Many of us try, unsuccessfully, to change people. Whether we want our partner to be more loving or our kids to be more responsible, we waste precious time trying to force the other person to change. The fact is that, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot change another person.
Does this mean that people will never change? That the way someone is now is how they’ll be for the rest of their life? Of course not. But change does not happen by you forcing it. Rather, people often change based on your expectations for them. So in a sense, the way you change people is to influence them to want to make a change on their own.… >>> READ MORE >>> →
One of the best ways to reduce your stress is to simply reframe your problems. Realize that everyone has problems of some sort. Some people have relationship problems, others financial, some career, others health, some social, others business. No one is immune to problems in life. As the late Norman Vincent Peale once said, “There is only one group of people who do not have problems, and they are all dead. Problems are a sign of life, so the more problems you have, the more alive you are.” Although a tongue-in-cheek philosophy of life, there is some truth to this pronouncement.
So, knowing this, I propose that it’s not the problem itself that is causing you stress. Rather, it’s your … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Caring for others is one of the foundations for a successful relationship because it makes people feel valued. And when people feel valued, they are happier and experience less stress. Whether you’re interacting with youth or adults—whether they are family, friends, or co-workers—the more you prove that you care about the other person, the better the other person will feel and the stronger the relationship will be.
There’s much anecdotal evidence that proves this theory—that caring for others increases the other person’s self-worth and is a foundation for any successful relationship. But did you know there’s also scientific backing of this too?
The Science Behind Caring for Others
The idea that communicating a caring interest to others is vital for … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges most of us face is knowing how to live a balanced life, within a 24-hour day. Between our work, family, personal development time, inundation by the media, the attraction of the Internet, so many good books to read, wanting to get enough sleep, maintaining social relationships, and the list goes on and on—how do we do it? It is no wonder that seminars on time management, books on life balance, and even garage and closet organizers for all the “stuff” accumulated are selling so well.
One way to become more effective is to evaluate how you use—or don’t use—some of your time. Following are some tips that may assist in increasing your effectiveness and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self-acceptance means being okay with WHO you are and WHERE you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do really stupid things. Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other.
There are many reasons why people have low self-acceptance, but most fall into one or more the following areas:
- A perceived desire to be perfect
- A focus on imperfections rather than on blessings
- The desire for approval and to be liked
- A strong desire to please
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
If you want to have better communication skills, listen up! In fact, listening is the single most crucial factor of all communication skills. It is more important than stirring oratory, more important than a powerful voice, more important than the ability to speak multiple languages, and more important than a flair for the written word.
Good listening is truly where effective communications and relationships begin. It’s surprising how few people listen well. Those who do are the ones who have learned the SKILL of listening.
The fact is that people love being listened to. It’s true in the business world and at home. Actually, it’s true of just about everyone we meet in life.
Dale Carnegie wrote that the secret … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Do you know how to foster happy relationships? Happiness always starts from within, so let’s start there. If you look around at your family and friends, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others. They don’t try to control anyone but themselves. And more likely than not, they experience many happy relationships in their life.
You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have a lot of power, the constant resistance they feel from those they are trying to control deprives them, and their relationships, of happiness.
If you try to control a friend, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Do you think the world is out to get you? Or do you think the world is filled with opportunities? The difference depends on your mindset. How you view the world affects every aspect of your life. Most important, your mindset affects relationships. We can see evidence of this every day.
For example, look around and you can often see two people engaged in similar tasks but providing different responses in how they help others.
One clerk at the counter invites the next customer up by saying, “Hello, how can I help you?” Another simply says, “Next!”
One bank teller, working in a bank adjacent to a senior retirement community, sees an older person approaching and says to the visiting … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Your mindset is a choice. You can choose to be a victim and feel disempowered and negative. Or you can choose to be a victor and feel empowered and positive. Which do you choose?
I urge everyone to avoid the victimization mentality. It is toxically disempowering and limits you in so many ways. Empowerment is so much more effective. And even if it were not, you would still be happier in an empowerment mode rather than in a victimhood mode.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed many teachers who needed to change their mindset in order to leave the victimhood realm. These teachers believed that when students come from unstructured homes, from poverty, or have some other situation that cannot be … >>> READ MORE >>> →
When you hear the word “happiness,” what comes to mind? Many people think happiness is about belly laughter, euphoric thrills, and feelings of joy mixed with boundless energy. While these things certainly contribute to happiness, they’re not what people should be focusing on for long-term fulfillment.
