“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
As you know I often spend time talking about happiness keys and what we might do to use them. Recently I read an article that provided tips for what I believe is the most important element of true happiness and that is building and sustaining strong relationships with others. I sincerely believe that the greatest contributor to unhappiness is isolation and loneliness. Even those who maintain a gregarious outward appearance can be truly lonely if they are unable to retain trusting relationships with others.
Here is what Bud Bilanich executive coach, motivational speaker, author, and blogger offers as tools to help build permanent bridges to true friendship:
It Pays to Be Nice
Here are some thoughts to help you become more interpersonally competent. If you use them, you will be able to build strong, lasting relationships with the people around you.
* Work hard at relating well with all kinds of people. People who are different from you might make you feel uncomfortable at first. However, they also have the potential for teaching you something you didn't know.
* Listen well and demonstrate your understanding of others' points of view. Ask questions if you don't understand; repeat your understanding to make sure you got it right.
* Be a consensus builder. If you focus on where you agree with another person, you'll find that it will be easier to resolve differences and come to agreement.
* Learn how to relate to all kinds of people. Focus on building mutually beneficial relationships.
* Put others at ease. Be diplomatic and tactful.
* Be warm, pleasant and gracious, and sensitive to the interpersonal needs and anxieties of others.
* Be receptive to feedback.
* Take a deep breath when you are angry. Don't blow up. Present your side of things in a measured tone of voice.
* Take responsibility for your feelings. Don't blame others if you are unhappy.
* Be easy to get to know. Share your feelings. Be open about your personal beliefs.
* Be attentive to the needs of others. Listen actively. Set a goal of listening twice as much as you speak.
* Avoid judging and criticizing and preparing your response while the other person is speaking. Instead, focus on understanding what they are saying, and the emotions behind what they are saying.
* Show others the respect they deserve as human beings -- listen to them and do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Respond to the feelings they share with you before responding with facts.
* Be humble, not a know-it-all. Apologize when you're at fault. Give people credit when they are correct.
* Speak only when you have something to add to the conversation. Don't make comments just to hear yourself speak. Don't state the obvious.
* Look people in the eye when you are speaking with them. Ask questions to clarify things that are not clear to you.
* Acknowledge other people for their contributions and talents. Everyone likes to hear nice things about themselves.
The common sense point here is simple, and a little Zen-like. People can spot a phony. So don't just act in an interpersonally competent manner. Be interpersonally competent. Treat people with respect. Engage them. Listen to what they have to say. Avoid being judgmental and overly critical.
“There are two types of people - those who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are."”
Frederick L. Collins
Young Morris asked his father, "Dad, was Adam Jewish?"
His father put down his newspaper and thought for a moment. He was an expert at Talmudic reasoning and in the art of making a point by an unanswerable question. He replied, "If we can determine that Eve was Jewish, my son, we would at once see that Adam was Jewish, for who but a Jew could bring himself to marry a Jewish girl?" (Here he turned his head a bit nervously to make sure his wife wasn't listening.)
"Therefore, we can drop the Adam problem and instead ask ourselves, "Was Eve Jewish?"
"To answer that, we have only to ask the question, "Would anyone but a Jewish girl say, 'Here, have a piece of fruit'?"
If Barbie's so popular, why do you have to buy all her friends?
A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large".
Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan immediately says, “We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows". The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, "And what are those"?
The Aussie replies with an incredulous look, "Don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas"?
Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.
A new pastor moved into town and went out one Saturday to visit his parishioners. All went well until he came to one house. It was obvious that someone was home, but no one came to the door even after he had knocked several times. Finally, he took out his card, wrote on the back "Revelation 3:20" and stuck it in the door. (Revelation 3:20 reads: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he will with me.")
The next day, as he was counting the offering he found his card in the collection plate. Below his message was a notation "Genesis 3:10" ("And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked.").
"To attract men, I wear a perfume called 'New Car Interior'."
I was getting into my car when I noticed a dent. On the windshield was a note and a phone number from the driver. "I feel terrible," the woman apologized when I called. "I hit your car as I was pulling into the next parking spot."
"Please don't worry," I said to her. "I'm sure our insurance companies will take care of everything."
"Thank you for your understanding," she said. "You're so much nicer than the man I hit on my way out."
Ballerinas are always on their toes. Why don't they just get taller ballerinas?
My friend, the manager of a grocery store, nabbed a shoplifter in the act. He was escorting the suspect to the office in the front of the store (near the cash registers), when the shoplifter broke from his grip and tried to run.
After a scuffle, my friend pinned him against the wall and looked up to see a number of surprised customers staring at him.
"Everything's fine, Folks," he reassured them. "This guy just tried to go through the express line with more than ten items."
"We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck...But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness."
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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