble bragging doesn’t work because it’s false modesty, and therefore a form of bullshit.
5. Kissing invisible ass
The person you’re sucking up to isn’t even there, but you’re talking about them in 3rd person like they’re Genghis Khan. There’s literally no point here except you’re so delusional you think this
person is omnipotent, or you’re so paranoid you think they bugged the room.
Most of us have probably crossed this line at some point.
Here’s how to fix it:
If you feel compelled to praise someone, try keeping it under one sentence. Be specific, and use understatement.
6. Dancing around the point
Everything you say should have a goal, and not just a selfish one. You should be trying to inform, entertain, or persuade.
We all hate it when someone tells long stories with a bunch of random details that don’t matter, or treat random trivia and gossip like some kind of groundbreaking truth or revelation.
Here’s how to fix it:
Remember that advice for writers — show don’t tell? Well, the opposite applies to conversation.
Keep your anecdotes short. If you’re worried about offending someone, then just don’t say what’s in your head. Say anything else.
7. Ignoring all body language
At least half of conversation happens through facial expressions and other cues. Misreading or ignoring a cue could mean you trap someone who’s trying to politely excuse themselves.
Here’s how to fix it:
Learn how to pick up on subtle cues. Buy a book on body language and facial expression. If someone looks uncomfortable, give them an easy out — or excuse yourself.
8. Refusing to ever pause
This is one of easiest mistakes to make. You get carried away with yourself and then don’t let up. One idea bleeds into the next. Before you know it, the person standing in front of you has turned
Here’s how to fix it:
Actually pause. Take a breath every now and then. See point #7. If someone opens their mouth, and you’ve been talking a lot, then wrap up your story and let them interject something.
Practice asking more questions. Actually wait for an answer. Stop trying so hard to fill all the little gaps.
9. Pointing out the super obvious
We all know that one guy who can’t seem to stop talking. Instead of coming up with new topics, though, he’ll fixate on something like the temperature. He’ll even turn political debates into the
simplest black and white issues — something you really can’t discuss. You find yourself saying things to them like, “Yeah the impeachment really is nuts, Bob.”
How to fix it:
If you can’t think of anything to say, then just stay quiet and listen. Trying too hard is what kills a conversation.
State the super obvious to yourself inside your head. Wait for something with a little more depth.
Get comfortable with silence.
10. Forcing advice on someone
When someone’s venting, they usually don’t want advice. There’s a good chance they’ve already tried what you’re about to suggest anyway. It’s even worse when someone pretends to know every detail
about your situation or trivializes it by saying something like “All you have to do is…”
How to fix it:
Just listen and prompt them for details. If you have a suggestion, then preface it by saying, “Have you tried X?”
Wait for them to actually ask for advice, or say something like “I just don’t know what to do.”
If you really want to help someone having a rough time, then offer to talk to them more about it later. Be modest. Say something like, “I’ve been through something similar, and I’d be happy to
tell you what worked for me.” That last part is crucial — it’s what worked for you.
Conversation isn’t that hard
All you have to do for a good conversation is show up and let go. Ask simple questions. Weekend plans. Hobbies. Books or articles they’ve read. Places they’ve been. Old jobs.
What’s their favorite drink?
It’s not the first question you ask, it’s the follow-ups — the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why). Get the other person to expand and elaborate. Why is it their favorite drink? When they did
first try it? Then you tell them your favorite drink. Before you know it, you’ve learned a lot about someone in just an hour — more than you thought possible.
The problem is that we walk into conversations with grand plans and expectations. We want to promote ourselves and look smart.
A conversation isn’t a dance-off. It’s a waltz. Some conversations are better than others. Sometimes they just die. But if you avoid these 10 laws, at least you won’t be the one
who killed it.
Introverted? Here's How to Be More Social
After reading this, you may have to clear that dance card.
By Stephanie L. King
Read the original story here: Introverted? Here's How to Be More
Your Opinions Are Not Facts
How to share your experience without forcing it on someone elseDon Johnson
There’s a lot to disagree about these days: politics, shutdowns, masks, travel restrictions, vaccines—you name it.
And then there are the more mundane disagreements in everyday life, the little things, like setting the thermostat.
Someone wants to turn it down.
