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Use These 6 Steps to Motivate Yourself to Change
By Eve Delunas, Ph.D.
As the New Year approaches, are you looking to make a change? Are you ready to retire an old habit and replace it with a new, healthier way of living? Here are 6 tips for motivating yourself to make new, life-enhancing choices in the coming year.

1. Engage Your Imagination. Since motivation always follows imagination, take time to visualize yourself joyfully engaging in your new, chosen behavior; i.e., if you want to begin exercising more regularly after work, start envisioning yourself exercising and feeling fabulous. Picture how good it feels to move your body after a mostly sedentary day at the office. Imagine yourself feeling fit and vigorous, brimming with vitality and enjoying the whole experience. The more you practice your new behavior in your mind’s eye, the more inspired you'll feel to incorporate it into your lifestyle.

2. Take Baby Steps. Begin with little changes that are reasonable; i.e., if you're currently a couch potato, don’t expect yourself to suddenly begin exercising for an hour a day. That’s just a set-up to fail. It’s much better to start small and gradually build up to an hour a day. A reasonable goal might be to begin exercising 3 days a week for 20 minutes at a time. As this gets easier, you can include more days and make your exercise sessions a bit longer.

3. Use Positive Self-Talk. Remind yourself that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Focus on where you're going - not where you've been. Self-criticism isn't motivating - rather, it's paralyzing. Speak to yourself in encouraging ways. Pat yourself on the back for being willing to try to establish new, healthier habits. Focusing on how you could have or should've changed sooner is simply a waste of energy. Celebrate the fact that you're making a positive change today!

4. Find a Buddy. You don’t have to do this alone. It can be very helpful to team up with someone else who is trying to make the same changes that you are. Join a support group, or find a friend with similar goals. Make a commitment to check in with each other daily by phone or email to hold each other accountable and to offer encouragement.

5. Be Gentle with Yourself. You will, at times, slide backwards, disappoint yourself and fail to meet your own expectations. Don’t let a little backsliding dishearten you. Remind yourself to take it one day at a time. Tomorrow is another opportunity to practice your new, healthier lifestyle.

6. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others. You'll always find someone who is farther along the path than you are. Keep your focus on your own progress, rather than on how you measure up to others. Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy and only leads to discouragement. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. What matters are the choices you make today to live a better life!

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How to Create Stability in a World of Constant Change
By Melissa Jean Quiter

Every day there seems to be something new to learn, something new to tackle, something new that you have to do to keep up. If you don’t keep up, look out, because you may just get left behind! And then who knows what it'll take to ever catch up again. It's absolutely exhausting. Not to mention completely out of alignment with what your inner knowing believes life is about.

Fear and overwhelm are quickly becoming the natural feelings of the day. You no longer are living a life to pursue joy and wonderful experiences. You're living a life to reduce your feelings of struggle, overwhelm and chaos. It's almost too much to face day in and day out. It's no wonder that more days than not you feel frustrated, isolated, lonely, stuck and without hope.

The truth is that somewhere along the way, a bait and switch occurred. You were taught that if you took the time and effort to learn something, you then could use that knowledge and apply it to whatever it is you want to do. In fact, our entire educational system is based on this theory. Learn and then apply.

However, as you've most likely experienced more and more than ever before, learn and apply is no longer good enough. The minute you learn and understand one form of technology, that technology is yesterday’s news. At every turn there is a better TV, car, appliance, gaming system, computer… or way of doing something. In fact, the majority of what you learn in high school is nearly obsolete if you venture on into college. And, even more devastating is that when you graduate from college, armed with your thousands and thousands of dollars of education, you're at best extremely behind the application eight ball when you enter the infamous “real world.”

Finding stability and certainty almost feels like a lost cause in world that's spinning at 1,000 mph. And, yet, it's never been more crucial to find that safe ground in order to perpetuate the life you really want to live. If you get caught up, you most certainly may spin yourself right out of control grasping at anything to just stop the manic merry-go-round.

I'm happy to tell you there's chance at stability that you may never have considered before. What I found, in my own search to stop being pushed and shoved through my own life without any sense of control, is that there's something that once learned can serve you for the rest of your life. It's possible to learn something that can immediately give you your power back and then can then be practiced and mastered over a lifetime without constantly having to update, upgrade or start all over. This theory isn't something that changes every day or improves just when you finally grasp its original intention. This philosophy isn’t based on tools that suddenly don’t work anymore because you don’t have DSL, instead of dial-up, or a fast enough processor or a TV that can record 15 shows simultaneously or a DVD player, instead of a VCR player. These tools have been tried and tested over thousands and thousands of years. The only thing that changes is what you desire to achieve - and that's driven solely by you. These tools automatically customize themselves to you without you ever having to learn one more thing. They give you the opportunity to stabilize your life by giving you back the power of directing.


