criticism

Some Suggestions About Criticism

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One of the biggest problems I have seen that has an impact on people’s communication skills and the experiences that they have with others is their ability to criticize much, while keeping praises and complements to a minimum.  In my experience, what has strengthened many of my relationships is my ability to give out more compliments than criticisms.  I try to find genuine reasons to give a compliment.  Most people will know if you are making things up.  It is usually much easier to find what is wrong with a person and how they do things differently from you, than it is to see the positives and similarities.    

Communication with Yourself 

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This is a very important aspect of communication that most people rarely think of, or tend to miss altogether, but you need to take care of you! When you take care of you, it becomes much easier to take care of and help the other people around you. You begin to value yourself and therefore begin to value those around you more. If you have ever been on an airplane, during the pre-flight safety demonstrations, there is a reason they tell you that if the oxygen masks are deployed, that you should put yours on first. If you start by putting on your children’s mask, or trying to help others around you, there’s a good chance that you will get panicky or lose control.  By not taking care of yourself first, you become useless to everyone and won’t be able to help anyone. On the other hand, if you put your mask on first, you will remain calm and relaxed; therefore, you will be better able to serve and help those around you. This is not an invitation to be selfish and neglectful of others, using the excuse that you have to take care of yourself first; but if you are practicing the rest of this program, that will not be an issue, you will instinctively know what to do.

Stages of Development 

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It’s important to know the stages your children will grow through and how you can be there to help them and to encourage them through each of these stages.  It’s also important to examine the stages you went through growing up.  This will help to give insight into who you are today.  They do not happen at exactly the same time for everyone, but you will be able to get a rough idea as to when each stage begins and how long it will last.  The three stages we need to discuss are the:  

Communication With Your Spouse

We have all sat through a wedding ceremony, if not participated in one of our own and this is roughly what we heard,

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or agreed to: 

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. 

That’s it!  That’s all you have to do to have a long, happy marriage.  If you are already married, start doing what you promised too.  If you are not married yet, but are in a relationship with the one you intend to marry, then start doing this stuff now, before the wedding.  There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start.  If you’re not in a relationship now and have no plans to get married, learn this anyways because the day will come when you will meet someone who is that special to you.   

Communication With Your Family 

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The importance of communication is frequently talked about with regards to successful relationships, sadly however, failure to communicate is very common in families today.  The problem lies in the fact that there is so much pressure placed on families by society.  We are told how we should act and what we should do.  Everybody is trying to stuff so much into their lives that communication gets put on the back burner.  As one fails to communicate, the tension builds and it becomes a downward spiral, until the unfortunate point is reached where the family begins to deteriorate.  You can see it in families all around you.  Unfortunately, many homes have turned into “war zones.” 

What Success Isn’t 

Before defining what real success is, it is important to discover what success is not.  The world and our troubled

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society have had a lot to do with most people’s current definition of success.  If you were to take a field trip to your local mall and stand at one of the entrances, you would get a fair cross section of society.  If you asked each person who walked by you to define success in their life, you would get many different answers.  The answers would be just as varied as the people who pass by.  I would be willing to bet, though, that the vast majority of these answers would revolve around the following themes: power, prestige, fame and the big ones, money and possessions. 

Communication and Learning Styles

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 Let’s thank God for making us all very different and unique.  We all develop different personalities and ways to interact with the world around us.  Could you imagine how boring our world would be if we all responded to the same stimuli in exactly the same way?  There would be no variety or spice to life.  However, having all these differences does make our relationships and our attempts at learning a bit more complicated.  Once explained, people’s communication and learning styles do become much easier to understand, especially with practice.  Before I begin discussing these communication and learning styles, keep in mind that no two people are alike and most people have a blend of more than one style.  Some people may even have a communication style that is different from their learning style.  The three styles are visual, auditory and feeling oriented people. 

Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before Speaking 

Many times, it’s easy to say something that shouldn’t be said.  Sometimes, because of anger, excitement or any other emotion, we say things that are better left unsaid.  It has happened to us all, but it’s more than just a slip of the tongue.  It is an ingrained behavior that needs to be addressed and corrected so that we can help to bring success and happiness to others, as well as ourselves.