Category Archives: Communication

How to Set Healthy Boundaries Within Your Personal Relationships

It is important with any personal relationship, to set healthy boundaries from the very onset of the relationship. By “personal relationship,” I am not referring strictly to romantic ones but also friendships, family members, and professional relationships within the workplace. I think too often, people don’t really set their standards and expectations too concisely so it is easy for someone to feel like they are getting taken advantage of which is why it is beneficial to be mindful about how to set healthy boundaries from the start.

Communicate and Be Honest – It is most essential to be concrete when expressing to others what your boundaries are. This can be done with your words or your actions and sometimes a combination of both. If someone does something that bothers you, then you need to speak up and convey that to the other person. No one is a mind reader which is a reason why it is important to tell someone immediately if there is an issue so that it does not become an ongoing problem. Being as open and honest as possible is a good thing and one should never feel that they have to hide what they are feeling in order to maintain a relationship with the other person.

Apply Consequences When Necessary – Sometimes consequences are needed in order to shape a person’s behavior and show how you expect to be treated. I would consider this to be a tough love tactic but one that often works because most people don’t really learn a lesson unless there’s a consequence in place. I am not saying that you need to stoop to their level but find a way to implement a consequence and see if the other person’s behavior changes for the better.

Be Willing to Walk Away – The other person will always have the upper hand if you settle and tolerate their bad behavior. If you have the ability to walk away, you gain respect and send the message that you are not putting up with anyone’s nonsense. Although taking time away from this person might be temporary, it might be a good time to assess if you should remove yourself from this person altogether. People come and go and sometimes you have to weed out the bad ones who don’t have a place in your life to begin with.

What to Do When Someone Tries to Make You Jealous

There are going to be times when people go out of their way to try to make you jealous, whether it be intentional on their part or sometimes it could be done inadvertently. Whatever the case may be, there are different approaches to handle these situations. Every situation is situational in that it depends on the person (such as someone close to you or someone who is more of an acquaintance) and if it was an action or maybe a comment said to you. Regardless, first and foremost, never let someone get the best of you and give it no serious thought. In other words, just dismiss it as opposed to thinking about it to the point where it will bring you down. From there, you have some options as to how you want to go about it in terms of dealing with the person who is trying to make you jealous.

Ignore It Altogether – If someone is trying to make you jealous, chances are that this person wants to impact you negatively or wants to evoke some sort of reaction out of you. It is for this reason that it can be better psychology to just ignore it completely because the person will eventually give up this behavior if they know that you are mentally strong and that it has no effect on you whatsoever. It is kind of like the expression, “talking to a brick wall” and you’re the wall where there is absolutely no response. As a result, the other person will eventually get bored after awhile.

Call the Person Out on It – If you know the person very well, I think it is okay at times to actually call the person out on their behavior as a way to correct it. Sometimes people truly are not self aware enough to realize how something they said or done to make someone jealous is inappropriate, rude, hurtful, etc. Although it might feel a little uncomfortable to confront someone, I don’t think it hurts to speak up because you might actually be doing the person a favor so that they do not continue to do this–not only to you but to others.

Consider Cutting This Person Out of Your Life – I know this sounds harsh but if there is someone within your social circle who has developed a pattern of trying to stir up feelings of jealousy onto you, I would strongly question why this person is in your life to begin with. I understand if the person is a co worker whom you see daily that it might be hard to let this person go or if the person is a family member, then this could also be a challenge; however, you can at the very least limit your contact with this person. On the other hand, if this is a person whom you choose to have as a part of your life such as a friend or significant other, I think it might be a good time to reassess if this person is worth keeping close to you.

Learn To Read the Signs – A Change in Behavioral Patterns Often Dictate the Truth

When it comes to trying to understand others, people naturally tend to develop patterns that are consistent over time. For example, when you send a text to someone you are close to, you generally have a sense of when they are going to get back to you (rather instantly or perhaps in a few hours) and the way in which they correspond with you. Some people might write a series of short messages whereas someone might take the time to write one long message. The use of emojis is a pattern as well with some people using them frequently, not at all, or every so often. My point is, after getting to know someone, you start to pick up on subtle patterns and know what you can expect from this person.

