Lessons in life, Personal development

How to have great conversations?

You might be thinking; you are a personal development blogger. How does this relate.?Everyone can talk. First things first; no, not everyone knows how to talk effectively. And secondly, if you want to learn more, become successful or connect with people you MUST know how to effectively communicate with others. Also in this society where shock value of a conversation is way more important than actually getting forward with topics that might have multiple view; I feel it is essential to learn how to communicate effectively and to learn from one another!

Let’s define terms

What does a conversation mean. A dictionary definition is: ” a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.” How would I define a great conversations? A great conversation, is where both participants get a voice, both state their opinions/experiences and are able to; despite potentially disagreeing with other, be civil. In a great conversation, even if it ends with people “agreeing to disagreeing”, both participants feel listened and respected. This conversation, despite it being emotional, political or tied to ones identity, remains civil and no slurs, raising of the voice or argument( heated one) is anywhere to be seen.

Very short a sweet things to consider when having a conversation;

  1. How emotionally stable am I right now, to have this conversation?
  2. Do I actually have the facts, to base my opinions on?
  3. Am I capable of being an adult in this situation, since I am so emotionally invested in the topic?
  4. If I know someone wants to criticize me, can I without referring to childish ways of “You started it”, have it or should I ask them to come back to the topic later?
  5. This is the right time, place and am I in the right mindset right now, to start this conversation.

Very great change starts from very small conversations held among people who care

Margaret J. Wheatley

Here are the 5 short tips in a longer form:

1. Don’t yell/cry/ have a tantrum

You want to seems intelligent and level headed. This doesn’t mean you can’t show feelings, just make sure that those feelings don’t come out as a protection mechanism. It often does goes like this to me, and trust me when I say that it has never helped me to get my point across… other way around. I am extremely emotional. And often I start crying if I am angry/frustrated. This just makes me seem younger and not as mature in the conversation, meaning that even the points that are valid, that I would make are disregarded… because I am crying.

2. Do not make statements that sound like you know what you are talking about, but are actually bs.

For example; “billions of women are mistreated everyday. I read about it just yesterday”. A) If you read about something yesterday, you probably remember the source. B) Unless the number is actually billion(s) you shouldn’t use that word for shock value. Stay to the facts, or make sure to make clear that that point is your understanding of the situation, not 100% fact.

3. Don’t get personal with someone just because you feel strongly about the subject.

If someone is being sexist, you should say things like “Well you were probably abused as a kid, and this is why you are being so fucked up right now.” There is no reason to assume that, and just because someone’s opinion hurts you, doesn’t mean you should hurt them back. Most of the time it is more healthy to rather not have a conversation with someone than to become verbally abusive in the situation. Even if the person is actually wrong in that case.

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue, that’s why there are so few conversations; due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”

Truman Capote

4. If someone is giving you criticism, responding back with criticism.

It is selfish, childish and it won’t take the conversation forward. There are two ways to react to criticism. 1) Note that this sound actually truthful and you should probably take this into consideration. If this thing you are criticized for hurts others, apologize. 2) Realize this doesn’t apply to you and try to explain why you disagree. If you can’t come up with an understanding, let the conversation die out and live your life

5.When starting a conversation doing it in an attacking kind of way.

We all know with extremes that it is probably not the greatest time to break up with someone if their parent just died. You shouldn’t point out someone’s problems when they are down. Having a conversation, especially where you are planning on criticizing someone, is important that you do it, when they are in a receptive mode. (This doesn’t mean you should break up with someone on their b-day or something like that either….)

If some topics interest you, say racism, feminism, religion etc etc. You should research before trying to have a debate/conversation with someone. If this conversation is totally spontaneous, explain your points clearly, or if you notice that you can’t verbalize yourself in a way you want to. Tell that to the other person. There is no shame, in saying that you don’t feel comfortable talking about something due to lack of knowledge or because you are uncomfortable.

So shortly;

Don’t be too emotional, don’t get on a high horse, don’t be a bitch, don’t get defensive and don’t attack. It is very simple… very very simple. And people seem to just decide to muck it all up, because of feelings and because of EGO….. Also I am noooooot on a high horse right now. I have made pretty much every single one of these mistakes in some type of fashion.

Here are some great resources in order to be more educated, be a better communicator and also just how to keep a conversation up, so that it doesn’t become awkward. I will also link some posts on similar topics written by me ๐Ÿ™‚

Ted Talk – Celeste Headlee: How to have a good conversation

Practical Psychology on YouTube. They have a great vault of new ideas, information and tips and trick, not only for communicating more “fluently” but also to just learn more things and having more interesting topics to discuss.

How to not be that polarizing in conversations

Charisma on Command : I must admit, I have binge watched these videos more than on one occasion. He has a great way to analyze a persons actions (positive and negative) and show through very clear example of how to command respect, how to be funny and how to despite not always being correct, being able to have a proper and respectful conversation. If you want to become a public speaker, a good writer or a likable person in general, you should totally check this channel out !