You want it up.
Someone says, “It’s too hot in here.”
You say, “It’s not hot.
Before you know it, you’re in a silly argument.
None of us need more aggravation, especially right now.
In order to express yourself respectfully and diffuse arguments before they start, it’s important to understand the difference between facts, opinions, and toxic opinions.
A fact is a thing that is known or proven to be true:
- The Earth is round.
- Google is a search engine.
- Water is a simple molecule of positively charged hydrogen atoms and one large negatively charged oxygen atom.
An opinion is a view or judgment that depends on your assessment:
- I like pizza.
- I feel happy when I take a walk.
- I prefer to wear dark colors.
A toxic opinion is an opinion disguised as a fact:
- That project will never work.
- There’s a worldwide shortage of jobs right now.
- There’s no hope for a better life today.
Here’s why toxic opinions are problematic:
When someone says “It’s too hot in here,” it’s easy to get defensive because the statement excludes any possibility that your experience might be different.
It doesn’t consider that you might be cold.
“Too hot” is a relative term.
It’s not a universally accepted fact.
It might be cute when a child says “Brussels sprouts are gross.”
But it’s not cute when adults speak in toxic opinions.
Expressing an opinion disguised as a fact makes it toxic because it diminishes anyone else’s perspective.
This is how many arguments start: one person imposes their opinion on someone else.
The typical reaction is to push back aggressively, turning your own opinion toxic in response: “It’s not hot in here. I’m freezing!”
Toxic opinions invite defensiveness and open the door for arguments.
When I teach this concept to my clients, I ask them to argue with me.
I say, “The room is hot.”
They say, “No, it’s not.
The room is fine.
What’s wrong with you, anyway?”
Then I say, “Argue with me now: ‘I feel hot.’” I get blank looks.
People try to argue, but it’s impossible to argue with “I feel hot.”+ You can disagree by saying “I feel cold,” but that’s not arguing.
That’s just stating how you feel.
By saying “I feel hot,” I’m not suggesting everyone else should feel that way.
I’m merely describing how I feel and what I’m experiencing.
“I” statements demonstrate personal ownership, accountability, and taking responsibility. By using an “I” statement, you can defuse an argument before it happens.
Research has shown that “I” statements can reduce defensiveness and aggression.
Toxic opinions invite defensiveness and open the door for arguments.
Arrogance and believing one version of reality—yours—is the only possible view that underlies toxic opinions and could be the single largest creator of arguments.
There are two types of toxic opinions: impersonal and personal.
- “Conservatives don’t care about the poor.”
- “Technology is ruining our lives.”
- “Wealthy people are selfish.”
- “You’re lazy and leave all the housework up to me.”
- “You don’t listen to me.”
- “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”
You can rephrase a toxic opinion by saying “I think…,” followed by supporting facts or by stating what you experience and how you feel.
An opinion or your point of view, when grounded by the facts as you see them and the knowledge that others may see it differently, is a powerful, direct, and respectful way to communicate.
It’s empowering to say, “Look, this is my opinion on the subject.
You may disagree, but I want you to know what I think.”
For example, “I feel hot.
The thermostat says it’s 75 degrees in here,” expresses your experience and states a fact. “I think technology is ruining lives.
I read a study from Harvard citing cellphone use by small children reduces cognitive brain function.” “When we agree to sit down to watch TV together, and you get on your iPad, I feel disrespected
The purpose of an opinion is not to prove someone wrong or convince them of your point of view.
The goal is to speak truthfully and accurately about what you know or believe without discounting others’ experiences.
Without opinions, we would have no creative dialogue or problem-solving. We would be empty shells with little or nothing to say.
Instead of creating defensiveness, an opinion invites dialogue, because you take responsibility for your point of view by saying, “I think, I believe, I propose, I suggest.”
When you speak this way, it encourages others to do the same. Whether they follow your lead is up to them.
You’ve done your part.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we all have the right to express our point of view.
We may agree with each other or not.
But no one is entitled to impose their opinion on anyone else—whether about politics or the thermostat.
My wife and I have had numerous conversations about the thermostat in our house.
She often feels hotter than I do, and we’ve had our moments.
Now I wear an extra layer on cold days.
She dresses more lightly.
