Listening Without Defensiveness

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Being defensive is the act of defending oneself against the criticism of others. Listening without being defensive is listening with the absence of ignoring, twisting, offensive and defensive. It is being able to separate the individual and what they are saying, and considering their views.

How many of you have been in a place where you only respond critically? Perhaps it’s human to do so. I believe that I have always been a good listener. But at various stages in my life, I listened with a different purpose. But never to argue or become defensive.

An example of defensiveness …

Person 1: I believe you have the wrong information.

Person 2: How dare you!

Undefensive: How do you know that?

It is respectfully and calmly listening to the criticism of others. And not listen to respond because of preconceived notions or before the speaker summarize what he or she is saying.

With what intention do you listen? Is it to argue or understand? To be offensive or angry? Or misinterpret?

On several occasions, I have had this experience with someone close to me. To my mind, almost every conversation with this individual is barely completed. Generally, the entire time is spent answering questions based on half statements made. Entertaining? Not quite. Whether what I have to say is right or wrong, whether you agree or not I love to know I have an intent listener. Upon conclusion, comments and critics can be made.

Arguing with someone during a conversation and becoming defensive and angry defeats the purpose of the communication. How can one make an assumption or surmise based on incomplete information? What quality of response can you give in a state of heightened emotions?

An eristic. This is a fitting description of the individual. It is defined as a person with the quality of a debater – one who values winning an argument rather than arriving at the truth.

This doesn’t anger me but frustrates me due to the fact that I am unable to fully communicate what I have to say. In the end, the conversation intended is only a memory.

“Most people do not listen with intent to understand; they listen with intent to reply.”

Stephen R. Covey

Listening to argue

Try listening to understand rather than proving a point. When you disagree with others put your opinions aside and listen to what is being communicated. It is an emotional waste to argue with someone who only wants to hear what they want to hear. How can anyone have a conversation with someone who doesn’t want to listen? What will you converse about if the communication process is broken? Aim for listening to fully understand what is being related and to truly understand the other person opinion. Not to argue because you believe your opinion is more important.

Listening to become angry

Are you listening or waiting to be pissed off? Why? This describes the type of individual who believes that only his/her opinion matters. How many of you have had this experience? They are becoming increasingly popular these days. The issue with this kind of listening is that listening rarely takes place. The individual will completely miss the point resulting in misinterpreting and misunderstanding.

Someone who listens to understand is quite different from someone who doesn’t. Perhaps the problem lies in listening skills. If you want to have a cordial conversation, listening is tantamount to understanding what the speaker is saying. How will you be able to respond if you have a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions going on? Learning and practising healthy communication skills is the stepping-stone for communicating with others.

Listening plays an important role in refining one’s personal development. In fact, listening to others perspective demonstrate a positive feature of one’s personality and contributes to building close relationships with others. Therefore, it is very important to practice active listening skills. By becoming a better listener you can be more productive, persuasive and what more? Avoid conflicts and misunderstandings,

Here is another example of a good listener.

Spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills. Remember, good communication requires a great amount of awareness and is a significant contributor to developing relationships in all aspects of your life.

Why I Believe New Years Resolution Are Pointless

Why attempt to set a resolution when you have no idea what will transpire in the next few months? Or better yet, why set resolutions at the end of the year when you can make them any time during the year? After all, we’ve seen the uncertainty this Covid Pandemic has brought with it.

Why do we make resolutions? I’ve asked a few acquaintances this question and these are some of the responses I’ve got. “It feels good to make a change at the end of the year,” ” I’ve been waiting for a new beginning,” “This is the best time to do so,” I’d like to see some changes in my life,” “It makes me feel good to know that I have a chance to change my life.” And many more BSs.