I generally believe that patterns are a very good thing because they create emotional security and reliability where what you see is what you get. Patterns set up certain standards that you will form about the other person. Personally, I do not have the patience for people who are inconsistent with their communication style and who are rather unpredictable; however this is a pattern that I recognize can be a foundation within one’s personality. Meaning that if this is the way some people are, this is still a part of their pattern of being more spontaneous and unstructured–essentially this is who they are as people. In other words, don’t mistake spontaneity as not being a pattern, it definitely can be classified as one if this person is spontaneous on the regular.

I recommend paying attention to an individual’s behavioral patterns because this can often indicate many things about this person such as their character, personality traits, values, feelings towards you, etc. They are always very telling if you take the time to examine them. When there is a major change in one’s behavioral pattern, you need to keep your eyes open and collect these emotional cues as usually there are more than one (it can be either good or bad) in better understanding the truth. I don’t think there is much room for people to be blindsided by others because if one takes the time to simply notice a shift in behavior, it is actually quite clear the outcome. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get blindsided, of course there are rare occasions where it can happen but what I am saying is that it can easily be prevented if you are sensing a change in one’s behavior. Sometimes the emotional cues can be very indistinct but they tend to always be there. Unfortunately, I think people’s perception can often blind people from the truth. Perception is NOT always the reality–I once read somewhere that reality is reality. I do agree with this statement. If someone is treating you differently than what you were once used to, take these signs at face value because this is the present reality. I don’t care how things once were, you have to be living in the present moment and not your past. You also cannot ignore the signs and think to yourself, “Oh this is temporary” or “It doesn’t really mean anything is different.” By thinking this way, you will be left blindsided which is why it is important to catch when someone’s patterns change as soon as they begin to happen.

The Pros and Cons of Telling Someone That You Like Them

When you come across someone who you genuinely like, there comes a time where you might wonder if you should take it a step further and say something to this person or if you are better off not saying a word. Everyone’s dating life is situational, so there truly is not a one size fits all answer to this; however, there are some factors to think about before making a decision on what’s best for your personal situation and to prevent making any hasty decisions.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself first before considering the pros and cons of telling someone that you like them:

– How long have you known this person?
Timing is everything when it comes to building personal relationships. If it is too soon, the other person might not have developed the same feelings towards you or if too much time was taken before saying something, the person might have lost patience and interest with the slow pace of the relationship and already has moved on. Needless to say, timing is definitely a factor.

– How did you meet this person? (From work, school, online, mutual friend, etc.)

The way in which you met this person can influence whether or not it is a wise choice to say something. I say that because if you met this person at your workplace, it might not be worth expressing your interest because the other person might prefer to keep things more professional. If you met online, it might be more acceptable to say something as both of you went on a dating app in hopes of meeting someone and might both have the same desire to start a relationship.

– Do you think this person feels the same way about you?
It can be very tricky to know where you stand in the other person’s mind, whether they view you strictly as a friend, crush, casual fling, or a potential love interest. Although you might not be a mind reader, it is sensible to think about whether or not the other person likes you enough for the relationship to progress. If the feelings are not mutual, you could run the risk of making the current relationship that you have with this person extremely awkward.

After thinking about some crucial details in regards to your situation, we can now discuss the pros and cons in telling someone that you like them. I think it can be a good idea to say something if you have spent enough quality time with the other person for feelings to naturally develop and if you do sense there is even a hint of a mutual interest. The reason being that this way, you don’t waste anyone’s time and can see where the relationship goes. I also do believe that it is healthy to be able to express your emotions in order to stay true to yourself and not have to hold back in any way. If it turns out that the other person does not feel the same and you hold zero emotional attachment to the outcome, then it is also not a bad idea to say something because if you get rejected, at least it is better to know now than to find this out after investing too much time with this person. Even if the outcome is not in your favor, it still is more beneficial to know this information as soon as possible so that you can move on to a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship down the line.

As previously mentioned, the only major con to saying something is that you could get outright rejected; however, rejection does not need to be perceived as such a bad thing as it is a part of life and should be embraced for building inner strength and personal growth. I say that because often times, people need to fail now in order to succeed later. If you are emotionally attached to the outcome and already know that your ego is going to be deeply crushed if the person does not like you in return, then it might be better to not say anything and to continue to just take it one day at a time.

Ideally, if you do not form any emotional attachment to the outcome, then you are not at risk of getting hurt and can move on rather quickly. This is the ultimate goal because then no matter their response, you still have the upper hand in the situation by being in control of your destiny and in knowing that you are totally fine either way! 😉

When Words and Actions Don’t Line Up – Which is More of an Indicator of a Person’s True Intent?

