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How to give advice that people actually take - I Will Teach You To Be Rich
How to give advice that people actually take
Learning how to give advice that people actually take is all about empathy. Here’s exactly how you can leverage empathy to give advice today.

RAMIT SETHI



If you want to learn how to give advice that people actually listen to, there are two things you can do:

Empathize with the person — and not act like an emotionless robot.
Find people who want to listen to that advice.
That’s it. Not following these steps will have you feeling like you’re giving advice to a brick wall.

I know because I spent years doling out unsolicited advice and wondering why people weren’t listening to me.

For example:

FRIEND: (sighing) I hate banks.

YOUNG RAMIT: (ALARM BELLS RINGING DUE TO A PROBLEM I CAN SOLVE) Why? What’s up?

FRIEND: They just charged me $34 for an overdraft fee. That’s like the third time this month.

YOUNG RAMIT: (deep inhale) LOL THAT’S SO DUMB, I NEVER GET OVERDRAFT FEES. YOU NEED TO AUTOMATE YOUR FINANCES AND LEARN HOW TO NEGOTIATE. IT’S SO EASY. FIRST YOU START BY CREATING A CONSCIOUS SPEND—

FRIEND:

giphy 7 2
I really wanted to help … and I knew the “right” answer.

But my friend wasn’t ready to hear it, so it landed with a thud.

It took me a few years to discover that people don’t like to be lectured about things they already know they’re doing wrong.

Can you think of any examples? Like, say, being in a bad relationship (“He treats you so badly! Why do you stay with him?”), losing weight, or money.

For a guy who prided himself on being “unemotional,” I quickly realized that I was missing something important: BEING ABLE TO PUT MYSELF IN THEIR SHOES WHEN I GAVE ADVICE.

Good advice has probably helped you before, just like it’s helped me. So what if we could turn around and learn how to give it in a way that actually resonated with people?

That’s why I’d like to republish this 2015 observation from my friend Darya Rose, successful author of Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight without Dieting and star IWT student, for a great system to help you give advice people will actually listen to.

pasted image 0 450
Source: Summer Tomato
Oh, and she has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is the creator of Summer Tomato, one of the best personal development sites out there … so I suggest you listen to her.

Take it away, Darya.

How-to-give-advice system #1: Communicate emphatically
The Golden Rule has been letting me down my entire life.

While “treat others as you would like to be treated” makes sense on the surface, it really only works if you assume that people more or less prefer to be treated in the same way.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. And it can cause some serious communication barriers.

I am a member of a rare group of people who are driven more by logic than emotion. Think Mr. Spock.

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Source: StarTrek.com
As a female member of this low-emotion group, I’m even more rare. Like a pink unicorn.

You probably know a few people like me. We are often described as “cold” and “aloof,” but are also considered “low drama” and great problem solvers. We are rarely known for our suave people skills.

It turns out what distinguishes low-emotional people from regular people (if you’re a follower of Jungian psychology you might call these people “Thinkers” and “Feelers,” respectively) is how much we rely on empathy to communicate.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Normal people rely heavily on empathy for most interactions.

If you’re wondering why this needs explaining, you’re probably normal.

But if you’re a Thinker like me, this could be news to you.

Thinkers, unlike Feelers, have a very low need for empathy. We don’t need to feel “heard” or “understood” in order to connect with someone. For this reason, we have difficulty understanding the need for empathy in others.

More often than not, the emotional component of a tactical problem such as losing weight, seems obvious and somewhat trivial to a Thinker. Of course you want to get healthy and look great. We all do. Duh. Instead, we prefer to skip straight to possible solutions.

Unfortunately, unless the person receiving the advice also happens to be a Thinker, even the best information will likely go unheeded.

It isn’t that Thinkers do not have emotions or the capacity for empathy. In fact, in an obviously emotional situation such as a bad break-up or losing a loved one, we can be very empathetic and great friends to have.