I’ve always seen new year resolutions as pointless. I recall people asking me “so what are your new year’s resolutions?” It irks me. I always believe that one shouldn’t have to be driven to make changes in their lives just because it’s the end of the year. Whatever happened to 364 days? Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many people out there who make resolutions all the time. I tend to think that people love the feeling they get when they think about new years resolutions – coupled with the large gatherings and celebrations on the most pumped night of the year – friends, family, drinks lights music etc. I guess all these are reasons to feel compelled and motivated to make a change in their life. What else?

I’m not here to write about whether one can uphold their new year’s resolution after January 1. Whether you can or not that is your responsibility.

My point is resolutions can be made any time of the year. But I guess it is more fitting when humans envision the words “new year resolutions.” Sounds powerful? Or pointless? In fact, making a resolution gives you a great sense of self and efficacy by strengthening your belief that you can take action that is beneficial to your life and your situation. But all this great feeling can be experienced during a year and not necessarily at the end of December.

You might even say it’s tradition. That is understandable. But humans love to follow each other – go with the flow – everyone is doing it. Blah blah. I know it feels great to reshuffle your life. But imagine having the same feeling during the year because you decide that you won’t sit around and wait for that special night in December.

Sometimes I wonder what is the psychology in it.

Don’t give up making resolutions. But perhaps you can consider making a resolution any time of the year. This doesn’t mean it will be easier to achieve, but it comes with the same requirements to maintain and accomplish.

The idea for a “feel-good moment” might propel you to transform your life into what you may not be ready for, or perhaps be influenced by external elements that don’t align with your vision. Take time to pause and reflect.

Understandably, whether you make resolutions at the end of the year or during the year you can end up having the same results. Whether bad or good. Or unaccomplished. Making it a reality is up to you.

However, waiting until the end of the year to make resolutions can be as exciting as doing so during the course of the year and offers many opportunities to experience moments of invigoration.

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What Matters

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts, it’s the life in your years.”

Dr. Seuss

I saw that quote on a social medium (claiming it’s quoted by Dr Seuss) and a lot of things came to my mind. It is impossible to predict things, and at the same time, it is also vital to have a plan. It’s not your business, but I do have a plan. Asking questions aid in identifying things in our lives that are wasting our time.

I feel if I do not communicate with someone – whether family or not – often or not I prefer not to keep them around – nothing serious – and this speaks to my use of social media and the so-call friend’s list. I’ve been doing this for a while now. I even unfollow pages that are irrelevant to my personal development. No, it isn’t being petty. It’s protecting my space and decluttering the things and people who are not on the same path as I am. It feels more peaceful and kind of safe.

It’s the latter part of the quote above that speak to me. Living life isn’t about age but, about what is done to make life worthwhile. What can be done to make it worthwhile? For me, it is ridding yourself of the things that don’t contribute to your growth and development. That involves people, things, events and attitudes that are inessential. So this is what I’m doing with my years to make it count. This will also ensure that my years be of good quality and worthwhile living. And if this is to be achieved it will require less hoarding and instead decluttering from time to time.

Always get rid of things you don’t need and ultimately serves no purpose.

2022 is almost here, what are you giving your time to? What are some of the best things you’ve done this year? Were those things beneficial to you? How did it help to develop your life? Are you happy about it?

If you believe that you haven’t done enough or anything at all it’s never too late to start. Take the time right now to plan how you want your life to transform. Maybe you have habits and patterns you want to get rid of. There are so many things that hold us back and prevent us from improving. But if you want to move forward letting go is your only option. Don’t wait for approval from others, this is your life and you must do what it takes to develop yourself and make your life more worthwhile.

Final thoughts.

Living in a fast-paced world, sometimes we forget the things that are important to us. Those are usually the things that are essential to our growth and development. That’s why I always we must first work on ourselves to change the game. Your focus should be to make an extraordinary life for yourself. Give it your all and avoid comparing yourself to others. The life you create for yourself should measure up to your goals and dreams not the life of others.

Start believing today that you can – and you are responsible for your life and only you can change it. That’s all that matters.

