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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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how to build better relationships
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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place?

Imagine what life would be like if you had the skills to completely avoid the majority of the arguments, disagreements, and confrontations you experience with the people in your life. You don’t have to run away from confrontation and bury your head in the sand in order to have peace in your relationships. There are simple steps you can take to develop your emotional awareness and intelligence to build stronger relationships that will help you navigate any communication landmines you find yourself in.

Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Check In

Even though the world is more connected than ever, feelings of loneliness are actually on the rise. UCLA conducted a study that found 76% of people exhibited serious signs of loneliness. Chances are, the people that you care about and the people who are important to you, are feeling lonely from time to time. One of the best things you can do for any relationship you have is check in to see how the other person is doing or feeling.

In a romantic relationship, this looks like putting your phone or computer down and giving your partner your undivided attention or asking them questions that give them the opportunity to open up to you. Questions like: 

  • How are you doing?
  • How are things going with work?
  • Did you have any wins today that we can celebrate together?
  • How are you doing with that thing you told me about last week?
  • You’ve got that thing coming up, how are you feeling about it?
  • Is there something I can do to support you better?

In a work relationship or friendship, the questions are similar, but you can initiate the conversation over the phone, text, email, or whatever way you best communicate with the other person.

Checking in gives the people in your life an opportunity to be heard, and gives you the opportunity to shift things before big problems arise. This keeps you on the same page and moving in the same direction.

2. Implement Communication Standards

Communicating isn’t something that most people consciously think about when they’re speaking or typing—it’s just something they do on autopilot. How often do you really think through how someone might perceive the emoji you just sent? Typically, not that often, which can create some miscommunications and unnecessary arguments because it puts you in responsive mode.

The most important communication standard to implement is “the benefit of doubt plus verification” process. This means that when you’re communicating with someone, you take the position of “this person cares about me and wouldn’t intentionally say something to hurt me”. This first step creates some space before responding when someone in your life says something that triggers you or hurts your feelings. When you have a moment to remember that this person wouldn’t intentionally hurt you, it reminds you to clarify what they said. This is how you do that: 

“Hey, I heard you say this. <Insert what they said>. And I took it to mean this <Insert what you believe they meant>. Is that what you were trying to get across?” More often than not, the other person will either clarify that the words you heard weren’t the actual words they said or that the meaning of the words was off the mark and they will explain.

Here’s why it’s important to keep your calm and verify: If you’re triggered and you go into why the other person is wrong or how they hurt you, it’s easy (and natural!) for the other person to get defensive. By verifying, you get to see where the communication breakdowns are happening and you get the opportunity to better understand each other. Wins all around.

3. Prioritize Growth

Growth is vital for success, especially in relationships. When things get stagnant, emotional bonds begin to break down. However, it’s important to avoid the self-help trap— that place where a lot of growth happens in your journal and you get massive “ah has!” during your reading time, but then it doesn’t translate into your actual behavior, expression, and relationships.

Here’s how to get all of your intellectual awareness implemented into your life, not just your talking points.

First, understand that patience is a non-negotiable. There are many moments where you’re going to be frustrated and you’re going to need to take a breather before actually communicating. That’s where your communication standards come in to support you.

Second, realize that your natural instinct is to defend yourself whenever your subconscious believes you’re under attack. When your emotions are triggered, it’s difficult for your mind to realize you’re not in physical danger. That’s why it’s easy to have an over-the-top reaction to something someone says to you instead of staying calm. By keeping this top of mind in your awareness, you can calm yourself down when you find yourself triggered and get out of defense mode.

Third, focus on finding solutions. Even if you end up in an argument, every conflict is an opportunity to make your relationship stronger. It’s easy to get along, play nice, and have surface relationships that don’t actually mean anything. But when you dig deeper and find places of divergence, you give yourself and the other person the opportunity to think about things differently, see other perspectives, and strengthen your love and respect for one another. How you handle conflict is more important than never getting into conflict in the first place.

These are the three foundations to strengthening your emotional awareness and intelligence so you can find more success in your relationships. It all starts with you, and when you learn the secrets to navigating your relationships with patience, understanding, and acceptance, you’ll find yourself surrounded with quality connections that truly last.

Bas Waijers & Priska Baumann are spiritual mentors, as well as life and relationship coaches guiding women who have found success in their business to find, keep, and deepen the love of their life. Women come to them lost, confused, and afraid of losing themselves in yet another relationship that doesn’t last. Using their more than 5 years of experience in communication, relationships, and spirituality, Bas & Priska help successful single women end patterns of romance sabotage so they can have a conscious, empowered love relationship that stands the test of time. If you are interested in attracting true love into your life, click here to learn how.

Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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Life

6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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how to increase your creativity faster
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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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Life

3 Psychological Facts That Can Unleash Your Inner Power

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how to unleash your inner power
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Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams. (more…)

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