Practical Communication

25 Things I’ve Learned Since This Picture Was Taken

HS pictureA 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.

  1. The importance of showing appreciation
  2. The importance of providing positive feedback, especially when people are trying their best
  3. How to say no when it needs to be said
  4. It’s better to express my feelings than to act them out
  5. It’s possible to be assertive without crossing the line and becoming aggressive
  6. If you want to keep a relationship going, you’ve got to do your part
  7. Relationships need to have “balance” to be good for those involved
  8. How to end relationships that are no longer good for me
  9. There’s a difference between being honest and being brutally honest
  10. Not everyone wants to hear the truth, but sometimes you still need to share it
  11. There’s a difference between sharing a truth someone needs to hear and sharing an unsolicited opinion or just trying to be right
  12. Just because you share your opinion, doesn’t mean others have to act on it
  13. Listening is a much more important skill than talking
  14. Most people aren’t good listeners, they’re more interested in talking
  15. When you “ask” instead of “tell” it’s amazing what you can learn
  16. 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
  17. It’s better to admit when I’m wrong, than to defend or deny
  18. It’s a good thing I’m not wrong very often (okay, just kidding)
  19. It’s important to forgive, but it’s not always good to forget
  20. People don’t forget anyway, they just hang onto the evidence to use at a later date
  21. People eventually reveal their true nature, when they do, pay attention
  22. If you ignore a person’s true nature, you shouldn’t be surprised or hurt when they act on it
  23. Everyone needs empathy
  24. I don’t have to like or agree with your position to empathize with you
  25.  I wish I’d learned some of these things 30 years earlier

What’s on your list?

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