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Communication

Manage the Unspoken Messages You’re Sending Others


Clear your negative thoughts and align with a more loving and warm-hearted energy before you speak or act.

We have all experienced the impact of our words and actions in relationships. When we say something mean or snarky, people tend to react with either a return attack or defensiveness. What we tend to be far less aware of is the power of the energy we are holding when we say and do things. For instance, if you are visiting family during the holidays and say, “So great to see you again!” while thinking far less kind sentiments, the negative energy transmitted may well get a negative reaction in spite of the kind words.

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Family

Are You Regularly Leaping to Conclusions in Your Life?

You’re walking to work, and suddenly see a friend of a friend heading your way. You’re about to say hi, but they pass right by, without even acknowledging you. Obviously, they don’t like you. You keep asking your friend to get together, but they ignore you. Obviously, they’re mad at you or don’t want to be around you. Your spouse gets home from work, and barely says a word. Obviously, they’re annoyed that the house is a mess, and the baby is screaming—and they think it’s all your fault. Your boss has yet to return your call or email. Obviously, it’s because they’re disappointed with your latest presentation or overall performance.   
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Friends

Digital Versus Human Communication

It’s amazing to think that less than twenty years ago, if I wanted to communicate with someone from afar, I’d have to call them on the telephone, mail them a letter, or perhaps even send them a telegram. To say the world of communication has changed is an understatement, and this dramatic transformation comes with its share of pros and cons.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Start Conversations with Strangers

How do you enter conversations with people you don't know?

I grew up with gregarious parents and have enthusiastically emulated them. Although my mother referred to herself as shy, I never observed her that way. She seemed to be able to engage with people in various scenarios. My father was raised in South Philly (home of the iconic pugilist character Rocky) where talking to people on the stoop or street corner was commonplace. He learned how to communicate with those from all walks of life from his own blue collar, working class sensibilities. No matter where our family went, it seems my father always knew someone, and it took forever to say goodbye as we attempted to take our leave. I would also marvel as he would strike up conversations with people he had never met. 
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Friends

Podcast: Why Is It Hard for Adults to Make Friends?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales talk about friendship. Specifically, why we find it so much more difficult to make friends as adults than when we were young. Among the points covered is the fact that not everyone has the same definition of “friend.” Also discussed are the various pools of people available to us as friends and the ways in which we meet them. Most pertinent, though, is the major difference in how children and adults tend to determine who is worthy of being a friend. (Hint: kids might have a better grasp on it.)
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Friends

Flexible Boundaries: Affirming Ourselves While Staying Connected

Personal boundaries are often discussed as knowing where we end and others begin. Boundaries define who we are -- honoring ourselves as a separate individual with needs and wants that differ from others. Without setting boundaries, we may allow others to trample over us and override our own feelings and what’s important to us. We lose our voice; we get lost in their world of desires. Having very weak boundaries, we may get eaten alive by people who are very clear about what they want!

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Friends

Smiling Improves Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

I’ve been fortunate to visit Thailand many times and after being here again, I’ve been asking myself: How is it that so many Thai people are quick to flash spontaneous and radiant smiles? Spend even a little time here and you’ll understand why Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles.”

A cynical interpretation is that smiling faces are a fake show of happiness designed to captivate tourists. And of course, a smile can sometimes cover up one's true feelings, such as nervousness, anger, or sadness. But from my own observations and after speaking with many savvy travelers, I'm convinced that the smiles are often genuine.

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Family

Why We’re Terrible Communicators and What We Can Do

A big part of Cheryl Sexton’s work is helping clients talk to each other in clear, compassionate and connected ways. Because most of us are actually terrible communicators, and naturally that hinders our interactions, and chips away at our relationships.

We tend to be terrible communicators because we often get too anxious. We yearn to say the right things, and thereby worry incessantly about bringing up a sensitive topic. We replay worst-case scenarios about how the other person will respond. Sometimes, we get so anxious we totally shut down and stop speaking, said
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