Archives for Interpersonal Effectiveness

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Bullying in the Workplace

In recent years, discussion of bullying in school and its devastating impact on those who are bullied has made its way into mainstream consciousness.  Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop at the school level.

In one study, nearly forty percent of respondents reported having experienced at least some form of bullying at work (International Journal of Stress Management, August, 2012).

Bullying in the workplace can take many forms, including: exclusion, verbal abuse, sexual intimidation, threats and ridicule....
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The Happiest People Aren’t Perfect

Each person has a particular set of beliefs about the world.  Our beliefs come from our past experiences and natural tendencies of our character.  Believing that you and the world around you must be perfect in order for you to be happy is a common character trait.

Doing your best can make you feel competent, proud and in control of your life.  But when you believe that perfect is the only road to a...
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The Year’s Best Tips for Dealing with Stress

In the first half of this year, readers really connected with a few posts filled with practical strategies to reduce problematic stress. These posts are aimed at improving your ability to cope with life's uncertainties and reducing the pressure that can leave you fatigued, spinning your wheels or unable to enjoy your life.

10 Thoughts that May Be Stressing You Out

Check out common stress-inducing thoughts in this post and...
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11 Signs You Need to Change How You Communicate

Strained relationships create stress and can have a negative impact on your mood and your ability to function throughout the day.  When you’re in conflict with someone else, you’re more likely to be worried, distracted or highly emotional.

We cannot make other people act as we’d wish, but we can become aware of when we act in ways that lead to problems in relationships.  As...
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The Truth About Anger

Anger is a normal and natural feeling
Anger can serve an important purpose: It can help us to overcome difficult obstacles, right wrongs and stand up for ourselves. It can communicate to others—for example, an angry expression can say “don’t take advantage of me,” or “I won’t back down.”  It alerts us to those things that are important to us


Anger can stick around, long after it is useful


You may have had good reason to...
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Unclutter Your Mind by Acting Like a Child

Do you remember being a child, when so much was new?  As a child, faced with new experiences throughout your day, you were much more likely to notice detail and richness in ordinary experiences.

A child can spend hours splashing in the water in a sink.  This is because the child approaches the water coming from the faucet as a beginner.  The water is interesting and miraculous.  In this case, the...
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Practical Strategies to Boost Your Willpower: Part II

In part I, which was posted on May 3rd, I discussed how people often engage in problematic behaviors, such as over or under eating, drinking and smoking in response to stress.  In an American Psychological Association survey on stress, people reported lack of willpower as preventing them from making the lifestyle and behavior changes recommended by a health care provider.

In order to improve their willpower, women said they needed to decrease...
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The Most Ignored Strategy For Staying Motivated

Are you trying to make positive changes in your life?  When we want to do something differently, say, to stop smoking, curb our temper or exercise more frequently, we often start with enthusiasm.  But habits are hard to change. After an initial burst of energy, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns of behavior.

What we too frequently ignore when we try to make changes is what is happening...
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10 Signs of a Confident Communicator

How you interact matters, as much as and sometimes more than, the words that you say.  Imagine someone asking for a raise.  One person does so with a smile and straightforward gaze, while another says the same words with a frown and stares at her shoes and hangs her head.

Your body language and style not only affect the outcome, but also the way you feel.  Sometimes we interact in ways that wear...
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What to Say When Someone Takes Advantage of You

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Suess

Situation:  Someone “borrows” things from you and doesn’t return them

Try this:  Explain the situation, “I’m out of cash and need the $5 you borrowed.” Express how you feel, “I keep worrying about it and I’d be relieved to have it back.” Ask (and possibly offer a solution), “can...
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