A simple gesture can sink you without you ever having to say a word
By Jeremy Brown/YyourTangocom
Ever get the feeling that people find you to be cold, defensive, or unapproachable? Or that, your spouse finds you to be combative when you’re simply trying to hear them out? Your body language might be to blame.
You might be sabotaging your personal and professional relationships with an unconscious shrug, arm-cross, or tilt of the chin. Such simple, non-verbal gestures and actions send the wrong signals and turn people off, making conversations difficult and unwittingly alienating people around you.
1. Crossing Your Arms
This can be interpreted as a signal that you’re closed off and not willing to listen to what others around you have to say. Alison Henderson, a certified non-verbal behavior expert in Movement Pattern Analysis, says that the gesture can sometimes have benign origins (you’re cold, you’re sitting in a chair without arms), but can speak volumes because of the stigma associated with it. “The perception is the important part. They may think that a gesture is harmless because they don’ t mean anything by it, but it’s how it’s perceived that becomes the issue.”
Holding your head high can give the impression of confidence, but it can also make you appear condescending. This can also be true if a man remains standing while talking to someone who is seated. “The perception is, you’re lording over me or you’re looking down on me,” Henderson says. “And, just aesthetically, because of the Adam’s Apple, accentuating the neck isn’t as flattering anyway!”
3. Pointing Your Finger
Pointing is a pretty common gesture, whether you’re trying to emphasize your statement or gesturing to something on a document. But the fact is, it can come across as aggressive and rude, making the other person feel as though they’re being lectured. And because it’s an unconscious movement, it’s something you should have someone make you aware of. “Then you can sort of backtrack and say, ‘OK, it’s when I’m talking about this or when I reach a certain excitement level,’” says Henderson. “Because you’re proving your point, you usually add weight to the gesture as well, so it comes across as even more aggressive.”
4. Poor Posture
Sitting with slumped shoulders and your head down conveys vulnerability and weakness and can make people lose confidence in you. “Posture has declined, particularly with handheld devices and all of that kind of crouching and head down and shoulders hunched,” says Henderson. “I tell people to think about their sternum and just lift it like two or three inches. You look more confident, you feel more confident. Any kind of hunched shoulders or roundedness is seen as a weaker position.”
5. Steepling Your Fingers
6. Shaking Hands the Wrong Way
If you shake hands, don’t put your hand on top of the other person’s. “That’s a big no-no,” says Henderson, “because that’s a power play that shows, ‘I think I’m superior to you.’ If you shake a woman’s hand and you turn her hand under yours, we’re more apt to notice now and think, ‘Oh, OK. Power play. I’ve got your number.’ And immediately the perception has gone down because they think you’re trying to take the upper hand.”
7. Checking Your Phone
There was a time when this might go without saying, but these days, the compulsion to grab for that device in our pocket sometimes becomes to hard to ignore. But in social or professional situations when your attention is expected, this behavior makes you seem rude, uninterested, and harms relationships. “It makes it seem like you have no interest in what’s going on here,” says Backe. “No interest in this interaction.”
8. Talking too Close
This is an oldie, heavily referenced on Seinfeld, but it remains a key thing to avoid when interacting with other people. “It’s something to be aware of,” says Henderson, “It’s on you to notice. Listen with your eyes and notice when someone has pulled away from you or has taken a step back or needs more personal space. If they’re leaning away from you, honor that and let them have their space.”
By: Maddie Stone\Mother Jones
Electric vehicles (EVs) have a clear environmental advantage over their gas-guzzling counterparts, but when it comes to longevity, the two are in a dead heat. Two hundred thousand miles is considered a good long run for a car built today, regardless of whether it’s powered by a lithium battery or an internal combustion engine. But if a flurry of recent reports are to be believed, EVs may soon surge ahead in this long-distance competition—not by mere thousands of miles, but by 800,000.
Recently, multiple EV battery makers have announced the imminent arrival of “million-mile” batteries, power packs that supposedly have enough juice to be driven to the moon and back twice. In May, a top executive at General Motors said the company was “almost there” on development of a million-mile battery; in June, Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) told Bloomberg it was ready to produce batteries that last 1.24 million miles. For months, rumors have swirled that Tesla will soon roll out a million-mile battery on its own. Its 2019 Impact Report, released in early June, certainly reinforced that impression when it emphasized the environmental advantages of a “future Tesla vehicle with a million mile battery.”