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My Gift to You This Christmas

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If you could give your readers one gift this holiday season what would it be like?

I have been thinking about what I should give my readers this holiday season and came up with the idea of giving a special gift that would be beneficial to you now and in the long run. A gift that wll make a huge contribution to you personal development.

My wish is for you to use this gift for the purpose that is intended. Are we clear? Great!

If I could give you any gift what would it be? After thinking about it thoroughly, I decided that I will give you a special gift that will change you as an individual in an extraordinary way. When you’re given this gift practice and use it to full potential.

I want to give you the gift of self-love and self-validation.

Self-love. Forming a loving relationship with yourself. It involves physical, mental, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual love. I will not look at them individually but as a whole. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you will have in your lifetime. Here is the definition of self-love from its says, “The instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being; regard for or love of one’s self.”

One of the things we constantly seek, as human is to be love. You know what it is, I know what it is, to do so. Here is an example of self-love: forgiving yourself, setting healthy and workable boundaries etc. When this is given, it feels great. The question is: What happens when you are not receiving love? Do you feel empty? What does that tells you? If you are a person who haven’t practice self-love it will most likely mean that you aren’t worthy enough or you don’t deserve it. These belief system cause you to undermine yourself and create results you never intended for youself.

Out there in the world, people will project on to you who they are. And this can be bad for you if you are seeking it externally . You can end up hating yourself and questioning what your’re doing wrong. But this is what happens when you rely on others to be satisfied in this manner.

Practice self-love. This will come with loving what you hate the most about yourself. Because self-love is about loving the guilt, the ashamed, the insecurities and accepting yourself. It is important to shine a light on these, until then, you will never be able to accept yourself.

There are people who won’t like your style. On the other hand there will be those who will. If you are grounded in yourself. what others think of you or if they don’t like you won’t matter. Think about this. If you were looking to them for acceptance you would be questioning your ability. And that kind of negativity will keep you on a Carousel. Decide today that you are enough, that you get to decide who you are and what you think about yourself. It’s the most beautiful and liberating feeling of all.

Self-validation. According to validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts and your feelings. For example, you’ll say “it’s okay that I said no to my friends last night,” “It’s normal to feel this way” or “I did my best.”

Needing people to tell you what you are worthy of and how you should feel and think; When this is not given rejection dominates leaving a feeling of unworthiness. And this compels you to act in accordance with societal norms. Remember what self-validation is … understanding and accepting yourselves. Of course, it’s hard for anyone to accept themselves with faults and limitation. When you validate yourself you feel positive about yourself, you understand and respect your emotions, accept all your flaws, and support yourself. Like self-love, this need a lot of practice to make it valid.

A self-validated person is confident and make independant choices and is not dependant on others’ views and opinion to accept themselves. They have the ability to understand and express their inner need without evaluation. A self-validated individated individual can handle complex emotions better than many people and do not need approval for decisions they make for their personal lives.

It is vital to feel worthy and positive of oneself. Develop a positive approach to your feelings and thoughts. This process begins with a full understanding of oneself.

Here’s how you can self-validate.

Be aware of your emotions and thoughts. This will help you to understand how you feel and think. Avoid being critical of yourself, because to self-validate you will have to let your emotions flow for you to accept them. So never try to change them. Emotions can be intense. This is a normal part of life. It’s normal to be happy, sad, and angry don’t punish yourself or those around you for what has transpired. Practice self-love. Praising and affirming your feelings is a good way to care for yourself. Always take good care of your health and give yourself the love you truly need.

Final thoughts. The right place to seek validation is within. You are your own best friend and no one can love and respect you more than you do. Be honest with who you are, love and value your worth and what you are capable of. Don’t buy in to the opinion of others, otherwise this will lead to self-invalidation. It’s good to have feedback but never let that be your reason to feel good because this can destroy you. Practive giving it to yourself and you will create better results.

Happy, happy holidays to all of you.

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