Now, the reason I say you may never have thought of these ancient, tried and true methods as a way to create stability and certainty in your life is because you may have believed they're only used for changing your life. There's truly a paradox at play here.

However, I'm sure you have started to grasp by now, there's a huge difference in identifying how you want your life to be lived and learning something once to create it, vs. being subject to the whims of the never-stopping speed of the world and frantically trying to keep up with where it's dragging you. By simply stopping and learning these very simple and yet profound tools for being the master creator of your life, you actually stop the speed at which you feel yourself being dragged, pushed and shoved. Your new-found ability to deliberately choose how you think about your life, your opportunities and your possibilities gives you the chance to put the brakes on everything trying to happen to you and gives you full control to choose and decide on your own terms.

If you desire to learn and master the tools that can create the stability and certainty that's so sorely lacking right now, I encourage you to give yourself that gift.

I'm a teacher and student of these philosophies. I've learned how to use these ancient and incredibly powerful ideas and tools to take back the control over my life I didn’t even know I could have. I continue to practice and master what I have learned, which allows me to get better and better every day. I don’t have to keep changing what I learned, scrapping the old for the new or feeling like I'm never going to be able to keep up.

If you want to learn how to be in control over your life, then immediately begin to apply what you learned, I encourage you to check out the program I created. This program teaches all of the foundational elements you'll ever need to know. The rest is just practicing and applying at your own speed based on your own chosen desires.

The next step in being the powerful creator of your life instead of dragged along without any control is to learn the foundational elements. Get started now, not because if you don’t everything will change under you, but because the sooner you learn, the sooner you'll master your new knowledge. Your copy is
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Embrace Change
By Lori Radun, CEC
Last Sunday I was sitting in on a class we conduct for newcomers at our church. One of our pastors said, “If we don’t change, we aren’t growing and if we aren’t growing, we're dying.”
Isn’t that so true? If you want your life to remain status quo, then your best guarantee is to resist change. However, if you want a better marriage, more life balance, higher self-esteem, better behaved children, or more quality friendships, then you need to embrace change.

So many of us focus on changing other people around us, even though we know deep down this doesn’t work. In fact, there's so much resistance to change that a book was written called Why Should I Be the First to Change?
There are many answers to this question. First, you'll be happier if you're continually growing and learning. You can only be responsible for you. When you change, people will follow. Lastly, by living your life to the fullest, you contribute to making the world a better place to live.

But let’s face it. Change is hard. We're creatures of habit and many of our behaviors were learned in childhood. Maybe those behaviors served us at one time, but eventually we'll be called to change if we want some part of our life to be different. As someone who's been committed to personal growth and change for over 20 years, let me share with you 5 essential ingredients I’ve learned you must have to successfully make changes in your life.








1. ACTION You can read every self-help book, attend seminars, or talk with people about how they’ve made changes, but unless you actually take action, nothing is going to happen. Of course gaining knowledge helps. However, it’s only the first step to change.
Our mother’s group at church recently read a book called She’s Gonna Blow. In that book, there were hundreds of suggestions on how moms can better manage anger with their children. If a mom is dealing with frequent anger at her children, then she must take some of the principles and actually apply them to her life.
Maybe it means she has to resolve anger from her past, count to 10 before she responds, or reserve daily relaxation time for herself. She must do something different if she is going to conquer her anger issues.


2. FOCUS To focus, you need a vision and a plan. How do you want your life to be different and what's your plan to change it?
This is one thing I've learned from starting my own business. I have a tendency to have a million (well, not quite) ideas about what I want to do to grow my business. I'll start to work on one idea and then jump to the next and then on to something else.
Pretty soon I'm wondering what exactly I'm accomplishing. Is my business actually growing or am I just doing a lot of tasks that don’t produce results?
For every change you're trying to make, pick 2 or 3 things you can do to support that change and stick to them. Try those things for a substantial period of time before you move on to something else.

