Don’t Make Assumptions

Do you know what assume spells? Assumptions make an ass of u and me.

Assumptions are dangerous, yet we make them all the time. We assume that other people know something. We assume that others are in agreement with us without ever asking them. We assume that someone has the skills to do something. We assume that people want the same things we  do.

We base these assumptions not on hard evidence, but upon guesses, things others say, and partial information.

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Have you ever spoken with someone and assumed he agreed with your position or idea, only to be surprised when he expressed the opposite view? If you do this in front of others, as in a group meeting, you risk damaging your relationship with that person. Worse, others will recognize you made an assumption, and the knowledge  will  damage  your  relationship  with them.

Avoid making assumptions about anyone or anything. If you don’t know for certain, ask.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills – Robert Dittmer
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Be loyal

Knowing that your partner is there for you – loyal and trustworthy and 100 per cent for you – is one of the greatest gifts in a relationship and indeed in the whole world. It’s something you give to each other on a constant, unimpeachable basis, and it creates and keeps current a strong,    unquestioning bond of confidence in each other.

Like all the Secrets it’s based on a decision followed by attention. Even when your love is sure and mutually valued,  it’s very possible to forget to back each other up, or to think it funny or clever to disrespect each other. However amusing though, it undermines your respect for them in time and can cause hurt, since pretty soon you won’t be  doing it when you’re alone with your friends, but when you’re both in company. Disloyalty will unsettle your friends anyway for they of course will realize that if you aren’t true to your partner, you certainly won’t be true to them.

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Loyalty doesn’t come in half-measures. You are either loyal or you’re not and if you’re not, your partner will feel betrayed and their love for you will be dented. In time these dents intrude into the fabric  of the love you share.

True, trustworthy loyalty on the other hand creates a warm glow between you. It provides a solid foundation for your love and your whole relationship.

It also feels good to be loyal. You’ll respect yourself more as well as your partner. And when you’re loyal your partner will of course know it and it will take only a little thought and determination to return the compliment and be loyal to  you too.

It’s also one of the greatest factors for happiness in family life. Children love their parents to be united. They may try   to play you off against each other, but if you don’t back each other up they will deep down be disappointed. They   want you to be in agreement with each other – however much they try to push the boundaries you set for them, they will actually love the fact that they know you are a mutual support system because then they will feel safe and have confidence in you and your decisions.

It’s a hugely important Secret of happiness in your relationship and a deep love between you that lasts, strong and sure, no matter what’s going on in your  lives.

AVOID CRITICIZING YOUR PARTNER TO OTHERS
When you’re with friends without your partner, don’t be tempted to start criticizing him. If your friends are being disparaging about their partners, you can listen quietly or steer them away from negativity. If there’s a problem,    suggest they talk it over with their partners and find a positive and constructive way forward. If they’ve just got into a negative groove of thought, say ‘Hey – let’s not be so negative’ or ‘You know what, we choose to be with them – let’s think of all their good points – there are lots of them’. In other words, encourage them to be loyal – as well as helping them it will make it easier for you to be loyal too. Ensure that you don’t follow suit by criticizing your partner. If    there’s an issue you need help with, best of all talk to your partner calmly and lovingly.  – don’t betray your partner by discussing them with friends who may tell  others.
BE ON THE SAME TEAM
In company together, remember you’re on the same side – a couple, together because you love each other. This   doesn’t mean, of course, that you’ll always agree about everything. But it does mean that you’ll defend to the hilt your right to think individually and independently of each other and won’t ever challenge or sabotage this right. So be nice    to and about each other and each other’s opinions when you’re in company. It is fine to say you disagree if you’re  asked, but don’t make a big thing of it. Never be nasty and never belittle them. Always show your respect and love in your words and body language. Let everyone know you’re a team and hot on mutual support. It’s comforting and inspiring to relax in the knowledge that your partner is there for you and values you and what you say, even if they    don’t necessarily agree with you. It’s comfortable for those around you too; the only thing worse than hearing   someone criticize their partner in public is hearing them both do   it!
SECRETS OF HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS – 50 Techniques to Stay in Love – Jenny Hare
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Forgive Yourself for Failings

So, you messed up. Have you taken the steps outlined in this book, such as mending fences, eating crow, offering a peace pipe, and  breaking bread?

If so, then all you can do is get on with your  life.  You’ve  done all you can to correct the situation. Some- times we have to just give people space to get over something—and we have to forgive our- selves, too.

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Beating yourself up over  and  over  about a situation only continues to keep the situation alive, not only in your mind, but in the other person’s mind as well. And it puts you at risk of making the same mistake again.