[I was going through my saved drafts and stumbled upon this title I wrote from June of 2020 so I guess this was a topic that was on my mind a year ago but one that I never took the time to develop. So I figured I might as well write my thoughts on this].

They always say, “Actions speak louder than words.” However, aren’t there instances where a person’s words can speak louder than their actions? Or better yet, when a person’s actions and words are consistently equal with one another? Unfortunately, many people tend to send mixed messages (whether intended or not) so it is not always easy to understand someone’s intent when their actions and words don’t go hand in hand. This is where you have to rely more heavily on your intuition as opposed to your perception. Typically, your intuition will guide you in the right direction. When you experience moments of doubt, trust what your intuition is telling you. If you ever sense a lack of clarity, it exists for a reason so take it seriously.

Aside from your intuition which we are naturally born with, some people have sharper intuition than others. Meaning that intuition is not enough in really understanding whether or not a person’s actions or words are more reliable. I find that this is why you need to understand what is more important to that specific person. For example, for me personally, given the choice–I value words more than actions. In my interactions with others, I prefer to use my words and be direct with people as a way to communicate as opposed to actions alone. That does not mean that I cannot be deciphered based on the actions I take but what it does mean is that my words can be taken at total face value. What I say is what I mean–there typically is not a hidden meaning behind my words. I try to make an effort to chose my words wisely and I appreciate when people communicate concisely the way I do, although I am aware enough to know that not everyone is like me in that way. Although this is my preference, there are people who don’t really take their words as seriously or even choose to use their words as often as they prefer to communicate with their actions. This is why you need to examine an individual to see what they value more as this will tend to determine how they communicate with the outside world. People are always conveying their true selves through both their words and actions but at the end of the day, people are going to best express themselves through their desired form of communication.

3 Ways to Leave a Positive Emotional Impact on Others

I think when you are naturally more driven by emotions and have a higher EI (emotional intelligence), it comes natural to consciously question, “Do I emotionally impact others in a positive way?” If this is something that never really crosses your mind, then it might be time to bring some self awareness on this subject matter–especially if you consider yourself more of thinker type (one who uses their head more than their heart) or you classify yourself as an emotionless individual.

There is nothing wrong with not being a feeler type as I recognize there are many people who are not built to operate in this way. I do not think anyone should have to change their foundation or that it is even a realistic request as our genetics strongly dictate how we are hardwired to function. However, I do believe that in order to improve your personal and professional relationships, be successful in any business and/or career, and just have more positive everyday encounters, paying attention to the emotional impact you leave on others is essential. Taking the time to just be aware of how you treat others is the first major step. Even if you are emotionally clueless and have no idea how to really emotionally impact others in a positive way, there are certain practices that can implemented to increase the likelihood that a person will develop a positive feeling towards you.

Be a Good Listener and Acknowledge What They Say – In order to really develop a connection with someone, it is important to be a good listener because people want to be able to express themselves and feel like they are truly being heard. To take it a step further, not only remember what the person tells you but acknowledge what they say by applying what they tell you. For example, if the person tells you the type of music that they listen to, you can apply this information by then actually listening to their music to show your interest. From there, you can then make music suggestions based on what they tell you that they like. If you try to suggest music that you like but it’s not something they really like, then this is not really acknowledging their personal interests.

Give Meaningful Validation – People generally like to receive validation from others but when genuine and meaningful validation is given, it has a much higher emotional impact on someone than just giving validation for the sake of it. For example, if someone is an athlete, telling the person they are a great athlete might not hold too much meaning to them because this is what they do and they already are aware of their athletic strengths. If you further get to know the person on a deeper level to learn their other positive attributes which aren’t validated all too often and then compliment them on it, this will definitely make you stand out from others who just compliment them on what is obvious to them.

Show Engagement With Your Body Language – When there isn’t a verbal exchange, people will heavily rely on body language as it is very telling and can either positively or negatively rub someone the wrong way. Body language that is more open and inviting such as smiling, making eye contact, and just giving off a general positive vibe will definitely leave a more favorable impression by showing you are open and engaged in them personally. I understand there will be times that you will not want to attract too much attention from strangers but if you are entering a new social environment or workplace where first impressions matter, it might be a good idea to pay closer attention to your body language. When someone is standoffish with their body language such as never smiling, having their arms crossed, socially obvious to their surroundings, or just caught up in their own world, then this will send the message of detachment when this might not necessarily be the case.