When she says, “It’s too hot in here,” I smile and say, “Oh, so you’re feeling warm?
Let’s turn it down for a bit.”
She looks at me and laughs and says, “Right, I am feeling warm.”
I smile because even though we both teach this stuff for a living, we don’t always get it right.
We’re just humans, after all, living, learning, and trying to be the best versions of ourselves.
5 Questions To Ask When Getting To Know Someone
A practical guide to creating meaningful relationships.Matt Lillywhite
How often are you lost for words during a conversation?
If you’re anything like my former-self, your response will be something along the lines of “all the time.”
We all want to have incredible relationships and connect with other people on a meaningful level. But the problem is that we don’t know how to start.
Consequently, you overthink every message, response, and your mind goes into overdrive as to whether the other person is genuinely enjoying the conversation.
Throughout my life, I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times.
But I’ve discovered that asking the right questions during a conversation is equally important as giving a meaningful response.
In the words of Tony Robbins:
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
So below are several questions that have massively improved the quality of my conversations.
Each one of them enabled me to generate meaningful relationships, and I hope they do the same for you, too.
What’s Your Story?
Asking open-ended questions is an excellent way for someone to reveal different aspects of their life, and talk about whatever subjects they enjoy.
Research shows that we love talking about ourselves.
Quoting an article from Psychology
Today: “talking about oneself activates the same areas of the brain that light up when eating good food, taking drugs and even having sex.
Simply put, self-disclosure is gratifying.”
So if you’re able to make someone feel good by talking about themselves, the probability of developing a relationship and establishing a meaningful connection is much higher.
Which Of Your Friends Or Family Do You Look Up To Most?
Seneca says, “you can tell the character of every man when you see
how he gives and receives praise.”
When you’re able to understand why someone gives respect, their core values in life quickly become evident.
Throughout my life, my mom has been at the epicenter of my respect.
Having raised me & my little brother as a single parent, she’s always aimed to act in our best interest.
Earlier this year, she got diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Despite living in New Zealand at the time, I decided to fly back to the UK, so I could be with my family while she was having surgery &
Take a moment to think about someone that you look up to with enormous amounts of respect.
And whenever you find yourself in a conversation, ask the other person to do the same.
You’ll discover that it’s a genuinely humbling mental exercise.
What Book Had The Greatest Impact On Your Life?
I’ve discovered that you can tell a lot about someone by the type of books they read.
After all, the kind of content we consume is what helps to shape our thoughts & identity.
Several months ago, my mental & physical health took a turn for the worse.
I was unsure how to escape my constant negative way of thinking and quickly plunged into a spiral of depression.
But while exploring the Calgary public library, I found a book titled “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday.
Using examples from ancient philosophy, the lessons from that book helped me to change my perception of adversity, overcome my negative mindset, and live a much happier life.
Occasionally, you might find a book that completely turns your life around and enables you to live with a renewed sense of fulfillment.
So asking people which book changed their life might help to improve yours, too.
What’s An Obstacle You’re Currently Afraid Of Facing?
the former Roman emperor, once said: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
A great truth of life is that fear comes from uncertainty.
However, you can also use fear as a motivator to grow as a person and overcome any obstacle that stands in your way.
For example, I used to be afraid of talking to strangers in public.
But once I overcame my fear and began having conversations, my self-confidence massively increased as a result.
We don’t like to talk about the things which scare us.
But whenever you have a conversation about fear, remember that embracing it can give you the courage to change the narrative in your head that’s preventing you from succeeding.
If You Could Restart Life, What Would You Do Differently?
Regret is something that we all experience, but often don’t want to face as it forces us to admit our mistakes.
However, I’ve found that when you reflect on your past, it provides an opportunity to reverse course and prevent the same errors from happening in the future.
Lewis Carroll said it best:
“We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”
When you become emotionally vulnerable about the past and tell your regrets to someone else, it immediately creates a feeling of trust between you both.
So if you want to have a thought-provoking conversation, talking about regret will help you to look back on the past and discuss ways to improve the future.
Creating meaningful relationships begins with the art of asking better questions, and listening with the intent to understand whatever the other person says during the conversation.
In the words of Epictetus:
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Remember: To generate meaningful relationships, all you need to do is listen.