If you’ve apologized, tried to restore the trust in the relationship,  and  changed  your behavior,  then  you’ve  done  your  part. You’ve  adequately  taken  responsibility,  and that’s  something  in which  you  can  find honor.

We all mess up with each other from time to time. When you mess up, do the right thing, then forgive yourself and move  on.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People  Skills – Rober Dittmer
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Choose Words Carefully

Words can kill! Choose the wrong words and they can kill a relationship.

In fact, words have two meanings: denotation and connotation. Denotation is easy: the definition of the word. We  learn those in school. Connotations, however, are the real-world emotional responses some words can bring about. Connotation is the concepts and ideas that come to mind when the word is spoken, which are sometimes rooted in its definition, and sometimes  not.

Some words are deadly in and of themselves. You would never consider using the “n” word for any reason to anyone. Its definition and connotation are so negative that it evokes strong reactions from just  about everyone.

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Some words, however, come with an intense emotional charge that goes beyond their definitions. Words such as stupid, dumb, ignorant, and general profanity are all pretty obvious. Often we find ourselves using these emotionally charged words in moments of stress, anger, or frustration. And some have made their way into our everyday office speech. For example, many people bristle at the phrase “dumb it down,” which clearly communicates that you think you’re higher on the intelligence food chain than those around you.

Be conscious of words so that your interactions can remain on a neutral and common ground. And never try to set someone off emotionally using words. That’s manipulative

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People  Skills – Robert Dittmer

 

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Give Honesty With an Equal Dose of Compassion

It’s  been  said  that honesty without compassion is cruelty.

Yes,  it’s  true  that  we do prefer people who are straight up with us. We all want to know where we stand. But ever met someone who prides herself on brutal honesty? Someone who feels at ease saying whatever  comes  to mind—all in the name of “just being honest”?

There  is  a  wide  difference  between  “telling  it  like  it  is”  and compassionate honesty. Usually people who are brutally honest lack something crucial in developing relationships. It’s called tact. And tact stems from a sense of compassion.

102But just what exactly is compassion? In short, it’s a measure of sensitivity. It’s knowing that, often, people are unaware that their behavior or actions are rubbing us the wrong way. It’s understanding that people come from different walks of life, and their behaviors  are a result of their culture—domestic, foreign, or family. And that difference doesn’t equate to inferiority.

So when you find you need to “tell it like it is,” tell it with compassion. Let the person know you have his best interests at heart, and you want good things for him. Share facts without judgment, and choose language that demonstrates you believe the best of this person.

When you mix honesty with compassion, you have the right ingredients for friendship and respect.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills – Robert Dittmer
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See Both Sides

There are indeed two sides—or more—to every issue or argument. And people will trust and respect you if you show them you can see the different dimensions of a situation, and not just the  one  you prefer.

By actively seeing both sides, you show people you are fair, thoughtful, and respectful—all traits that make up the people we usu- ally admire the most.

It’s easy to align ourselves to the familiar, or to argue against the unfamiliar. But the person who can stretch beyond what she knows or feels comfortable with, and seek to understand a different view or experience, is truly the gifted among  us.

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In fact, people who can see both sides of an issue are usually viewed as more credible. They’re open-minded—open to change, and open to having their minds changed—and people naturally gravitate to them, or seek them  out.

When we open ourselves up and see differences in views, approaches, and practices, we open ourselves up to a range of possibilities, and a variety of solutions. And we gain a golden opportunity to  learn  about  those  around us.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills – Robert Dittmer

 

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Practice Tolerance

When we speak of tolerance, we are talking about tolerance for other  people’s  points  of view, others’  ideas,  others’  strengths and weaknesses, and so  on.

Remember that people are all different and they have different attitudes, opinions, and values. They also have different strengths  and  weaknesses. Sometimes some or all of these things can seem to be a problem. Sometimes they seem to be barriers to relationships and to getting things  done.

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We all need to recognize that we are different, and to cherish those differences. After all, if we were all the same, it would be a boring world!

Recognize that everyone has a right to their opinions and values, even if they disagree with yours. Agree to disagree, and move forward  with  your tasks.

The key tolerance you need to develop is for those people who don’t have the skills or knowledge you do. Someone makes a mistake because she is not as good at something as you are. Don’t fly off the handle; that will surely damage any relationship you may have with her. Work with her. Understand her shortcomings and offer to help her overcome those shortcomings in knowledge or skills. After all, you want her to tolerate your shortcomings, don’t you?

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People  Skills – Robert Dittmer
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