What is important is how frequently, not how intensely, you are happy. For example, winning the jackpot in Las Vegas, the thrill of the quadruple loop roller coaster, or belly laughing at the Saturday night comedy club show are wonderful moments. But they are not the hallmarks of sustainable long-term happiness.
In truth, real happiness comes from being content most of the time. This occurs when you have thoughts and feelings of well-being and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Attentive listening is the most valuable tool we have for enriching the quality of relationships. Yet, many people neglect it.
Attentive listening means listening without distraction. I have met very few people who have practiced this approach to the point of making it a skill. My financial planner was one such person. Cory had the knack of conveying the feeling that, when you were with her, you had her undivided attention. I don’t know if she learned the skill or if it was just natural with her. But I remember the charismatic impression it made on me.
Unfortunately, all too often, we experience the opposite of attentive listening. As the chair of an accreditation team representing the Western Association … >>> READ MORE >>> →
We all want the best for those we love. Whether it’s by giving advice, providing necessities, or gifting our time, our goal is often to help people succeed. Unfortunately, sometimes our best-efforts backfire, especially when giving others verbal instructions, warnings, or assistance.
Before I continue, it’s important to point out that the human brain thinks in pictures, not words. Think back to the last sleeping dream you remember. Are you visualizing the dream you had in words—as you are reading now—or are you visualizing it in pictures (images)? If you’re like the majority of people, you will conclude that you dreamt in visuals. (Remember that in human history reading is a relevantly recent development. Only in very recent times has … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Maintaining healthy relationships is one of the foundations for living a happy life. Whether you are interacting with your spouse, child, friend, parent, co-worker, or neighbor, you have the power to strengthen the relationship or to weaken it. The fact is that your words, actions, beliefs, and mindset shape every relationship you have—for better or for worse.
The good news is that no matter how stressed your relationships currently are, you can take positive steps now to change them. Following are 5 tips to help you develop and maintain healthy relationships with others.
1. Communicate using positive, rather than negative, messages.
Instead of telling others what you don’t want or don’t like, explain what you do want and do like. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Here’s a question for you: “What trait or mindset do you think makes people truly self-confident and have a positive self-worth?” The answer is: “These people have overcome their fear of failure.”
Truly confident people—from business leaders to politicians, from teachers to lawyers—do not let the possibility of failure intimidate them. Of course, they do fail at times. But they don’t alter their actions because of this possibility.
Unfortunately, many people today don’t try to win; rather, they try not to lose. They don’t try to succeed; they try desperately not to fail. That is a sure route to nowhere. Personally, I’d rather be going somewhere, even if I fail to get there, than assuredly going nowhere. Remember the old … >>> READ MORE >>> →
If you want to promote responsibility in your children, here is one important thing to keep in mind: Never do something for your child that they can do for themselves.
When you want the young person to do something and he or she does not, oftentimes stress is the result—for the adult. The youngster is aware of your emotions and (nonconsciously) derives a sense of power from it. What he or she is doing—or not doing—is seen as directing your emotions.
Let’s assume the youngster has a number of things to do and is lackadaisical about doing them. You remind the youngster, to no avail. Time passes. You give another reminder with the same result.
Rather than become increasingly stressed, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
All teachers and parents want to help students succeed. The question is: How? Research shows that one of the most important factors that determine students’ success (in terms of what is important to students) is their feeling or belief that someone in school cares about them.
Knowing this, I’ve long proposed that the best way to help students succeed is to ask them questions. Why? Because a significant factor in asking a question is that there is an assumption that you care about the person with whom you are conversing.
Therefore, when communicating with others, especially students, instead of thinking of the right thing to say, think of a question to ask. The sooner you adopt the mode of asking … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Maintaining a positive attitude, speaking positive words, and thinking positive thoughts is essential to a happy, stress-free, and productive life. I learned to focus on the positive early in life. Like many, I was brought up on a principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say something nice about a person, then do not say anything at all.” I took that to mean that we should not only refrain from negativity, but that we should also focus on the positive.
My mother’s advice eventually became the bedrock of my first principle to reduce stress: POSITIVITY. I now think of it whenever something negative pops into my head or if I am about to say something that can be … >>> READ MORE >>> →
We all know that positive communications are vital to maintaining positive relationships. Most of us, though, are not conscious of the power of our communications. As a result, we say things that seem innocuous to us but that may make the other party feel bad.
The fact is that the words and phrases we use in our daily interactions have three major influences:
(1) They influence how we think and experience the world.
(2) They shape the way others see us.
(3) They determine how much cooperation and success we have with other people.
Remember that when words come out of our mouths, they don’t just go to the listeners’ ears. We hear our own words too. So our words … >>> READ MORE >>> →