But what does the million-mile battery revolution actually mean? According to experts in battery storage technology and the EV market, claims of new batteries that will last a million miles don’t tell us much on their own. How these batteries can be used is going to depend, first and foremost, on how they perform and degrade over their so-called “million-mile” lifespan. Several experts pointed out that true million-mile batteries are likely to outlast whatever cars they’re built for, meaning their arrival could dramatically impact both second-use markets and battery recycling.
“What they’re talking about with million-mile batteries is not so much that an average consumer would put a million miles on the clock,” said Simon Lambert , a co-lead investigator at the Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries project (ReLiB) at the UK’s Faraday Institution “but that you’d potentially be able to use the battery multiple times, either in vehicular energy storage or grid-connected stuff.”
Most EV batteries on the road today—nearly all of which are lithium-ion batteries employing one of several different chemistries—are warrantied to last 8 to 10 years or 100,000 miles. Some automakers guarantee that the battery will retain at least 70 percent of its original capacity over that period, meaning the car’s range—the distance it can drive before needing to be charged—won’t degrade by more than 30 percent.
In practice, early data suggests today’s EV batteries often last considerably longer with less degradation, said James Frith , an energy storage analyst for Bloomberg NEF, a clean energy research firm. Tesla’s recent impact report, Frith notes, claims that Model S and X batteries lose less than 20 percent of their original charge capacity after being driven 200,000 miles. A Nissan executive, meanwhile, recently estimated that a Nissan Leaf battery will last about 22 years based on battery degradation data the company is collecting on EVs sold in Europe, according to Automotive News.
“We’re only just getting to the point where we’ve had EVs on the road for 10 years, and we can really see how well those claims of battery life last,” Frith said. “But in general, we see EVs do tend to perform quite well.”
In many cases, EV batteries are already outlasting the cars they are being put in. Hans Eric Melin, the founder of Circular Energy Storage , a market research firm focused on second-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, says that it’s “very unusual” for a car to be pulled off the road today because its battery has degraded fully. While this is sometimes the case for heavily-driven electric taxis or Ubers, more often, the battery experienced some sort of electrical malfunction, other components of the EV became worn out, or the car was totaled in a crash.
“For Tesla Uber drivers that might have driven 300 to 400 thousand miles max, they might have to replace the batteries,” Melin said. “But usually, the battery will outlive the car.”
That’s not to say even longer-lived batteries are a bad idea. For one, they could offer a significant advantage for companies operating fleets of taxis or delivery vehicles, which often rack up considerably more miles per vehicle than the average consumer. Even for individual drivers, million-mile batteries could change the calculus around EV ownership. Frith said that many prospective buyers are still worried about how long the battery will last and how the car’s charge capacity and range will decline over time. Batteries warrantied to maintain a good state of health over a million miles—or even a more conservative half-million—would go a long way toward assuaging these concerns. Longer-lived batteries also could be a boon to the emerging used EV market: “If you have a battery that can last a million miles, you’re not going to be worried that after 50,000 to 100,000 [miles] the capacity will be too low to sell to a second market,” Frith said.
What’s more, since batteries take considerable energy to produce, there’s a solid environmental argument for extending their life. In general, companies should be able to claim that million-mile batteries are more climate friendly than their 200,000-mile counterparts because the carbon emissions, resource consumption, and pollution associated with their production will be spread over many more years of use.
Still, there’s a lot we don’t know about the million-mile batteries companies are working on, including how their performance will decline over time, which has very practical ramifications for what actually driving a million miles on one would be like. All lithium-ion batteries inevitably deteriorate as a result of both cycling (being charged and discharged) and simple calendar aging. This degradation affects both the battery’s energy storage capacity (which dictates the car’s range) and its power capability, or how quickly the battery can discharge energy (and thus accelerate).
“The rate at which each of those things comes down really affects the performance of the battery in terms of second life,” Lambert said.
