As a fully functioning adult, you have gone through an immeasurable amount of lessons, experiences and scenarios in life, enough for you to survive and maybe not get into too much trouble. Some skills or knowledge you have to acquire the hard way, whilst others are taught to you by your seniors and peers. So let’s help you out a little bit more and see if there are other intangible skills that you can master or be aware of that might just elevate your life, especially if you’re a young adult.
If you’ve always been the one to reply quickly when someone is talking then stop. This is what you need to hear ( ahem ahem see what I did there? ) . Active listening not only builds rapport but it develops the climax to a good conversation.
You need this skill to be able to level up to a lot of aspects in life.
-gaining valuable insights
Arlin Cuncic of verywellmind.com explains it well in the many different sections of listening. The ways to practice active listening will be essential to your arsenal of valuable skills to have. Mind you that these skills will not only help maintain a good relationship with your mentors, peers and business prospects but also strengthen family and relationship ties.
10 Basic Principles to Active Listening :
- Listen attentively to the speaker’s words and information being shared (take notes if that’s your thing)
- Make eye contact and pay attention to non verbal cues and expressions
- Do not listen to reply, listen to understand
- Do not interrupt until the speaker is done ( that’s why I always raise my hands haha my friends know this of me )
- Respond with a nod to indicate your presence of mind (being present not daydreaming)
- React to the speaker’s feelings about the topic ( you’re not a robot so be human and show compassion ) or respond when the speaker encourages engagement
- You may summarise and paraphrase to show that you understood what was being said but do not do it when a person is sharing a tragedy, something emotionally traumatic or a sad experience ( for the Sheldons out there ).
- Do not judge the speaker based on your ideas, principles and values
- Be neutral, open and respectful
- Compliment, feedback, ask questions and reply when spoken to
Not to be mistaken for common sense. Unfortunately initiative-ness is a quality. This quality however can be trained and groomed into you. Most of us aren’t aware that we could actually practice initiative-ness. Somehow it will be instilled in us after some time of practice.
How do we become a person who has INITIATIVE ?
- You must first be AWARE of what’s going on around you. Whether its traffic or conversations or even the going-ons of your environment, people walking by or what’s happening right in front of you. Keep your eyes and ears at 360 if possible ( don’t try too hard just naturally take in the surroundings ).
- Next, have a PRESENCE OF MIND. I know this sounds contradicting compared to the point above but actually it’s the same thing , believe it or not, when you practice enough, you’ll be able to open up your senses and be present at the same time. Being present is paying attention to details around you, words being said or people’s reactions. When you are present, people value and appreciate you. They know that they’re heard and they’ll do the same for you too.
So now that you’re Aware and Present , how is that connected to being Initiative ?
When you have these two practices in place, you’re able to predict the next move, pre-empt the needs and wants of others, display social consciousness ( because you can see that someone needs help to hold the door or carry heavy bags of groceries ).
It’s as simple as that. Initiative-ness is when you know your partner had a bad day at work and so you help ease their mood without them having to ask. It’s when you know your mum needs help in the kitchen and you offer that help without her asking for it. It’s seeing that your crew is hard at work editing in the office and you know no one has time to go out for food and you bought them some food, out of your own kindness and awareness. It’s surprising your wife by doing the dishes and cleaning up after cos you know she’s tired from cooking after she got back from work. Your initiative goes a long way. People appreciate it and the good energy will make its way back to you. Basically, practice having Unagi..on your salmon skin roll. MUAHAHA.
3.Make Good Decisions
How does one even know how to do that? This essential key ingredient can help you ~ know when to not involve yourself in sticky situations ( third person involvement ), prevent you from getting into unnecessary trouble (like affairs, debt and bankruptcy) or in a good way, get you into investing in yourself which might just elevate your life and escalate your growth exponentially.
- Pros and Cons list will be the basic of basics. Though you don’t have to literally write it down in an actual list but do it in your head or if it helps, run through it with a friend who you trust their ability to decide or are filled with wisdom.
- Ask this question. Will it expand my life or deplete my life? Anything that will bring you closer to happiness, wealth, good mental wellbeing, better physical health and garner emotions of security and constant-ness is good for you. This applies to choosing careers, getting involved in a relationship ( or deciding if you want to patch back) and also moving on to better pastures of growth and stability. If it doesn’t expand your life, it shouldn’t deplete it either.