It is in situations where emotions aren’t front and center, especially those that involve advice or problem-solving, where a Thinker’s lack of understanding of a Feeler’s emotional needs will prevent effective communication.

The good news is that empathetic communication can be learned. With practice, even low-emotional people can be empathetic in situations that involve advice or problem-solving.

If you’re a Thinker, developing the skill of empathy will allow your advice to reach more people and have far greater impact.

Here are the essential steps for empathetic communication:

Step 1: Listen deeply for the emotional undertone of what someone is saying
As a Thinker, your natural tendency is to listen solely for facts. This is great for problem-solving, but remember that to get a person to listen to your advice you also need to address their emotions.

For example, when someone says: “I would really love to lose 15 lbs.”

You hear: “I need tactics to lose a moderate amount of body fat.”

They really mean: “I need to feel supported by XYZ.”

But behind the words is a deeper emotion that can’t be addressed by tactics, and your job is to figure out what that is. Instead of skipping straight to the advice, try to uncover her hopes, fears, and dreams.

Instead of: “That’s easy, just do X.” Ask: “Oh really? What have you tried?”

Listen for signs of fear, frustration, hope, and other underlying emotions. Pay attention to the words they are using, as well as tone and body language if you’re speaking in person.

Sometimes people are straightforward in explaining their fears and say things like, “I’m afraid I’ll put in all this effort and still fail.” Fear of failure is extremely common, and being able to recognize it is essential.

However, you may need to ask additional questions to get to the core emotion. The use of generic statements that start with “I know I should…,” “I don’t have time…,” or “I don’t like (insert any broad category or action)…” imply that there is a fear or aversion lying below the surface of their words that they are avoiding.

Similarly, generalization statements and using words like “always” or “never” imply an underlying invisible script that reflects a hidden emotion. Continue asking “why?” until you get an answer.

For instance, if a woman tells me she would like to cook healthy meals but that it is always too much work, I’ll ask her why it’s so hard. Often I’ll hear something like, “My husband refuses to eat anything healthy, so I’m forced to make two separate meals if I want to eat well.”

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Step 2: Try to name the core emotion
From the above response, you might guess the woman feels unappreciated, frustrated, helpless, or insecure about her cooking skills. Once you think you have a good idea of what her emotional state is, test your hypothesis by asking directly:

“Wow, that must be incredibly frustrating. Why do you think he’s so stubborn?”

“I think it’s because his mother was a terrible cook, so he won’t even try anything I make except meat and boiled potatoes. I’m actually a pretty good cook, but he won’t give me a chance.”

She feels frustrated and unappreciated.

Step 3: Relate to the emotion to show understanding
Once you’ve discovered the core emotion, you must show that you can relate to the feeling. There are several ways you can do this:

Mirroring

Sometimes simply repeating back or “mirroring” the emotion is enough to demonstrate your understanding.

This can feel very basic and pointless if you’re a Thinker, but it is in fact incredibly effective. If you’re new to empathetic communication, this is the perfect place to start practicing. Once you see how effective this technique can be it gets easier to use it in everyday conversations:

“You’re a great cook and he won’t even try your food. That must feel terrible.”

“Yeah, it really sucks.”

Be vulnerable

Sharing an experience you’ve had that evoked a similar emotion is also an excellent way to show your understanding. This is called vulnerability.

Vulnerability is a more advanced form of empathetic communication, but it is by far the most effective technique if you can master it.

Everyone has stories and emotions that relate to those of others. The difficulty for a Thinker is remembering to share the emotion rather than the tactical solution. From the listener’s perspective though, the more you share, the more you care:

“Oh man, my dad is the same way. I made the most amazing brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving and he wouldn’t even touch them. I put bacon on them and everything. It was so upsetting, I’d hate to go through that every single night.”

“Yeah, it makes it really hard.”

Validate emotions

Another way to show your understanding is to validate the emotions by explaining with logic how you can see their point of view.