3. DISCIPLINE This is what will carry you through when the going gets tough. Anyone can stick to change for a week or two. It takes a disciplined mindset to make lasting change. You have to be able to pick yourself up when you fall down, brush yourself off and try again.
For two years, my older son, Kai, played travel baseball. Then he encountered a long hitting slump and he was no longer a superstar. His dad and I kept telling him he needed to be practicing or his hitting wouldn't improve.
It took 2 years of crushing disappointment from not making the travel team for Kai to learn discipline. He now faithfully practices his hitting at least 5 times per week. It totally comes from him and his desire to succeed. His discipline has developed a lifestyle change for him that has tremendously improved his hitting and his confidence.

4. COURAGE The number one reason we resist change is fear. Sometimes it can be scary to change. It's much more comfortable to remain status quo. It's normal to feel fear, but yet it's so crippling.
To have courage is to not feel fear, but to push through the fear. I've always had a dream of singing on the music team at church. Singing on our church music team meant I had to go through an extensive and
frightening audition.
I could have easily sat on the sidelines and never taken that risk. Instead, I mustered the courage to try out. It was one of the most nerve wrecking experiences I’ve had. Even though I didn’t make the team, I learned something about myself. I'm capable of conquering fear and I lived to tell about it.

5. SUPPORT Change requires supportive people in your life. You need people who believe in you and who'll encourage you on your journey. Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable for what you say you’re going to do. You need friends and family members that won’t let you give up.
You need love and understanding when you're struggling. Surround yourself with loving and helpful people and put God at the center of your life. Some changes are so difficult, but all things are possible with God.

Lori Radun, CEC – certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter and the special report “155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children, go to


Methods for Changing Behavior and Thoughts

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. and Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.

It may help to start this section on methods you can use to change behaviors by offering a definition of behavior. A behavior is something that you do; some action that you take. Conventionally, a behavior is something that you act out physically, such as taking a walk, or smoking a cigarette, or rolling your eyes when your spouse is complaining. However , behaviors can be subtle, non-physical things too. Thinking can be considered a behavior, for instance.





A very few behaviors are directly instinctual and designed into the human condition. An infant's rooting reflex (how it knows to orient its mouth to the breast) is one, and human being's preparedness as infants to learn languages when exposed to them is another. Most other behaviors are learned. Non-instinctual behaviors become established according to the regular principles described in learning theory, that most scientific of all psychological theories.

The principles of learning theory apply equally well to both human beings and animals, because all animals (human beings included) share a common basic design. All animals, from the highest and most complex to the lowest and simplest, have basic needs they need to meet and are designed in such a way so that they know how to meet them.

All animals get "hungry" in some fashion and search for food, and all animals know to avoid extremes of temperature, predators or other environmental threats to their continuing existence Another way of saying this is that all animals have in common that their behavior is motivated. Any animal that can be motivated, can be manipulated according to the principles of learning theory, so as to shape the animal's behavior.

There are two types of animal motivation: the motivation to approach something, and the motivation to avoid something. These two opposed orientations are caused by ancient brain systems that most all animals share in common. In learning theory, approach motivations are described as "reinforcing", and avoidance motivations are described as "punishing". Something that an animal desires to approach can be considered to be a reinforcer for that animal, while something the animal desires to avoid can be considered a punishment.

Things don't innately have reinforcing or punishing properties; rather these properties are ones that animals assign to things, each according to its own needs. What is reinforcing to one animal, then, may not be reinforcing to the next. Similarly, what punishes one animal, may not punish another. Animals are born with different temperaments (genetically determined basic personalities and dispositions), and each individual animal's temperament helps determine what they will respond to.


To make things more complicated, there are two kinds of reinforcements, and two kinds of punishments. Unfortunately, the terms used to clarify the type of reinforcement or punishment sometimes confuse people. It's useful to start by thinking of the terms this way:

reinforcement  increases the likelihood that someone will act the same way in the future.

In other words, a person's behavior will increase due to a reinforcer. Punishments, on the other hand, decrease the likelihood that someone will act a particular way in the future. In other words, the behavior decreases. Now the clarifiers: the term "positive," when used to describe a reinforcer or a punishment, simply means that something was presented to the person.

You can mentally substitute a "+" sign for the term, and remember that something was added to the situation. In contrast, "negative" means that something was taken away. This time, mentally substitute a "-" sign for this term to help you remember what it means. Combining all of these terms results in the following learning situations: positive reinforcement (presenting something to the person that increases their behavior), positive punishment (presenting something that decreases their behavior), negative reinforcement (taking something away increases behavior), and negative punishment (taking something away decreases behavior).