Lambert suspects that in practice, batteries with a “million-mile” rating might have to be cycled through a series of less demanding applications as they get on in years and miles. Perhaps a million mile battery would spend its first 100,000 miles in a sports car before getting transplanted into an electric cab for the next 400,000, before eventually being repurposed for grid energy storage or backup power systems, less performance-demanding applications. While there is already an emerging industry around collecting and repurposing EV batteries—data shared by Melin shows there are more than 300 megawatt-hours of repurposed EV batteries being used for energy storage throughout Europe in 2020, compared with just 18 megawatt-hours in 2016—there is still a lot of room for this industry to grow.
And while million-mile batteries might seem to suggest that we’ll need fewer batteries (and thus fewer raw materials) overall, Harper says it’s also possible they could increase battery demand since “often, when we make improvements in efficiency, we just end up consuming more.”
But this is one case where that may be a good thing for the planet.
“If those batteries are displacing higher carbon energy stores” like gasoline, Harper said, “this may just accelerate our transition to decolonization.”
Whether you’re a big time The Golden Girls fan, or just a casual viewer, you’re probably familiar with Blanche‘s mid-century home located at 6151 Richmond Street in Miami, Florida. As you may already know, that address is bogus, as well as all the rooms in the house where the ladies were filmed—it was just a set. However, the iconic one-story home flashed during The Golden Girls first season is VERY much real. And now, for the first time ever, it’s been put up for sale
The charming, 2,901 square-foot, four-bedroom home has been listed for $2,999,000 with Douglas Elliman real estate. It is located at 245 N Saltair Ave in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
This sale is important for two reasons. First, you can live in the actual The Golden Girls house! But second, after years of only seeing the exterior, fans finally get a look inside the actual home— and the style is just as unique as the ladies themselves.
While the home’s ’50s exterior and assortment of palm plants in the front made it fit with its Miami storyline, the interiors tell a whole different tale. Throughout the home, you’ll find subtle nods to Japanese and Hawaiian culture. As it turns out, the property was custom-built in 1955 by a Hawaiian modern architect. The owners had family in Honolulu and wanted to bring some of that flair into their new home.
Inside, glass walls, clerestory windows, and ultra-high beamed ceilings allow natural light to enter the home. A veranda connects the living room to the backyard.
The home tastefully mixes natural colors and textural elements to create a calm and tranquil space.
Soft, yet vibrant furnishings and decor add a playful energy.
The kitchen might just be our favorite room. It features turquoise Formica, turquoise and avocado green cabinets and yellow accents—a true testament to its time!
Sliding shoji screens connect spaces throughout.
There are plenty of innovative storage solutions in the form of built-in cabinetry.
One thing is very clear about the 45th President of the United States, he doesn’t like structure or to be told what to do, he’s a man who prefer to use his own instincts. On this election cycle he seems to be on the wrong side of American voters.
More than 140,000 Americans have died from complication of the Corona Virus and yet there is isn’t a National Plan to combat the virus.
President Trump has said its a victory and 99% of US cases are totally harmless. Despite record numbers of new cases he insist he is right on the virus.
President Trump downplayed the danger of the coronavirus, claiming in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News .that many cases are simply people who “have the sniffles.”
The White House has cut funding for testing and objects to the Republican Senate for asking for additional testing funds and has blocked CDC members from testifying to the House on opening schools.
In a national poll conducted by the New York Times. 76% of Americans of respondents said they trusted Fauci for “accurate information” about the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 26% who said they trusted Trump.
According to the Washington Post. The the White House was taking active steps to undermine and freeze out Fauci, including limiting his media appearances and undercutting confidence in his work. The White House say they are concerned about the number of times Anthony Fauci has been wrong on things,” and provided a list of statements Fauci has made. Last week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wrote a rebuttal in USA Today stating that Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.” USA Today wrote that “several of Navarro’s criticisms of Fauci…were misleading or lacked context.
The President wants to quickly return to the old normal and is putting pressure on governors to get the schools open. Ignoring the deep concerns of parents , teachers, college and school districts. There is a real anxiety about sending kids into environments that are germ-laden during normal times as several states are reporting record level on new infections. In a recent Texas, a poll in June by the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project found 65 percent of respondents still considered schools “unsafe” for students and yet the President pushes forward threatening to withhold federal funds for those school districts and colleges that refuse to open.