Now to the posts I have written that I think you will benefit from: Not everyone listens; do you? , Learning and age, 10 simple things I do for a positivity boost

As always thank you for reading. Please don’t hesitate to comment and let’s start conversations.

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Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

5 Ways to combat laziness

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

-Jules Renard

1st some science: Science shows that there are people who are more likely to be lazy and those who are less likely and it is a lot to do with our genes. So there is such a thing as “couch potato gene”. Essentially what it does makes us have fewer dopamine receptors, that means that we aren’t going to be awarded as easily for the activities we do by our brains. (And while this is usually related with sports, it is just as accurate with other daily tasks) And really we don’t have many idiots who do things without awards. So when does this become a problem?

Video by AsapSCIENCE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd7wAithl7Ii

When is laziness a problem?ย 

It becomes a problem when instead of living your life you just exist. At least for me, that is an issue. I have realized that I am bored with life. I just go through the motions. I go to school see my friends once in a while and other than that I just watch YouTube. Don’t get me wrong. Having a pause and go through social media is great, sometimes. It can’t be your life. And really, you watching dog videos or insta pics is something that makes our brains even lazier. Why should you doย anything when you get a dopamine hit right from the comfort of your bed. And this is how the vicious cycle starts. So what to do?

What are my 5 tips?

  1. Force yourself to do more things. Put yourself into projects and situations from which you can’t back out of easily. I am doing to projects now where there is quite a bit on my shoulders and me backing out of them would just seem pathetic. Of course, if it would be a life or death thing, it’d be different. I wouldn’t go there if I’d be in a car crash. BUT I am not comfortable just letting them hear an excuse, you know?
  2. This is related to the last tip but: Add things to your calendar so you just don’t have time to lazy around for 5 hours. Look it’s easier to be lazy when you have only like 4 lessons a week and you seem to have so much free time. But what if you work, have a couple of extra projects and then also some of your own goals? This is not to say that you should work yourself to death. But when you don’t have too much extra time you are forced to organize your time. There is no; “I’ll do this later” because you literally don’t have any time later. Or you don’t want to risk it in case of something coming up. And I mean I am sure all of us also want to see our friends right?
  3. Do not sleep in. I know half of you hate me right now because you love to sleep and the other half because you have heard this so many times. But at least for me if I sleep more than 7 -8 hours I feel very sluggish. And sometimes it’s fine. But if you want to stop being lazy becoming sluggish and having a heavy head is not doing you any favors. Most people are at their best when they sleep 6 to 8 hours (depends on your age) and this is something I have found to be true.
  4. If you, however, sleep in, start your day slow, that doesn’t mean all your hope is gone and you have an excuse to be lazy all day. (Sorry old me and anyone who uses this as an excuse) Look just this weekend both days I slept in. I gave myself permission, to be honest, because I have been a bit sick and don’t want to make it worse and after sleeping in I got this sluggish feeling like I often do. Saturday I only started working after 4pm. I went for a walk before that and took a cool shower to wake me up. Then I just got paper and wrote the things that are on the top of my head (those things usually are the ones that bother you the most thus very likely to be a high priority) I didn’t do all on that list but I can honestly say I was productive for at least 4 hours. And that is way more than nothingย  I could have done because I didn’t wake up at 5 like I would have liked to)
  5. If you don’t do the little things don’t expect yourself to have the energy to do the big things. If you are too lazy to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your bed, get dressed properly; why the f*** would you have the energy to finish a project or go for a run? All the small things count. You give yourself momentum when you finish the small tasks. And if you start your day by choosing that those things aren’t important why would anything else be? Just be a smelly blob for a day and wonder why you can’t make yourself do anything… I’ve been there and done that and you know what. It isn’t a very positive space to be in. This is why so many highly efficient people are obsessed with routines. If they can finish up a good routine be it in the morning, gym or evening. It builds momentum for the day or the next day.

Bonus tip:ย  Do not burn yourself up. I don’t want you to faint one day and say it was because I told you to keep yourself so busy you can’t ever be lazy, because that is not my goal at all. Quite frankly once I have perfected my calendar I want to cross out Sunday totally and make it just a funday. It doesn’t matter if it’s for friends or for me to just be in bed and watch a movie. The main point is just for it to be free for whatever I want it to be. Also, this isn’t the only day you have a right to be lazy or to have fun. If your steps for your goals have been met on a Monday by say 4pm you have a right to go out with friends or whatever you want. Don’t have to form an army routine. BUT at first, an army routine might be helpful so that the “couch potato gene” doesn’t get you.

Thanks for reading and good luck with battling laziness!

More posts by me:ย 

5 things Iโ€™ve learned while trying to change my life

Stars sentenced to death

-Alisa