Again, this is a bit confusing to most people, so some real-world examples should help.

  • Positive reinforcement is what most people think of when they hear the word "reward". This type of situation occurs when you provide a desired thing. Your child gets straight "A"s on her report card, and as a reward, you take her out for ice cream.
  • Positive punishment is the classical kind of punishment that occurs when an aversive event follows the behavior. If you irritate a dog by yanking on his ears, and it bites you, you will be less likely to yank on the dog's ears in the future. Similarly, if you drive faster than the speed limit and get a hefty ticket, you will be less likely (in theory) to speed in the future.

  • Negative reinforcement occurs when you take away an aversive thing. A great example is built into our cars: the annoying buzzer or chime stops when you fasten your seat belt.

  • Negative punishment occurs when you take away a desired thing. Your child acts up while watching a favorite TV show, and as punishment, you turn the TV off.

    In the jargon of learning theory, the things that animals either want to approach or avoid are known as stimuli. A stimulus is something that stimulates an animal, motivating a reaction.

    There are two kinds of stimuli in the world: Those that are instinctually motivating to a given animal, and those which are not instinctually motivating but which can become motivating when they become associated (through a process of classical conditioning) with an instinctually motivating stimulus. A good example of an instinctually motivating stimulus (what is called an "unconditioned" stimulus) for most animals (people included) is food. Animals don't need to learn that food is good; they simply know it when they taste it. An animal may initially ignore a range of other potential stimuli, but come to pay a lot of attention to them after they are paired with food, so that they come to indicate that food is on its way. This is what happens when a dog learns to salivate upon hearing a bell ring (because that bell suggests that mealtime is soon), and when fish in a tank rise to the surface in anticipating of feedingyou lift the  when lid.

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    10 Steps for Making a Major Life Change
    By Steve Davis

    As human beings, we’re creatures of habit. No wonder making a major life change is so hard! But it can be done. Follow these steps to get your change in motion, one easy step at a time:

    1. Identify the price of maintaining the status quo. Not making the change you know you need to make is costing you. Do some soul searching; consult with trusted allies, or journal to yourself to uncover the payoffs you're receiving and the prices you’re paying for maintaining the status quo. When you get that the price of not making the change is greater than the payoff, you'll be more committed to moving forward.

    2. Create a reserve of everything. We don’t always have to make a difficult change from where we are now. If we have issues with money, time, space, emotional support, skills, etc., make a plan now to get more than you need in these areas, creating a stronger foundation from which to launch in your new direction.
    Keep in mind that it's better to be over prepared and arrive at your destination than to fail because you were just a hair short of having what you needed to get there.

    3. Forgive self-judgments. Guilt is rampant in our culture. So is the vendetta against selfishness. Suffering is supported and nurtured by friends, family, religions, etc. So it's not surprising that many of us, deep down, don't feel we deserve to have what we want.
    i.e., maybe you feel you're not good enough or deserving of the life you really want. Or maybe you feel that the change you're about to make will hurt someone close to you. Or you may feel that you're not smart enough, resourceful enough, bold enough, or just plain "enough" to make this change.
    Acknowledge these judgments then forgive yourself for holding these false perceptions about who you really are. Because the truth is, they're only ideas, many of which are irrational and you'll create yourself each moment based on the new idea you hold about who you are.

    4. Stop complaining. Are you complaining about being in the situation you're in? Are you blaming others? Or have you accepted full responsibility for your situation and just beat yourself up for not making the change? If any of the above are true, you're playing the victim and you’re forfeiting your power to make the change you say you want.
    Even if you're blaming yourself for not being happy or for not having the courage to make the change, then part of you is beating up on another part of yourself, hence there's a victim in there somewhere. To the degree you play the role of victim, you lose power you could be using to move forward. So get behind yourself completely and own your full power to create the life you desire, no matter what.

    5. Give up analysis that breeds paralysis. We're so conditioned to figure things out before we leap, that sometimes we become paralyzed to take the actions our bodies are directed to take from the beginning. This is particularly true if you’re an engineer, scientist, or other type of technical person who experiences the world more through analysis than through feeling. If you’re stuck in a thinking pattern rehashing the same ideas over and over, trying to figure out what will happen if, then you're stuck in a mind-loop. It's time to quit thinking and start doing. Feel in your body what it wants to do, then just do it! The information you're seeking may only be available after you take action anyway. Wisdom often comes from experience, not from analysis.