The Fox News poll found Biden’s lead had grown when it came to whom voters trusted more to handle the coronavirus outbreak, climbing to 51%-34%
What a difference an pandemic makes..A year ago the Democrats had a shot at taken the Senate. With less than a hundred and fifty days before the election, Democrats look solid in Red States where Trump won by a sizable margin. In Arizona, the Incumbent Senator Martha Mcsally trails Mark Kelly by nearly 10 points.. In North Carolina, Senator Thom Tillis is trailing Democrat Cal Cunningham. Democrats are leading in Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado,
Republicans have a 53-47 Senate majority. A pickup of three seats would give Democrats control, But if Doug Jones of Alabama, a rare Democratic senator in the Deep South, loses his re-election in a state that Mr. Trump is expected to comfortably carry, Democrats would need to pick up four seats to take control.
Several high-profile Republicans have recently said they will not support the president’s reelection bid, including former President George W. Bush, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
More Republicans are breaking ranks with the President and are wearing masks . Many top ranking member have asked the President to wear a mask. Fox News, Sean Hannity have asked the President to wear a mask. It is rapidly become political amongst Republicans in Florida and Texas, current Covid 19 hotspots .
Low Polling Numbers and an Indifferent President many Republicans are bailing on Donald Trump
Biden voters, trails Trump by nearly 20 points in the percent of voters who are enthusiastic (77%), including just 36% who are very enthusiastic.
Biden voters see it more important to defeat Trump (67%) than to elected Biden (24%).
On July 4, Trump pledged to defend American monuments and the country’s “rich heritage” while he vowed: “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms.”
Yesterday on Fox News Sunday the President was asked, if the flag, a symbol of US slavery and white supremacy for many Americans, was offensive. “It depends on who you’re talking about, when you’re talking about,” “When people proudly had their Confederate flags they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South. They like the South … I say it’s freedom of many things, but it’s freedom of speech.”
One of the tools used in the 1960’s used by politicians was fear. Some people long believed if people of color and others, were allowed to live alongside whites, it would destroy the fabric of America.
The President says Washington Democrats want to assume control of local zoning decisions and attacked a rule meant to combat segregation, a move he said would “obliterate” suburbs.
With 105 days left before the election, the wagons are beginning to leave, there is crack in his base. The rate of new CoronaVirus infections are at record levels ,so is the death rate, nearly a thousand people of day. It very possible, one hundred thousand Americans could die based on the current average by election day.
The Lincoln Project, a Political Committee made up of Republicans and former Republicans who’s goal is to prevent the President from being re-elected are running ads in battleground states. From April through June, The Lincoln Project raised more than $16.8 million. The group also has a rapidly growing army of volunteers including some 3,000 in Michigan.
Republican Voters against Trump is also going after similar voters, but with a slightly different approach, one that seeks to make Republican voters comfortable with the idea of not supporting their party’s incumbent nominee, even if they voted for him in 2016.
The newest Pac 43 Alumni for Joe Biden PAC was launched in July. Formed by some former George W. Bush administration officials. Their goal is to give those folks who either still identify themselves as Republicans or those who have left the party or view that the party has left them permission to vote for Joe Biden.
No one can has ever seen anything like this before in a general election,”
In primaries, there’s always one Republican group that supports one specific Republican candidate and will obviously bash some others, but in terms of a general election, usually you don’t see anything like this.” Mitchell West, of Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group.
President Trump refused again to promise he would accept the results of November’s presidential election and brushed aside public opinion polls that showed his standing with voters plummeting over his handling of the worsening coronavirus outbreak.
“I have to see,” he told interviewer Chris Wallace. “I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no,’ and I didn’t last time either.”
This is not 2016. Four years ago, candidate Donald Trump was available to the media 24/7. He wasn’t your conventional candidate. He was available to anyone in the media. He was willing.talk about everything to nearly anyone. Members of the entertainment media, didn’t press candidate Trump with their questions, they enjoyed the showman.
Before his first year ended.President Trump attacked the media. Unlike 2016, the President responses were scrutinized by the entertainment media and media became the enemy.
Like the print media, credibility is important to the entertainment media. No news outlet wants their interviews critiqued by another news outlet.
His interview with Fox News “Chris Wallace” was news worthy for Fox News as they fact checked the President and he failed (or lied)
The legality of his use of Military force on protesters in Portland and other cities without provocation or charge could damage the image of the Military.
Last Month, Former defense secretary, General Mattis Criticized The President for using the Military against protesters in Washington.