Thinkers can be quite good at this, since it plays to our natural tendency to be rational. The major difference here is that we’re focusing on the emotion rather than solving the problem:

“You put in all that work of shopping and preparing delicious food so you can have a tasty and healthy dinner, and he won’t even try it once. That doesn’t seem fair to you. And … [more]
advice  relationship  social-skills 
4 weeks ago by enochko
How not to say the wrong thing - latimes
Susan has since developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake. It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie's aneurysm, that's Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie's aneurysm, that was Katie's husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan's patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.
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1. Be Direct With Your Request
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3. Provide an Opportunity for Escape

(1) Ryan, I've got a favor to ask ... would you be able to cover for me and attend the afternoon meeting in my place? (2) I'm still working on this report and won't be done in time. (3) I understand if you can't make it—it's been a crazy week for everyone.”
Social-Skills  influence 
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What tips and tricks did you wish you knew in your early 20s? : AskMen
It took me 5 years to figure out that it doesn't matter if you're right if no one will listen to you. It's just as important to be liked and respected within your group as it is to have good ideas. If nobody wants to work with you or listen to you because of your attitude then you won't accomplish anything.

I spent 5 years in the same job before I changed my attitude and started making an effort to engage and make friends with people regardless of their competence or if they appeared to be important. In the next 5 years I was promoted 3 times. I can't help but imagine where i'd be if I wasn't such a punk when I was 25.
life-advice  social-skills  work  career  success  soft-skills 
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Why We’re So Obsessed with Grifters
The grifter, unlike the gentleman thief, doesn’t succeed because she is particularly clever. Rather, she succeeds because everybody around her is particularly stupid. A heist film is exciting because of how difficult and complex the heist is to pull off. A grifter story is exciting because of just how simple it is to fool people who want to be fooled — how easily the house of cards is constructed before it collapses.
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The Conversation Topics Online Daters Are Tired Of Talking About The Most In Messages
1/ Donald Trump
2/ Special Diets
3/ Millennials vs. Everyone Else
4/ The Upcoming Royal Wedding (Meghan Markle + Prince Harry)
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3 Ways You Can Help Your Child’s Social Skills
As a parent, there are all sorts of things you can do to increase your child’s social awareness and ability. Here are some of them!
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Who is Boston Marathon runner-up Sarah Sellers? - The Boston Globe
She didn’t know that she placed second in the Boston Marathon, he said, until someone informed her after she crossed the finish line.

“Someone had to tell her, and she still didn’t believe them,” he said.

In an interview with the Globe, Sarah Sellers said the whole thing felt “surreal,” and that she at first didn’t think she actually came in second overall.

“I didn’t even know it was a possibility,” she told the Globe. “I was trying to ask officials what place I was in. I had no idea when I crossed the finish line.”

“Best case scenario going in, I thought I would maybe win enough money to cover the trip out here,” she said. “I had no anticipations of winning $75,000.”

He said that his wife has been waking up at 4 a.m. to get in her training runs before working full shifts at the medical center.

“She works super, super hard,” he said.
excellence  athletes  mastery  social-skills 
april 2018 by ramitsethi
Social anxiety is related to a preoccupation with making mistakes, finds a new study that monitored children’s brain activity. : science
from the comments:
"Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a temperament identified in early childhood that is a risk factor for later social anxiety. However, mechanisms underlying the development of social anxiety remain unclear. To better understand the emergence of social anxiety, longitudinal studies investigating changes at behavioral neural levels are needed. Method

BI was assessed in the laboratory at 2 and 3 years of age (N = 268). Children returned at 12 years, and an electroencephalogram was recorded while children performed a flanker task under 2 conditions: once while believing they were being observed by peers and once while not being observed. This methodology isolated changes in error monitoring (error-related negativity) and behavior (post-error reaction time slowing) as a function of social context. At 12 years, current social anxiety symptoms and lifetime diagnoses of social anxiety were obtained."
children  childrearing  health-mental  social-skills 
march 2018 by daguti
For a Better Marriage, Act Like a Single Person - The New York Times
For a Better Marriage, Act Like a Single Person
Leer en español 查看简体中文版 查看繁體中文版
By STEPHANIE COONTZFEB. 10, 2018

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Especially around Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to find advice about sustaining a successful marriage, with suggestions for “date nights” and romantic dinners for two.