    6. Develop a compelling vision. Leaving a longstanding relationship or a long time career can be very frightening. This is because if what we have is all we see, then to give it up means we’ll have nothing left. This is a terrible illusion. New opportunities, relationships, resources, connections, and ideas always rush in to fill space in our lives. But first, you have to make the space for something new, and second, create a clear vision of what your life will look like once your change is complete. The vision of your new future eliminates the fear of the unknown - which can keep you stuck for a long time! Your vision will form the matrix on which you will create your new life and give you the inspiration and courage you need to move on.

    7. Risk failure. Does your fear of failing keep you stuck? If so, define what failure looks like to you. Imagine the worst possible thing happening. Can you live with that? Can you make course corrections before it happens or after it happens? The answer is almost always "yes." So, please, do yourself a favor, remove the word "failure" from your vocabulary. Realize that each action simply yields a result - one you want or one you don't want. Use this as feedback from the universe and take the next logical step. From this perspective, mistakes are just indications of a course correction and not to be taken personally. Pilots are checking their compass all the time and making course corrections based on this feedback. They'd never get anywhere if they took every off-course reading as a personal failure. Give up the concept of failure and take flight!

    8. Recruit your inner warrior. Within each of us there is an instinctual aspect built for bold, decisive action. It looks out, not only for our survival, but also for our soul's mission. It sends messages in the form of feelings in your body. They may come as "gut" feelings, or just a sense of "knowing" that has no rational foundation. If you’re facing a difficult change, and have "contemplated" yourself into a corner, it may be time to let your inner warrior take over for a while. Just act “as if” you "know" what to do, then do it without thinking about it until after it's done.

    9. Get support to help you through the change. Big life changes can be overwhelming. There’s no shame in asking for help from friends, relatives, or from a coach. In fact, enough of the right kind of support can make a seemingly difficult change, relatively easy. For me, being a former lone-ranger, asking for and accepting help from others was difficult at first, but really nice once I got used to it. Now I wouldn't think of starting a major project or making a big change without relying on my support system of close and loving friends, and my coach. Do whatever is necessary to make change easy on yourself. You're worth it!
    10. Don't go to your deathbed wondering what would have happened if... It's easy for us to forget how short our lives really are. Many of us live as if we'll never die. We waste away our hours and days working jobs we hate, living just for the weekends, or "putting in time" until retirement, living most of our lives like zombies. We may live in a relationship that is draining and disempowering thinking it might magically get better somehow, someday. We deny our feelings or make excuses for frittering our lives away. This is insane. Stop it now! Our lives are so precious and so short. I challenge you to project yourself forward to your death. It's real and it's coming for you! See yourself on your deathbed and ask yourself if the life you're living now is all you dreamt it to be. Write your own obituary today. How close are you to living your passion? Let this vision be a motivator to get off your butt and follow your dreams!

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    Methods For Changing Your Relationships
    Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. and Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.

    People are social creatures by nature. They are born into families and being a member of a family is their natural state. Most people live and work with other people and are, in varying ways, dependent upon them for their livelihood and their life.

    Other people are, in turn, dependent on them. People depend on one another to meet the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safety needs. They need access to the paycheck that pays the rent and buys the food, they need protection from common enemies, and they also need assurances that they will be cared for should they fall ill.

    They depend on each other to meet sexual and reproductive needs. They also need to belong to groups of other people (e.g., their family of origin, the family they build with a spouse, a tribe, a culture, a work group, a religion, a nation) in order to define themselves as people; to form healthy identities.

    Such belonging needs become primary to most people as soon as their more basic and safety needs are attended to. Group membership even figures into "higher" sorts of needs, such as people's need for achievement and status; there is no achievement or status except in relationship to others. Relationships are so important to human health, that it is in fact, unthinkable that a person could be healthy without them.

    Though relationships are a vital and necessary part of the human condition, it is frequently quite painful to need other people. There are essentially two different kinds of relationship problems. Either people do not have sufficient relationships (or sufficient quality of relationships), or they have relationships, but those relationships are conflicted in some manner so that they don't satisfy, or are a source of pain.

    People feel lonely when the relationships they crave are not available to them. As painful as it can be to be lonely, it is sometimes balanced out by another pain - the pain caused by fear of rejection that some people feel when they think about pursuing new relationships.

    People who are in relationships are not immune either. Some relationships end painfully. Some end up being abusive, while others simply don't measure up to people's varying needs and hopes, or somehow fail to provide a nutrient necessary for keeping the relationship alive.