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he continued. “We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
Mary Trump, the president’s only niece, describes an abusive and neglectful upbringing suffered by her father and uncles at the hand of Fred Trump, and said she will be supporting her uncle’s rival, Joe Biden, in the 2020 election.
Mary Trump, Donald Trump niece is A trained psychologist living in New York, she was promoting her highly anticipated new book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
In the book, Mary Trump describes how her grandfather’s relentless business ambition was passed down to Donald Trump.
“Honest work was never demanded of him, and no matter how badly he failed, he was rewarded in ways that are almost unfathomable. He continues to be protected from his own disasters in the White House,”
It’s kind of ironic in the sense that the traits my grandfather came to value in Donald were the traits that were a result of my grandfather’s maltreatment of Donald,” she said. “The bullying, the tendency not to care about other people’s feelings, the willingness to cheat, lie to get what he wanted. And eventually … my grandfather started to see a kindred spirit. Somebody who could advance his agenda.”
“But now the stakes are far higher than they’ve ever been before; they are literally life and death. Unlike any previous time in his life, Donald’s failings cannot be hidden or ignored because they threaten us all.“
A woman who’s plea took the internet by storm has had to respond to fans who thought she was about to pass away.
And of course Twitter did its thing and Diane got her wish, reported Leeds Live.
Her post received 667,000 likes, 220,000 retweets, and thousands of comments.
The original post read: “Big ask. I am 62 this weekend, so will probably die soon, or get alzheimers or be rendered insane.
“I would love my 5 mins of fame while I can appreciate it all, please retweet, I would love to go global.. just once, one last chance to prove I existed.”
But a number of fans misinterpreted Diane’s tweet, and instead assumed she only had a short time left to live and it was a goodbye of sorts.
Diane has since had to explain to people on Twitter that it was just an experiment and that no one has anything to worry about.
However, some apparently think I am at death’s door. I am staying put for as long as possible.”
Since Diane’s original post, her followers have increased from just a few hundred to more than 11,000.
She then wrote: “Gosh! Hello everyone, I only had a handful of followers and now there are over 10 thousand of you!
“I sent the tweet as a bit of an experiment, and then it all went a tad crazy, but great crazy. I am intending to grow old disgracefully, so, lets have some fun!” – how sweet is she?
BY: Kristen Wong
We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.
My first week on my first job out of university, my boss handed me a huge spreadsheet. He told me to organise it in a way that made zero sense to me. Being a quiet, timid person, I simply nodded, walked back to my desk and stared at that spreadsheet for like an hour, hoping to make some sense of it (yep, just like George Costanza and the Penske file).
Finally, my coworker came in, and I confessed I had no idea what to do. He broke it down for me, then dropped some advice that’s stuck with me ever since: “You might feel dumb asking questions, but you look dumber when you don’t get it because you failed to ask.”
It was harsh, but true. And not only did I look like an arse, I could’ve also saved a fair amount of time that day by simply asking my boss what he meant. It made me wonder how much time I’d wasted by not asking for help over the years. As dumb as you might feel asking questions, it’s the fastest way to get an answer.
Similarly, asking for help is a great way to, well, get help. This is why networking and finding a mentor are hugely valuable. If you feel stuck in your career or need to learn new skills and have no idea how to get started, talking to other people in your field will go a long way. Even if it’s just shooting someone a short email, asking for help is like a shortcut for your career. Try Leo Widrich’s formula for asking for help via email:
2-3 sentences of honest appreciation. There is a reason you are asking someone for help. They have a lot of experience in that field, worked on a startup/idea related to what you are working on or else. If you do this, it shows them you have thought about why picking them out to ask for help.
1 sentence that states a single, focused question people can give you an answer to. Here is one that worked very well when I asked Noah:
“What was the single, most valuable user acquisition strategy for Mint after you hit 100K users?”
Here’s another way to look at it: if you’re not asking for help, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough. If you have all the answers, you’re not learning new skills, trying new things or moving forward and out of your comfort zone. There are a handful of reasons we don’t ask for help, but it’s usually because we’re too proud or scared, and that’s a huge waste of time, because it keeps you from moving forward.
Relationships require maintenance, but there’s a difference between maintaining a good relationship and trying to force a bad one that doesn’t make much sense to begin with.
