Communication and  Expectation 

Expectations – reality = Disappointment. 

Yet, for many of us, despite this, our hearts remain resilient and full, continuing to hope for the best and then expect the best in others, even if logic tells us we shouldn’t. 

I’ve told myself for years to expect nothing or expect less. But expectations come standard with a giver’s heart and seemingly impossibly to let go of as an eternal optimist. 

It’s not that you want to always expect something back if you have given to others, on a petty level. It’s that you expect the best in others and hope they care for you as much as you do for them and that you will be wowed buy their ability to “get you.” 

That one day, someone will sort-of just read your mind and come through for you. Yes, hope and expectations go together. They go together more than hope and denial, as I’ve heard the phrase many a time. 

Having expectations does not have to be bad. It does not mean you are ignoring or denying an alternate truth. It means you have standards and a threshold one must meet to show you they are present and listening to your needs. 

The problem with expectations is when you take someone’s failure to live up to that expectation on a personal level. When you feel so let down that you internalize their reasoning for falling short, as if it was done intentionally in order to hurt you. 
Expectations may always be a red-alert zone for likely disappointment, but it can be helped and improved ten-fold if you learn to open up and begin feeling more comfortable with communicating your expectations with others. 

A main reason others cannot meet your expectations is because they do not know what you expect of them. 

Another reason in some cases is that they literally cannot meet or achieve it. But usually it is the fore mentioned; they do not know or do not remember. 

This is true for marriage and relationships as well as in business. If a person has failed to share what he/she expects and hopes for, then it really is a long shot in the dark whether or not the other person is able to meet it. 

Imagine how much better it would be if a customer told the sales person what they expected and hoped for in the sales process, enabling the sales person to strive to meet and exceed those needs, thus, making certain to close the sale. 

Imagine if your partner told you exactly what would make them feel happy or appreciated. Perhaps it is significantly less than you would  have thought and you could simply fulfill their expectations above and beyond quite easily. 

Imagine if you could make your friends feel supported, loved and cared for, just by communicating and asking what it is that they need from you this week or month. 

But we fail to ask often enough, if at all. We fail to share and communicate honestly with others close to us and suffer from feeling misunderstood or disappointed. 

I do believe in the equation of expectation – reality = disappointment, and there may be many times where this continues to happen. But it does not have to happen as often as it does. It does not have to plague your friendship, relationship or transaction. We can do better, together, if you’re willing to give open communication a try. 

The biggest issue remains that communication is a two-way street. Both parties need to be able to communicate outward and receive. If you are bold enough to share your hopes with another and they are not listening, we are back to square one. 

So what can you do? Help get this message out. Share this blog with those you love and with those people you wish to have a stronger relationship with, free of disappointment, resentment and miscommunication. 

Tell your spouse or partner or friend what’s in your heart and what you need for them to do. 
***Remember, however, that happiness is an inside job and nobody should be responsible for keeping you happy as a whole. You have to set proper expectations with yourself as well. That’s step one. But it IS also okay to have expectations in your life and to expect from others, just don’t make them guess what the expectation is at the same time.

Thought? Feel free to share your feelings on this topic in the comments! 

Written by Katya J.

Buzzword Consulting 

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Real Talk About Small Talk 


Small Talk. If you don’t like it, you’re not alone. In fact, 92% of Americans say they feel uncomfortable during “small talk” conversations and try to avoid them. Just kidding, I made that statistic up but it’s believable, right? I have never met a single person who says they enjoy small talk and try to avoid networking and other situations that require it. 

Why? Because it is artificial. From the moment it begins, signature small talk feels like it puts a boundary and limitation around the potential of the conversation. People who like to communicate feel limited and unnatural and people who don’t like to communicate by nature feel forced and awkward.

