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Why It’s Important to Be Able to Debate

Why It’s Important to Be Able to Debate

When you think of the word debate, you probably think of a somewhat nerdy after-school activity offered in some high schools. But debating isn’t just for sport, as it is also known as “arguing.” And clearly, arguments have a place in our everyday lives.No matter what you call it, though, it is an important life skill to have for several different reasons. 

Debating Helps You Form Your Own Opinion

If you’ve never debated a topic, chances are your feelings about the topic aren’t fully formed. When you debate something, it challenges you to think about the topic at a deeper level. And when you think about the topic at a deeper level, it helps you solidify your emotions about the topic. 

Debate Helps You Learn

Besides just solidifying your emotions about a particular topic, the debate also allows you to learn more about a topic you may be passionate about. Your opponent may make a point that you had never heard of before. However, for this to hold true, you need to make sure you listen when the other person(s) are speaking instead of just preparing your answer while they speak. 

Debate Activates Your Brain

While debate isn’t the only way to activate your brain, it activates a part of your brain that you don’t often use. This part of the brain deals with problem-solving and the art of persuasion. When you debate with someone, you exercise both of these skills, crucial to survival as an adult. Even most schools recognize this, so several colleges such as Oxford recommend debate classes for all of their students. 

Debate Solves Problems

If you have an opinion and never share it with anyone in your life, problems could arise because you haven’t made your opinions clear. Debating a topic helps bring everyone’s opinions to the forefront in an environment where they are respected. Just make sure you never attack someone else for their beliefs. Only attack the topic at hand so that it doesn’t become personal.

These are just a few of the many reasons that it’s important to learn to debate. Without knowing how to debate, it’s likely an individual will go through life being misunderstood by others and even by themselves, as they may not understand their stance on certain issues. So, if you think this describes you, it’s time to learn how to debate today!

The Importance of Listening to Other’s Viewpoints

The Importance of Listening to Other’s Viewpoints

When you disagree with someone, likely, you don’t want to waste your time listening to their viewpoints. Although listening to something you disagree with isn’t always fun, it is important to your future for several reasons. 

You Will Learn Something New

When you take the time to listen to someone else and their viewpoints, you are exposed to thoughts that don’t exist in your mind and perspectives you may not have considered before. And even though you may not like what you are hearing, you often learn new things by listening to others. This also helps expand your mind to be more accepting of new thoughts, which could help you be more successful in the future. 

Listening Helps You Develop Patience

As previously mentioned, being able to sit there and listen to someone you don’t agree with is difficult. You will have to have patience. And if you haven’t already developed the necessary patience for this task, just the practice of listening to others more often will help you to develop it. If you find you are struggling with the task, try to remember you are listening to learn something new. You can also listen with the intent to ask questions. This will help you focus on the words the other person is saying more carefully.

You Expand Your Network

People love when others listen to what they have to say, it makes them feel important. When you take the time to listen to someone else, even though you may not agree with what they are saying, you make that person feel better about themselves. And this can help you make a new friend or connection. This can help you on your path to success in the future as you never know when you may need to know someone in a certain field or area of study. And hey, expanding your network is always a good idea.

Overall, listening to someone else who has an opposing viewpoint from yourself will never be an easy task. But when you resolve to listen to someone else, this helps teach you new things and further develops your patience.  Not only that, but it also helps you to grow your network which could provide unmeasured value to you in your future. Thus, it’s time to learn how to listen to others sooner rather than later if you want to succeed in life.

4 Ways Introverts Can Enjoy More Social Confidence

4 Ways Introverts Can Enjoy More Social Confidence

We used the word “enjoy” in that title for a reason. Social confidence is important for building relationships. This is true of the introvert, the extrovert and the average person who is somewhere between those two personality extremes.

You can enjoy a much more successful career when you have powerful social skills. Your personal relationships benefit. The person who’s confident when interacting with others has a high level of self-esteem. They enjoy a powerful self-belief that they are capable in social situations.

That’s not to say that introverts don’t have wonderful and rewarding lives. They simply have a view of their best life that’s different from an extroverted person.

By the way, it’s often believed that introverts despise interacting with people. That’s almost never the case. It’s simply that they would prefer to spend more time on their own. That’s how they recharge their batteries. The extroverted person does the same thing by spending a lot of time with other people. Each of these individuals is different in many ways, and no one approach is worse or better than the other.