    Some people stay in such relationships and make due with their pain, while others leave and face a different sort of difficulty; that of finding new relationships that will work out better. Even healthy, caring and supportive relationships have moments of tension that are distinctly uncomfortable.

    Though some relationships are undoubtedly healthier and better to be in than others, there is no such thing as a perfect pain-free relationship.

    Creating Satisfying Relationships

    Some people have an easier time forming and maintaining satisfying relationships than do others. It is true, in small part, that differences in physical appearance, wealth and social status account for some of this ease (there is no shortage of people who want to be with others who are attractive, well off or famous), but there are also many, many people who aren't particularly attractive, rich or famous who still enjoy numerous satisfying relationships. What sets these regular satisfied types apart from other less-satisfied people are their mastery of social skills.

    Social Skills
    Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. and Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.

    There isn't one social skill; there are many. They involve actual skills, knowledge and beliefs about self and the world that come together to make people better able to manage relationships:

    Socially skilled people tend to be confident people. They feel generally good about themselves. While they know they aren't perfect, they do feel they are "good enough", and worthy of other's love and caring. They expect that other people will probably like them if they give them a chance.

    Socially skilled people tend to be outgoing and positive about life. They take the initiative when meeting other people, and make it clear, through their body language manners and words that they are in a good mood, or (and this is the important part) at least willing to look for the good in a situation when they are not feeling so hot. Other people tend to find these qualities to be rewarding and want to be with such people. Less socially skilled people tend to be less outgoing, and frequently less positive when they meet others. They may be perfectly nice, but no one gets to find that out, because they do not tend to introduce themselves, but instead wait for others to introduce themselves.

    Socially skilled people tend to have a good grasp of social protocol. A protocol is a shared convention for communication. Protocols allow two people (or groups) from different backgrounds who may have very little in common to know how to speak with one another without anyone getting offended. For example, socially skilled people understand what other people are expecting to hear when greeted or approached, or how they expect to be thanked when they have given a gift. Because they understand what to do, they are able to produce desired responses that those people want and expect. They know, for instance, to shake hands when meeting a business partner, kiss on both cheeks when meeting a European friend, and make a special hand sign or give a hug when greeting a close childhood friend. Other ways that people express their command of social protocol might include that:












    • They smile and share their good mood with others.

    • They know how to "small talk" and don't find it offensive or demeaning to do so. They understand that it is inappropriate (and often frightening) for people to share too much too soon. Small talk is a way of sharing very little, but still expressing interest in another person. After a little small talk, people feel more comfortable, and (depending on the relationship and the situation) deeper subjects may be brought up.

    • They ask the people they interact with about themselves, expressing interest in their life and interests. They know that people like to talk about themselves, and will typically appreciate the audience.

    • They use body language to communicate their interest:

    • They lean forward slightly rather than reclining backwards

    • They look at people when they talk to them, making eye contact frequently

    • Their arms and legs are open, rather than crossed and closed.

    • They do their best to remember the contents of conversations, and show people they remember when they meet again. They know that people are appreciative of being remembered.

    • They are polite. For example, they say, "Thank you" when someone makes them a compliment, and "I'm sorry", when they want to express concern or apologize.

    • They make sure they are reasonably well groomed, so that people don't look at them and form a negative first impression.

    • They behave reasonably well, showing awareness that they are in a public place. For example, they don't pick their nose or scratch their buttocks.

    • They are willing to be vulnerable as becomes appropriate to the situations they find themselves in. They aren't closed people, but instead are willing to share themselves appropriately. They are sensitive to the possibility of oversharing (saying too much, too soon), and avoid doing that.

    • They are careful when choosing partners for long term relationships. They do not commit themselves quickly or easily, but rather take time to get to know the character of the people they are considering. They understand the importance of partner compatibility in keeping long term relationships healthy. This is to say, they understand that partners' values, fighting style and ways of expressing themselves need to mesh well if relationships are to work well. They understand that compatibility is separate from love, and that while two people may love one another, they may not be good long term partners for one another if they are incompatible.













    Social skills are, in essence, the personal skills equivalent of marketing skills in business. You may be a wonderful person, but if you don't know how to present yourself to people in a way that helps them want to "buy into you", you won't find yourself with many "customers" (e.g., friends). There is a competitive aspect to many relationships, especially when those relationships are new. A good command of social skills helps you to put your best foot forward, and be maximally proactive. When you have good social skills, you have the tools necessary to make relationships happen.

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