 

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Ick! Boring, awkward and often pointless since it usually ends with no deeper connection and both parties departing feeling indifferent. Small talk is just the only way most of us learned how to connect with others around us. It was the only way we learned to “break the ice.”
But the truth is, we have been silently guided by our society to never go “too deep too soon” or be obvious in our quest to connect with the community around us. Because “Hi, I feel like talking to you right now,” “I need more friends,” or “Hello, you look nice and I long for human interaction” would come across as overly needy and flat out strange.
So what can we do? Lets use our awareness on this issue and activate our communication skills to turn the dreaded small talk into small acts of kindness.
Lets think about this for a moment. What is the goal? If the goal is to connect, to begin something new or just to pass the time together in a more positive and less awkward way, why not use that time to make each other feel better and happier?
People communicate to make connections with other people. To feel good. Feel Important. Needed. Noticed.
Next time, try to ditch the small talk and use one of these ideas below. Notice how you feel. Does the person react differently to you? Does the conversation elevate? Do you feel better or worse? Was it more or less comfortable?
As with anything new, practice is important. So play around with this and try it often. After some initial adjustments, you will find yourself feeling more confident and comfortable in any surrounding, sans small talk!

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 A genuine compliment is so easy to give and yet we rarely do it. It makes other people feel amazing just hearing a few nice words, especially when they least expect it. You can compliment someone on their looks or something they have. But you can also compliment someone on how they behave.

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Now as a caution, this can backfire if your compliments are not appropriate for your environment. Complimenting someone is not the same as flirtation.
The goal is to make someone else feel good, not uncomfortable.

 
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 People like to feel needed, helpful and appreciated. While sometimes you really need to ask someone a question, this can also be a communication method to help break the ice.
Also, many people enjoy talking about themselves, so asking them a question or follow-up question and practicing your listening skills is a great way to come off as an expert communicator.

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If you don’t know what questions to ask, you can always work on generic follow-up questions that help open up a conversation deeper. The goal is to ask something that is open-ended and makes the other person engage a bit more.
The key with this is knowing when to stop. Asking too many questions can make people shy away or close up. Asking one or two open-ended questions that make people feel interesting and valued is perfect.
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Hold a door open, hand someone them a straw or a napkin. Let someone running late or with children cut in line ahead of you while in a long line. Small random acts of kindness are rare these days and really makes you stand out as a good, generous and kind person — with almost no effort.
Plus, you never know who you might bump into or connect with. Offering something simple to another person could open the door to a business card, new dream job or relationship!
Again, appropriateness is key. Offer to hold the door open at the store or coffee shop, not their apartment.
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 Non verbal communication is 90% of what you communicate to others. It is amazing how often we skip an opportunity to connect with other people around us.
We keep our heads down, don’t smile or connect with eye contact. Some of this is a learned behavior to stay safe from strangers when vulnerable, but it was not intended to be the norm. Mobile and electronic devices contribute heavily to this issue, but it’s also just become a bad habit. But more important to be aware of, it may be that you keep from making eye contact and smiling at others because you don’t want to be seen. Because you fear being noticed or, circling back to the initial topic, dislike small talk and awkward beginnings.

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Just try it again. Smile. Light up your face. Connect with eye contact and confidently say “Hi” or “Hello, have a great day!” You will be surprised how good it feels to do this and how positively others respond to it and to you. Because fundamentally, people do crave connections and communication more deeply than they realize.
Today, many signals get mixed up. Social media provides an artificial social scene providing attention, but minimal connection. Someone who may be craving a feeling connection and validation may instead seek a new relationship or sexual experience, when all they really needed was a compliment or to be noticed.
Just as we can mistake thirst for hunger, we can confuse our very normal inner desire to connect with others as loneliness or isolation. Affirm today that you want to contribute to a better community and work on turning boring small talk into small acts of kindness to make someone’s day!

By Katya Juliet Buzzword Consulting

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Invite The Power of Yes Back Into Your Life

By Katya Juliet

Did you know?

According to the research cited in the book What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, by Dr. Shad Helmstetter, the average person – living in a reasonably positive home – has been told “no” an average of 148,000 times or more by the time they turn 18 years old.

Dr. Helmstetter refers to this as our initial “negative programming” and it contributes to how we learn to talk to ourselves throughout the course of our lives.

While that number may be higher or lower for some, it is an overwhelming amount to hear. Especially when the number of “yes” or “yes you can’s” that we hear over the same amount of time are only clocking in within the several hundred range.