That having been said, introverts often want better skills at socializing. They understand they can improve some aspect of their life if they had more confidence when dealing with people. If this sounds like you, we’re here to help. Here are 4 ways that have been proven to help introverts build confidence in social settings.

1 – Don’t Overdo It

Introverts can enjoy socializing just as much as introverts. In many cases they do. The difference is that the introverted person loses physical and mental energy from socializing too frequently or for too long. 

If you want to perform better in social situations, limit your exposure. Pick your battles. Don’t try to drink from a fire hydrant. Plan short periods of time where you’re going to expand your social skills over the next week or month. When you feel your energy starts to wane, return home or wherever it is you feel most comfortable recharging your batteries.

2 – Prepare Ahead of Time

You might be an introvert that doesn’t have much experience interacting with others. That’s okay. You can learn how to socialize. Do some prep work before you know you’re going to deal with others. 

Think of the conversation beforehand. What’s the environment going to be like? Who’s going to be there? This type of homework can help you succeed in social situations and become more confident and capable.

3 – Remember … Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

The old saying that it took a long time to build one of the greatest civilizations in human history is important here. Big accomplishments don’t happen overnight. If you are extremely introverted, work on one step at a time to become more of a social animal. 

Maybe the first thing you want to do is get comfortable leaving your house. You might leave your home and walk 100 feet down the road and then return home. If that’s a big deal for you, give yourself a huge pat on the back!

You did great. Once you’re comfortable leaving home, then strike up a conversation with a stranger. Take one small step at a time and before you know it you’ll have walked a mile down the road to improving your social skills.

4 – Look at Rejection like a Successful Salesperson

The best salespeople get excited when they hear, “No.” They know that every rejection gets them closer to making their next sale. You can look at social rejection the same way. See the situation objectively. What can you learn? What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Take rejection or social failure as an opportunity to get better, and then move on.

Introverts aren’t necessarily scared of people. They usually aren’t. They just prefer to spend a minimal amount of time in the presence of others. If this is yo, and you want to build your social confidence, the tips we just shared with you can help. They make you feel more comfortable when interacting with people. You’ll also be proud of yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone.

Working Towards Goals as a Couple

Working Towards Goals as a Couple

There’s an old saying that goes, “the family that prays together stays together.” Today, many experts believe that could be extended to say that couples who share all types of values and goals are likely to have a stronger relationship, and experience more success.

Why struggle on your own when you and your significant other can support each other in living out your dreams? Does that sound like an attribute you would like your relationship to have? Try these tips for couples who want to aim higher and work smarter — together.

Tips for Couples Who Want to Aim Higher

  1. Set joint goals. Your mate probably knows more about you than anyone else in your life. Double your resources by pulling together to agree on your objectives and how to reach them. Complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help you to cover more ground.

  2. Share encouragement. If a pep talk inside your own head can recharge your enthusiasm, imagine how much you can encourage your mate, too. You can also gain motivation from having your partner on your side, so cheer each other on.

  3. Support one another. There’s a good reason why fitness buffs sign up for cycling classes instead of riding a stationary bike alone. Just the presence of others can help you to persevere, and someone you’re close to is more influential than a gym member you just met.

  4. Be someone and be with someone who is conscientious. Studies show that your mate has a major impact on your career path. A conscientious partner provides a positive role model and practical support.

Tips for Couples Who Want to Work Smarter

  1. Be realistic. To savor the rewards for your efforts, your goals need to be realistic and attainable. Your significant other can advise you if you’re taking on more than you can handle.

  2. Be accountability partners. It’s easy to lose track of your goals when you’re keeping up with daily responsibilities. Checking in with each other reminds you of your destination, and what you need to do to get there.

  3. Keep your plans updated. Being flexible allows you to adapt to changing circumstances. As you evaluate your progress, you may modify your route.

  4. Take turns. Working in pairs also gives you the advantage of rotating your roles. For example, maybe you’ll both complete your degrees by having one partner work until the other graduates.

  5. Calm down. While it’s commendable to feel enthusiastic about your goals, too much intensity triggers chronic stress. Couples can provide relief for each other by suggesting when to take a break. Be patient with one another as well.
  1. Weigh risks. Sometimes you need to take chances to pursue your dreams, but you also want to protect your future. Provide a sounding board for each other if you’re trying to figure out whether a bold step is worthwhile or not. You could shorten your commute by ignoring the speed limits, but finding a job closer to home would be a more reasonable (and safer!) decision.