But as we spend more and more of our lives outside marriage, it’s equally important to cultivate the skills of successful singlehood. And doing that doesn’t benefit just people who never marry. It can also make for more satisfying marriages.

No matter how much Americans may value marriage, we now spend more time living single than ever before. In 1960, Americans were married for an average of 29 of the 37 years between the ages of 18 and 55. That’s almost 80 percent of what was then regarded as the prime of life. By 2015, the average had dropped to only 18 years.

In many ways, that’s good news for marriages and married people. Contrary to some claims, marrying at an older age generally lowers the risk of divorce. It also gives people time to acquire educational and financial assets, as well as develop a broad range of skills — from cooking to household repairs to financial management — that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives, including when a partner is unavailable.

What’s more, single people generally have wider social networks than married couples, who tend to withdraw into their coupledom. On average, unmarried people interact more frequently with friends, neighbors, co-workers and extended family.

Continue reading the main story
RECENT COMMENTS
Steve February 12, 2018
The secret to marriage is selflessness.

dlb February 12, 2018
My grandmother once advised me not to marry a man who didn't have any friends.

C Lee February 12, 2018
Having friends and being social while married is healthy.

SEE ALL COMMENTS
Socializing with friends and family and participating in clubs, political organizations, teams, unions and churches are essential components of what sociologists call social integration. And health researchers report that maintaining high levels of social integration provides as much protection against early mortality as quitting smoking. In fact, having weak social networks is a greater risk factor for dying early than being obese or sedentary. One analysis of 148 separate health studies found that people who cultivated a wide network of friends and other social relationships had a mortality risk 50 percent lower than those with weak ties.

Having a large network of friends rather than relying mainly on family is especially beneficial. A long-term study of more than 6,500 Britons found that men and women who reported having 10 or more friendships at age 45 had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being at age 50, whatever their partnership status, than people with fewer friends. And two recent studies of nearly 280,000 people in almost 100 countries by William Chopik of Michigan State University found that friendships become increasingly vital to well-being at older ages. Among older adults, relationships with friends are a better predictor of good health and happiness than relations with family.

Don’t get me wrong. Marriage can provide a bounty of emotional, practical and financial support. But finding the right mate is no substitute for having friends and other interests. Indeed, people who are successful as singles are especially likely to end up in happy marriages, in large part because of the personal and social resources they developed before marrying. One representative study of nearly 17,000 people found that almost 80 percent of those who married had reported the same levels of well-being four years before their marriage as they reported four years afterward.

It’s true that, on average, married people report higher well-being than singles. But mounting research indicates that most of the disadvantages of singles compared with the currently married are accounted for by distress among the previously married, especially those most recently divorced or widowed.

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This suggests an intriguing possibility, says the Ohio State University sociologist Kristi Williams, editor of The Journal of Marriage and Family: Many of the problems experienced by divorced and widowed people may result not so much from the end of their marriage as from having relied too much on their spouse and thus failing to maintain social networks and the skills of self-reliance. In Professor Chopik’s research, single older people with solid friendships, whether previously married or never married, were just as happy and healthy as married individuals.

A new study by Daniel Carlson of the University of Utah and Ben Kail of Georgia State finds that the only segment of the population where never-married individuals consistently report worse psychological well-being than the married is among the poorest Americans. This is partly because at this income level, married couples actually maintain higher levels of social integration than their unmarried counterparts.

But as income rises, the advantages of married over never-married individuals evaporate and even reverse. While affluent never-married people continue to multiply their interactions with friends, neighbors and family, affluent married couples don’t. This could well be why, at the highest income levels, married people are actually more likely to report depressive symptoms than their equally affluent never-married counterparts.