There’s a lot of emotion in romance and friendships, so sometimes it’s hard to tell when you should keep trying or you should just call it quits. Like a lot of people, I made some common bad decisions that wasted both my time and the time of the person I was with. For example:
There are good reasons for wanting to make a relationship work, but those aren’t good ones. They cloud your judgment, prolong your unhappiness and distract you from things that matter to you most. At the same time, it’s hard to say all bad relationships are a total waste of time, because you learn a lot about yourself from them. That’s a valid silver lining, but still, the sooner you learn those lessons, the better.
Similarly, not dealing with the emotional impact of a breakup is also a big waste of time. When a relationship ends, we usually go through the typical stages of grief associated with loss. It’s easy to get comfortable with denial and convince ourselves we don’t really care and we’re fine. In reality, ignoring the pain only prolongs it. Our work suffers; the rest of our relationships suffer.
Learning from your mistakes is one thing. Dwelling on them wastes your time, diminishes your confidence, and keeps you from getting on with your life.
Dwelling also makes you more apt to repeat your mistakes. In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers asked subjects to spend money during an imaginary trip to the mall. Before “shopping”, some subjects were asked to recall a past financial mistake. They found those subjects were more likely to incur debt. A press release for the study concluded:
Perhaps the most surprising, Haws said, is that searching through the past can negatively affect behaviour, depending on the ease of recall, even when past examples are positive…Instead of dwelling on the past, Haws said, her research into behaviour suggests that setting goals for the future can positively change present behaviour…In short, if we want to have better self-control, “Look forward,” Haws says. “Don’t look back.”
When you think about your own experiences, it probably makes sense. Dwelling makes you feel like a failure. When I feel like a failure, it’s easy to tell myself there’s no point in trying, because I already suck. (Hence, getting further into debt when you already feel like an overspender.)
In order to let the past go, you must forgive yourself officially.
Feel the embarrassment or shame one final time. Really feel it throughout your body. Next, tell yourself that everyone makes mistakes and you know you that that outcome was not your intention. It was an accident. Finally, make the decision to forgive yourself and do it. It helps to even say it out loud.
From now on, it’s OK. You are forgiven.
Every time the thought comes back, simply remind yourself that you have already been forgiven, so there’s no reason to feel bad anymore. Then push the thought away.
One of my other big time regrets is not allowing myself to fail out of fear of my own shortcomings.
For years, I stayed in a comfortable place and didn’t try to do things I wanted to do. I wanted to travel after high school, but I went to university close to home instead, because I was too shy to meet new people, and I was afraid I couldn’t make it in another city. After university, I wanted to be a freelance writer, but I decided to find a more stable, accessible job instead, because that was easier. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live a stable, comfortable life, but I was doing it for the wrong reasons: because I was afraid to fail.
Eventually, I got tired of this. I decided to find work I actually enjoyed, travel more and live somewhere else. I made a ton of mistakes along the way, and even when I did succeed, I felt like an imposter. Still, I think the bigger mistake was not trying sooner. Even if I failed, I would have learned from my mistakes much sooner.
It’s easy to waste time worrying about other people, too. Don’t get me wrong — your friends and loved ones mean a lot to you, and you want to spend time nurturing them. But we also spend a lot of time fretting over problems that don’t matter in the long run.
For example, I spent years getting annoyed with people who undermine me. I complained about them, tried to understand them, wondered what was wrong with me that I inspired that kind of behaviour. Those habits always lead to a dead end, because they didn’t involve action. The older I got, the less tolerant I became of this behaviour, and I learned to nip it in the bud.
I also indulged another time wasting emotion: jealousy. I compared myself to everyone, wanted what they had, and felt inadequate. Like most negative, destructive feelings, the first (and biggest) step to overcoming it is understanding it.
I paid attention to my jealousy and what triggered it, then learned that it was less about the other person and more about my own feelings of inadequacy. In short, I embraced that jealousy. Envy is a bit different, but it often comes from the same place, and here’s what writer Trent Hamm suggests in dealing with your envy:
The question is, why do you want it in your life? I like to use the “five whys” when handling a question like this. Whenever I’m trying to answer a “why” question, I repeat it five times, asking it of the answer I come up with for each question. When you identify a particular strong desire that you have, step back for a moment and break it down into small pieces. Then, see if there isn’t a way for you to address those smaller pieces in your own life. Again, let’s take that international trip. What elements am I desiring when it comes to that trip? I want to expose my children to different cultures…. The thing is, when I start breaking that trip down into small pieces, I start seeing pieces that I can easily incorporate into my own life.