  2. Bounce back from disappointment. Research suggests that unfulfilled goals tend to cause more discomfort than having no goals at all. A supportive partner makes it easier to remain content and motivated, because they can remind you to count your blessings if you feel like you’re missing out.

  3. Enjoy the process. While having specific and measurable goals can help you to become more successful, your happiness depends on appreciating the journey as well as the destination. Traveling with someone you love makes any trip more entertaining, so enjoy the journey!

Revitalize your relationship by moving ahead in the same direction. Team up with your partner to set goals and hold each other accountable. You’re likely to accomplish more and build a closer connection along the way.

10 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Person (Yes, Even Them)

10 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Person (Yes, Even Them)

Have you ever had to deal with someone who made you want to pull every single hair out of your head and scream at the top of your lungs? Do you have to deal with a person like this on a regular basis?

There’s no way to totally avoid difficult people. They’re going to be in your social circle, your workplace, or even your family. In order to maintain harmonious relationships, preserve your sanity, and just survive, here are 10 strategies to deal with difficult people.

  1. Stay Calm

No matter how much a person drives you crazy, you can’t lose your cool. Learn some strategies to help you stay calm when you feel the anger and frustration coming on. Remembering to take a deep breath usually works for me. Then, follow that up with something like counting to ten, visualizing something peaceful, or using affirmations. This will help you to handle the situation in a calm and controlled fashion. You can always unload your stress later in a healthier way — such as during a workout.

  1. Be Kind

Difficult people don’t always want to ruin our lives. In their mind they believe they are right and justified in their actions. Therefore, they may not be aware at all that they cause so much trouble. When dealing with someone like this, sometimes it is best to assume they have good intentions, so do your best be patient and forgiving. I know — it’s not easy, but consider exercising empathy and compassion when dealing with others. Imagine the struggle they’re having, so that you can address the situation in a peaceful manner. 

  1. Look for the Hidden Need

Often when someone is being difficult, it’s because of some unmet need below the surface. It may not have anything at all to do with the interaction you’re having with them. Sometimes, you can figure out what this need is, provide something that will meet it, and defuse the situation. For example, let’s say this person feels undervalued for the work they do for their boss. If you can take a moment to show a little appreciation, they may become easier to deal with. Also, it could improve your relationship with them overall.

  1. Listen

Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them. Listen to the person without being judgmental and again, show them some empathy. This alone could be enough to defuse the situation and make the other person more reasonable. You both might experience a little relief afterwards.

  1. Ask Questions to Clarify

Effective communication is key. Don’t pretend you understand just to get rid of someone. This will likely cause more problems ahead. Instead, ask questions to clarify. If you’re in the middle of a conflict, asking open-ended questions can uncover what’s lying underneath the undesirable behavior.

  1. Seek Support

If possible, talk to colleagues or others who have dealt with this person in the past to get some perspective. There’s a good chance others feel exactly the same way you do, but they may already understand the behavior or have a tactic for dealing with that person. At the very least, they can listen to you and empathize. It’s much easier to handle a difficult situation when you feel supported. 

  1. Talk to the Person Privately

Talk to the person privately when you’re in a calm, patient frame of mind. In this case, you’re not actively trying to stop the problem behavior. You’re simply letting the person know the effect it’s having. Express to them how their words and actions make you feel. Don’t blame or seek a solution, because this will almost certainly be met with more resistance. Give them a chance to examine their own behavior and possibly change. 

  1. Take Action and Get Relief

Is there some action you could take that would provide relief? For example, maybe you could handle your communications with this person differently. If the meaning in emails is lost in translation, try a more face-to-face approach. Tones or gestures help to convey meaning, and can be beneficial in most cases. Or if the in-person communication isn’t working, try switching to more email correspondence instead. Just be sure to send detailed correspondence in order to avoid further confusion.

  1. Defuse with Humor

Make the difficult situation into a joke and laugh it off. By making it light and humorous, you may be able to draw the other person’s attention to their behavior without being confrontational or emotional. Just be mindful not to go too heavy on sarcasm, or the person will take offense. 

  1. Learn to Say No

Sometimes, our natural inability to say no is the cause of conflict. Get better at saying “no” and turning down opportunities that will bring you into contact with difficult people. Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries are not only beneficial, they are a necessity.

Once you’ve figured out the most effective strategies for dealing with a difficult person, take note of what worked and what didn’t. Examine what worked in some situations, but not in others. There’s a good chance you’ll run into a difficult person like this again in the future, so be ready.

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