- Assess the Consequences ! Though not all decisions lead to a positive outcome and in some scenarios we still face some ugliness and bad emotions, the argument of knowing what the consequences are for your decisions will then let you know that if you choose to do this and that, you are willingly choosing to go through with this, knowing that the results will be catastrophic. Check first if there’s collateral damage cos some damages done can’t be reversed and might inflict a lot of trauma and pain especially if it involves children. If the consequences are what you can live with then do it with no regrets. Remember though, karma might bite back if your intention is bad. If it’s something that can’t be avoided and needed to be done, then think of recovery methods or aid to help out with the aftermath.
4. Learn How to Manage Your Emotions
For a long time people have been wondering how I keep my cool even in the most challenging situations. Little did they know that I used to have a great temper as a teenager. Maybe not with friends but with my own family (excluding my parents). In an Asian household, you can’t be argumentative, that’s like asking for a death wish. HAHA..
I also as a young adult back in the day, was extremely needy in my love language signals that it was a cry of desperation. I attempted suicide at least 3 times in my life as certain types of stressful arguments or situations would trigger me into ousting myself cos I found living a human life very exhausting and trying for my mental and emotional well being. I loved simplicity and couldn’t understand why people were so cruel, mean and not compassionate or understanding.
I took it upon myself to elevate my spiritual and mental wellness knowledge. That journey has made a huge difference in what I project and how I understand and perceive the World. I learned how to recognise when a trigger was about to happen and stopped myself from following through with the expected reaction.
How does one manage our emotions ?
Hey even till today, I still need to do self checks to keep myself in order. So it’s not easy and not your fault that you can’t perfect it. It takes lots of time and patience. Every single day, my patience and mental stability is tested. So take it easy on yourself alright.
1. What are your main emotional disruptions ? Find out if you cry a lot due to stress, do you get into a mental breakdown ? Is it that you can’t take it when someone asks a so-called “stupid question” in your opinion? Do you get angry most times for really simple things or are annoyed easily ? Are you always dependant or needy on others love and attention? When you know which emotion is most disruptive , you can trace back a trauma that most probably connected that emotion with you. It could be a history of abandonment, you’ve faced trust issues, someone made you have an insecurity of intellect or maybe you attached yourself to body shaming memories.
2.Recognise the triggers. When you pay close attention, you can definitely point out what gets you to become the state of mind that you get into. For example; your spouse is repetitive and naggy. And you know that the moment it gets to you, you’ll erupt in anger and screaming like a headless chicken. Ok so, you know that the moment just before that trigger actually triggers you, is the moment you should break your pattern and disrupt it from following through with the expected reaction. So if you are aware that the nagging will come cos the house is in a mess, you take one preventive measure to get it cleaned before that nag comes in. Another way is to choose a different style to respond to that person. To use the same failed methods of responding is just madness. So be smart about it and find another more positive way to respond. Your partner will be shocked at your maturity and steadiness.
3.What are the energy drainers? You know I had one whole article about this. If you know who and what your energy drainers are, you are one step closer to a peace of mind. Being a functioning adult takes a lot of stability and steadiness. Cos we have so much to do and keep up with in our life. We’ve got bills to pay, family to look after, maybe you’re a permanent care-taker for an elderly, you’re the CEO of a company, you’re the Project manager or the clerk that’s got to have all the paperwork done before lunchtime. You’re a single parent and a business owner that also has a child with autism and so much more. See all the hats we wear? This is draining and you need to keep that energy on a consistent flow. So take a break when you need to, call for help or assistance. I know you need it.
5.Maintain Balance in your life
A lot of us are running on dry. We want to chase so many things in life that we leave out the need for this balance. Be it spiritual, mental, physical or emotional, you need to build some type of resilience to carry on the daily routines and the extras.
Go for a run, be with nature, ignite your imagination, try something new, explore the place you live, be with loved ones and just laugh and cry, talk for long hours at a go, do something that you’d never do. If you run out of ideas on how to find the balance in your work and life then just “Google” it ~ How to find work-life balance? Trust me, you don’t have to feel guilty. So many new age parents and also couples are practising this. They have to. The new era demands it. We are in a time where people will have a longer life span due to better mental, emotional and physical health because we know how essential it is for an abundant life.
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Alright peeps, the weekend is coming.
Good blog, Leoni. Kudos!
Thank you so much Abg K!!