When Words Are a Facade and So Are Actions – What to Look For Instead

There is the common saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” While there is much truth to that, I never fully agreed with that statement because some people are actually better with their words. They are more easily able to express themselves than others with words and articulate their true intent better than conveying it through their actions. They are the type you can take at face value because they say what they mean.

Then there are people who can relate more to that statement where their actions carry more weight than their words because what they say is not what they mean or they simply don’t say anything at all to express themselves. Although they may not have the capacity to really say what is on their mind per se or while also being the ones to talk a good game but their words mean nothing, then their actions will show their true hand more often than not.

In a perfect world, people’s words and actions should be pretty in line with each other. However, we all know that this often times is not the case. People tend to send what appears to be mixed messages where what they say (or don’t say) is not in harmony with what they do OR vice versa where an action does not match up whatsoever with something they said. So now what? How do you understand the underlying truth?

Solution: Pay attention to the person’s PATTERNS. This is not always an easy task if encountering a stranger or someone you do not know too well but if it is someone that you know well such as a friend, family member, co-worker, etc. then it should be a little easier to pick it up. Patterns really dictate most what a person is thinking, feeling, wanting, and provide an overall picture of this person’s intent. It is important to examine people’s patterns because this will give you better clarity and hopefully some consistency when things on the surface seem a little grey and fuzzy.

While many people are not always able to express themselves through their words or their actions at the same time, look at which more outweighs the other (words vs. actions) by observing the patterns within their behavior. It is a good practice to sit back and make some mental observations while also using your intuition as a guide. There is a reason why we have intuition, we just have to trust it more.

“Out of Touch? – I’m Out of Time” – When to Keep it Moving

Hall & Oates absolutely had it right back in 1984 with their ever so catchy hit, “Out of Touch.” I figured out a way to add it to my post so you can take a listen if you are not familiar with the song. Despite its popularity at the time, I do not think I actually became aware of how much I liked this song until maybe ten years ago when I actually payed attention to the words. This song never gets old to me by ear but when examining the lyrics, I developed a deeper appreciation for the track.

It is without a doubt that communication is a necessity in any healthy relationship. Although many people live busy lives, the good news is that thanks to technology, there are many ways to stay in contact with someone. I would say the easiest is by text but a good old fashioned phone call is just as effective. For people in long distance relationships or for those who want to have the ability to see each other face-to-face, there are also ways to connect in a virtual platform such as Skype or Zoom. What I am getting at with all of this is that with so many available options to connect, there is really no excuse for a communication barrier unless the person is doing something very important at a given moment, in the company of others where it would be rude to utilize their phone, in some sort of emergency situation, or lost their phone altogether. Of course there are plenty of other legitimate reasons that can explain why someone is not able to respond right away but there are also plenty of reasons why someone is out of touch for unjustifiable reasons (such as laziness or lack of care) in which you need to recognize this difference.

When people come to me seeking advice regarding what to do when someone they are starting to date or getting to know takes their sweet time to respond to a text message (I’m not talking hours, I’m talking an extensive amount of days or perhaps weeks) or does not even initiate much contact to begin with, my response is, “Out of touch, out of time.” Meaning that if someone is taking too long to reply on a day-to-day basis or does not make much of an effort to want to be in contact with you, no matter how interested you might be, there is no need to double text or chase them. It is time to accept the reality that the person is not that interested or perhaps is “too busy” and to just keep it moving. Think about it: Is it really acceptable to be with someone who is here today and gone tomorrow? Is there a good reason for making excuses for someone’s lack of communication (aka lack of interest)? I always remind people that a delayed response or no response at all tends to speak volumes of their true intent or in this case, lack of intent. Trust me, if someone wants to track you down or reply to you, the person knows how to and has plenty of ways to get a hold of you.

Let me break it down in another way: If the other person drops the ball, it is not your responsibility to pick it up so don’t. Instead, let it roll away and be in the hands of someone who will want to pick it up. It is really that simple.

On a final note, the next time this happens to you, please don’t question why, please don’t feel bad about yourself, please don’t chase them, and please don’t invest any more of your mental energy–just remember to sing in your head Hall & Oate’s famous line, “You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.” 😉 Then focus your attention elsewhere.