A friend recently shared this picture of the two of us at her high school graduation (Aaacckk). It was a little shocking to do the math and realize how old the picture is.
It got me thinking about what the girl in the picture has learned in the years since the picture was taken.
The first two things that came to mind were: I THINK I do a better job of styling my hair and that I make better clothing choices when I go out in public, and certainly when I have my picture taken. I don’t know, my friends will have to let me know.
However, in the spirit of the theme of this blog, I’ll stay away from hairstyles and fashion and focus on 25 things I’ve learned about communication and relationships in the years since this picture was taken.
- The importance of showing appreciation
- The importance of providing positive feedback, especially when people are trying their best
- How to say no when it needs to be said
- It’s better to express my feelings than to act them out
- It’s possible to be assertive without crossing the line and becoming aggressive
- If you want to keep a relationship going, you’ve got to do your part
- Relationships need to have “balance” to be good for those involved
- How to end relationships that are no longer good for me
- There’s a difference between being honest and being brutally honest
- Not everyone wants to hear the truth, but sometimes you still need to share it
- There’s a difference between sharing a truth someone needs to hear and sharing an unsolicited opinion or just trying to be right
- Just because you share your opinion, doesn’t mean others have to act on it
- Listening is a much more important skill than talking
- Most people aren’t good listeners, they’re more interested in talking
- When you “ask” instead of “tell” it’s amazing what you can learn
- When you allow people to actually respond to what you’ve asked without interrupting or adding your “two cents” worth, you’ll learn even more
- It’s better to admit when I’m wrong, than to defend or deny
- It’s a good thing I’m not wrong very often (okay, just kidding)
- It’s important to forgive, but it’s not always good to forget
- People don’t forget anyway, they just hang onto the evidence to use at a later date
- People eventually reveal their true nature, when they do, pay attention
- If you ignore a person’s true nature, you shouldn’t be surprised or hurt when they act on it
- Everyone needs empathy
- I don’t have to like or agree with your position to empathize with you
- I wish I’d learned some of these things 30 years earlier
What’s on your list?