Maintaining social networks and self-reliance after marriage does far more, however, than protect you against depression and ensure against the worst outcomes of divorce or widowhood. It can also enhance and even revitalize your marriage.

Many marriage counselors focus narrowly on improving partners’ couple skills without taking into account how the marital relationship is affected by interactions with other people. Yet a 2017 study found that when people socialize more frequently with good friends, they not only report fewer depressive symptoms themselves, but so do their partners.

People feel better when their spouses have good friendships, over and above the effects of their own friendships. In another example of how friendships can benefit a marriage, happily married wives who experience conflicts in their marriage generally feel closer to their husbands when they can discuss and reframe the issues with a good friend.

As the U.C.L.A. social psychologist Benjamin Karney told me, “‘You are my everything’ is not the best recipe for a happy marriage.” Research his team will present next month at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that having supportive friendships is associated with more satisfying marriages, even among couples already content with the support they get from each other. “Even the happiest couples have something to gain by nurturing relationships with people outside their marriage,” he said.

That’s what’s wrong with the pressure put on couples to plan the perfect date night. Aside from having sex, which most of us prefer to do without outsiders around, people enjoy doing activities with their partner and friends together more than with only their spouse.

Socializing with others provides some of the novelty and variety that leading social psychologists call “the spice of happiness.” It also allows partners to show off each other’s strengths. My husband tells great stories, but I’ve heard most of them and am not interested in hearing them again when we’re by ourselves. When we’re out with others, however, I urge him to tell away. Their positive reaction validates me as well as him.

Still, don’t couples need date nights to renew their romantic passion? In one experiment, researchers assigned some couples to spend time by themselves and have deeply personal conversations, while others were set up with a couple they had never met and told to initiate similar conversations. Afterward, all the couples reported greater satisfaction with their relationship, but couples who had been on the “double date” reported feeling more romantic passion toward each other than those who had engaged only with each other.

So this Valentine’s Day, if you’re in the throes of early love, by all means plan a romantic evening alone with your partner. But if that first rush of passion has passed, you’re probably better off going on a double date. And if you’re without a romantic partner, why not hone your singlehood skills by organizing a dinner party with friends or inviting over a few people you’d like to get to know better?

Stephanie Coontz is the director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families and a historian at Evergreen State College.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 11, 2018, on Page SR6 of the New York edition with the headline: For Wedded Bliss, Act Single. Today's Paper|Subscribe
health  marriage  social-skills  dating  psychology 
march 2018 by enochko
25 best ice breaker questions
These are fucking gold. Amazing. Works in any situation
social-skills  icebreaker  game 
february 2018 by snapsocialguru
Opinion | For a Better Marriage, Act Like a Single Person - The New York Times
Having a large network of friends rather than relying mainly on family is especially beneficial. A long-term study of more than 6,500 Britons found that men and women who reported having 10 or more friendships at age 45 had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being at age 50, whatever their partnership status, than people with fewer friends. And two recent studies of nearly 280,000 people in almost 100 countries by William Chopik of Michigan State University found that friendships become increasingly vital to well-being at older ages. Among older adults, relationships with friends are a better predictor of good health and happiness than relations with family.
social-skills  relationships  health  via:ramitsethi 
february 2018 by eaconley
Opinion | For a Better Marriage, Act Like a Single Person - The New York Times
Having a large network of friends rather than relying mainly on family is especially beneficial. A long-term study of more than 6,500 Britons found that men and women who reported having 10 or more friendships at age 45 had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being at age 50, whatever their partnership status, than people with fewer friends. And two recent studies of nearly 280,000 people in almost 100 countries by William Chopik of Michigan State University found that friendships become increasingly vital to well-being at older ages. Among older adults, relationships with friends are a better predictor of good health and happiness than relations with family.
social-skills  relationships  health 
february 2018 by lorenzocaum

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