Clearly, there is a tremendous imbalance at play and one that can only begin to be reconciled with conscious, positive, productive self-talk and affirmations.

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Have you ever considered how much more you could have accomplished had you been fueled with extra “yes, you can do it” and “I believe in you” statements from the people you depend on the most?

How much more confident might we be with the opposite ratio of yes’s dominating no’s?

Leading research in behavior and psychology tells us that close to 77% of what we think about is working against us – negative, counterproductive and potentially holding us back from many of the things we wish to accomplish in our daily lives.

On top of self-talk, our relationships can produce similar ratios of negative/positive interaction – thus, continuing this vicious cycle.

Poor communication and negative communication both contribute to the destruction of potentially healthy relationships. According to the text on “Ending Relationships” within the book Close Encounters, relationships can breakdown when they fall victim to the following bad habits: speaking too much, using low-quality communication, negative talk tracks or words and communication that centers around only one of the two individuals involved.

Close Encounters also highlights something in interpersonal communication called The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, which details the methods or patterns within relationships of destruction and conflict. Avoiding these communication pitfalls, as well as simply becoming aware of them in the first place, can significantly help your chances of resolving issues within your relationships. The following lists the four horseman, in order, from initial conflict to most severe.

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypses:

  1. Complaining/Criticizing. Example: “You are so rude! So need to be quiet in the morning so I can sleep!”
  2. Contempt/Disgust. Example: “Don’t be ridiculous! I was hardly making any noise. You’re just being overly sensitive.”
  3. Defensiveness. Example: “You don’t care about me at all. I’m not ridiculous, you are. No one should have to put up with this.
  4. Stonewalling. Example: “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It’s a no-win situation. Leave me alone.”

As you can see, it starts with complaining and criticizing and can be a very slippery slope from there. The examples above give you a flavor of what they may look like within an interpersonal conflict, however, in many cases, the conversations can be a lot worse that those – people say some pretty mean and hurtful things to one another, without even being aware of it.

Note, that even when there is a struggle with negative communication within a given relationship, the fact that they are still engaging in communication is actually a good sign. When a relationship defaults to stonewalling or avoidance, generally, there is an end in sight.

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In one of my classes at UC Davis, I recall discussing that it can take as many as 20 positives or compliments to offset just 1 or 2 negatives or criticisms. In my personal opinion, its probably not worth criticizing someone in the first place if only you knew how much work it would take to make up for it with your partner later -psychologically and emotionally.

Take a moment to reflect on how you interact with others in your close relationships. Are you guilty of using any of these communication conflict patterns? If so, the good news is – you can stop! And, if it is your partner doing most of the criticizing, you can still control your own reactions and responses.

So, how to we reprogram ourselves and invite the power of yes back into our lives?

It starts with attempting to turn the negative “default” programming within our minds to a more positive programming. Positive self-talk, daily affirmations and simply saying and repeating the word YES is a great beginning.

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Next, try to find ways to incorporate more positive messages into your personal environment. I absolutely love the artwork and pillows from Kate Daisy’s Etsy Store. Order a few of these and place in conspicuous spots around your home.

If you are on a budget, you could also try to make your own or even save one of these online images as a screen saver on your mobile phone or computer right now. (Free and only takes a few seconds!)

Another idea is to listen to positive music or love songs with the conscious thought that those lyrics are about YOU. Similarly, avoid negative or degrading music and lyrics that may be furthering the negative programming on a subconscious level.

Finally, stick with the basics of using “I statements” in your relationships and with your self-talk. “I feel…” is a better lead than “ You always…” Use more of your Emotional Vocabulary and share how you feel before blaming another person.

Last but not least – treat yourself with kindness, just as you would a dear friend. When you hear yourself use negative and hurtful words about yourself, slow down and make a conscious effort to stop. Seek more constructive ways of coping with the situation or simply default to a big, hearty “YES YOU CAN!”

The power of yes is within each one of us and this new programming is free! We just need to prioritize the process and start the transition…How about right now?

Thank you for following and sharing iflourish.

blackBLOGO-coral-grey-beigeFor additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations.

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