Once you understand why you feel jealous or envious, you can take action to take care of the problem, whether that means processing the emotions or coming up with goals for yourself. Either way, that’s a lot more productive.
Most of us are probably guilty of all of these at some point, and really, they’re human nature. Regret is another big waste of time, so there’s no point in beating yourself up over these. The sooner you learn from them, though, the sooner you can free up your time and energy to live the life you want.
Avoiding or delaying a difficult conversation can hurt your relationships and create other negative outcomes. It may not feel natural at first, especially if you dread discord, but you can learn to dive into these tough talks by reframing your thoughts.
Begin from a place of curiosity and respect, and stop worrying about being liked. Conflict avoiders are often worried about their likability. While it’s natural to want to be liked, that’s not always the most important thing. Lean into the conversation with an open attitude and a genuine desire to learn. Start from a place of curiosity and respect — for both yourself and the other person. Genuine respect and vulnerability typically produce more of the same: mutual respect and shared vulnerability. Even when the subject matter is difficult, conversations can remain mutually supportive. Respect the other person’s point of view, and expect them to respect yours.
Focus on what you’re hearing, not what you’re saying. People who shy away from conflict often spend a huge amount of time mentally rewording their thoughts. Although it might feel like useful preparation, ruminating over what to say can hijack your mind for the entire workday and sometimes even late into the night. And tough conversations rarely go as planned anyway. So take the pressure off yourself. You don’t actually need to talk that much during a difficult conversation. Instead, focus on listening, reflecting, and observing. For example, if a team member has missed another deadline, approach them by asking neutral, supportive questions: “I see the project is behind schedule. Tell me about the challenges you’re facing.” Then listen. Pause. Be interested and proactive. Gather as much detail as possible. Ask follow-up questions without blame.
Your genuine attention and neutrality encourage people to elaborate. For every statement the other person makes, mirror back what they’ve said, to validate that you understand them correctly.
Be direct. Address uncomfortable situations head-on by getting right to the point. Have a frank, respectful discussion where both parties speak frankly about the details of an issue. Talking with people honestly and with respect creates mutually rewarding relationships, even when conversations are difficult.
There are situations, however, where cultural or personality differences should be considered. If your culture is conflict avoidant or doesn’t value directness, you can still engage in challenging conversations. In these cases, shift your approach from overly direct to a respectful, affirming back-and-forth conversation. For instance, if the person you are talking with seems to not be picking up on what you are saying, ask them to repeat their understanding of what you’ve shared. As they reflect back what they’ve heard, you can adjust your message to make sure the conflict is moving toward resolution. This communication style is open and less threatening.
Don’t put it off. How often is your response to conflict something like, “I don’t want to talk about it” or “It’s not that big a deal” or “It’s not worth arguing about”? If you’re always promising yourself that you’ll “bring it up next time it happens,” well, now’s the time. Instead of putting off a conversation for some ideal future time, when it can be more easily dealt with, tackle it right away. Get your cards on the table so you can resolve the issue and move on.
It might seem risky to come right out and say something, but often that’s just what is needed. Give yourself or your counterpart a little bit of time to cool down, if necessary, and plan the general outline of what you want to convey and the outcome you desire. But then have the conversation, and make a plan to move on. After all the mental gymnastics of endlessly practicing conversations in your head, actually engaging in a two-way conversation can be inspiring, respectful, and productive.
Expect a positive outcome. You’ll struggle to follow this advice if you continue to go into a conflict telling yourself, “This is going to be a disaster.” Instead, tell yourself, “This will result in an improved relationship.”
Focus on the long-term gains that the conversation will create for the relationship. When your attention is focused on positive outcomes and benefits, it will shift your thinking process and inner dialogue to a more constructive place. As a result, you will grow more comfortable approaching the coworker who constantly criticizes and complains, or the subordinate who keeps underperforming.
Don’t ignore the tough situations you are aware of today. When the opportunity presents itself to provide unsolicited negative feedback to a difficult colleague or give a less-than-positive performance evaluation, summon the courage to address the conflict head-on.