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Fun Fact Friday

  • Intelligent men tend to be more faithful.

  • If you eat pizza once a week it can decrease the risk of esophageal cancer.

  • Cheaters think everyone cheats. Liars think everyone lies.

  • People with anxiety perceive the world differently — their brain lumps both safe and unsafe things together and labels them all unsafe.

Happy Friday!
source: @Fact
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5 Things People With Integrity Do Differently

When you meet a person who has exceptional integrity, you know that there is just something different about them that might feel like an attracting force. There’s no real secret to being a person of integrity, and becoming that type of charismatic, honest person is something that everyone should try to accomplish for living a life of authenticity.

Personal integrity is being true to who you are, personally, in spite of who you are with at the time, since your relationship should only define a part of who you are. Integrity is a way of being honest in your actions and it is what makes you a trustworthy romantic partner, business partner, and member of society.

People with integrity are people whose words and actions match and often inspire us to want to be like them. These are the role models of our society. They show up and do what needs to be done. People with integrity are problem solvers and movers and shakers.

In this article, we will explore the 5 things that people with integrity do differently and how we can adopt their best habits for ourselves.

5 THINGS PEOPLE WITH INTEGRITY DO DIFFERENTLY

1. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO
Have you ever failed to come through for someone who you made a promise to? People with integrity inspire us because they are consistent with the fact that their word is their bond. They act differently by committing to keep promises that they have given. If you can say the same thing about yourself, then that makes you a person with integrity that acts differently than those who do not.

2. STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT
Bullies are not going to like what a person with integrity has to say. The same goes for anyone who is using belittling language or name-calling. People with integrity sick up for the little guy when the little guy is getting picked on.

They have an innate sense of right and wrong and seek to balance the scales of justice. When someone with power is abusing their power, people with integrity are there to defend the powerless. Abuse of power is an injustice. People with integrity see others being treated as ‘less than’ and come to their defense.

3. LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND COMMIT TO POSITIVE CHANGE
Part of a healthy level of self-evaluation is looking at whether or not we hold ourselves accountable to the same standards that we hold others to. We cannot be justified in pointing fingers at others when we haven’t cleaned up our own houses first.

You may have heard the saying that when you point one finger, there are three pointing back at you. Judging others’ faults is an easy trap to fall into, but instead of putting others down, people with integrity lift others up by owning up to their own flaws.

None of us is perfect and embracing those parts of you that you want to change is something that people with integrity are doing differently. Not only do people with integrity acknowledge their flaws, they seek to improve themselves in the areas that need changing.

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4. TAKE OWNERSHIP FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS, EVEN WHEN THE FAULT LIES ELSEWHERE
People with integrity are different in that they assume the role of leader when no one else will. Maybe it wasn’t your fault that someone left trash in the hallway, but people with integrity see that there is a problem and take ownership of it anyway. Another thing that people with integrity do differently is that they are also more likely to be volunteers or people who champion a cause for the little guy.

One model of management theory in the workplace is that of Servant Leadership, as described first by Robert Greenleaf.

Greenleaf says that these are the traits of a servant leader:

  1. listening;
  2. empathy;
  3. healing;
  4. awareness;
  5. persuasion;
  6. conceptualization;
  7. foresight;
  8. stewardship;
  9. commitment to the growth of people; and
  10.  building community.

5. ACT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
People with integrity don’t wait to act in case someone else jumps in first to save a drowning person; they are the ones who jump first and come to the aid of their fellow man and woman as often as possible.

In a journal article on personal accountability in the workplace, former NASA mechanical engineer Roger M. Boisjoly says, ‘If good and knowledgeable people observe wrongdoing and simply turn away to protect their own self interests without attempting to correct the wrongdoing, they become part of the problem.’

Boisjoly spoke up a year prior to the disastrous Space Shuttle Challenger mission in 1986 and NASA’s fatal decision to launch in spite of known problems for the operating temperatures of the O-rings. This is one example of how failing to act quickly is one thing that people with integrity do differently; acting sooner rather than later can impact the lives of many people.

Power of Positivity    JULY 7, 2016


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The Only Excuse You’ll Ever Need (or Should Ever Use)

… and the research to back it up.
by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.       on Jul 18, 2015       in Fulfillment at Any Age

Everyone makes excuses from time to time, and some of us do it more than others. Even if you feel like you’re an honest, hard-working, trustworthy individual (as most of us do), there will be situations in which you just don’t or can’t follow through on a promise. Whether it’s attending a family event, meeting a job deadline, going out with friends, or spending an evening helping the kids with homework, invariably we find ourselves feeling no choice but to use an “untruth” (i.e., a lie) in order to avoid disappointing others.

I will not offer guidance on how to be a more believable excuse-teller by fibbing more effectively. In fact, you might not appreciate the advice I’m providing at first, but if you choose to follow it, and make it a habit, you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s the advice, simple and unadulterated: Just tell the truth.

Not some version of the truth, or part of the truth, or truth that’s technically true but isn’t the real reason for your behavior. It’s got to be, as they say, “the whole truth.”

If you do it, you’ll never again forget which excuses you made to whom, because the truth will be at the bottom of all your explanations. At an ethical level, telling the truth helps you to believe you’re a good and honest individual while allowing you to behave in ways consistent with that self-image.

Before getting to the reason for this advice, let’s look at three faux excuses that don’t measure up to the truth:

  1. The version of the truth. You were late for a meeting due to lingering too long over your latte. There was a particularly busy rush hour that day, so you offer as your excuse, “Traffic was terrible today.”
  2. Part of the truth. You don’t really want to go to the Jack-and-Jill wedding shower you were invited to, so you give as your excuse the fact that your family is coming into town that day. It is true they’re coming, but the shower will be long over by the time your folks arrive in town.
  3. Technically the truth. Some lawyers are expert at giving reasons that are true but only in the technical sense of the word. It is possible, using this logic, that you only remembered your friend’s birthday 3 days after it was over. Your excuse may be that you think it’s much better to wish someone happy birthday in person. Technically that is true, but it’s not why you missed the big day.

In each of these cases, an honest excuse would have involved some loss of face or admission of fault; you’re not perfect after all. However, you would at least be spared the burden of having to remember all the surrounding details of the excuses you gave.

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When communicated in a straightforward manner, being honest about the reason for your stumble allows the other individuals involved to feel empathy with you. If you provide an explanation that makes sense—and is 100% truthful—they should be more inclined to try to understand the situation from your perspective. Everyone is late sometimes, we all forget important occasions, and plenty of us prefer a Sunday afternoon alone than in the company of people opening presents.

Putting your reasoning out there in a relatable manner will be more likely to lead others to forgive you.

What the Research Says

Gettysburg College psychologist Christopher Barlett (2013) was interested in the kinds of excuses people make after they inadvertently hurt someone in an interpersonal situation. Maybe they bump into someone and dismiss it with, “I’m having a bad day,” or, “I just had a fight with my boyfriend.” Such excuses provide “mitigating information…defined as factors that may change an initially hostile attribution after a provocation into one that is less personally threatening” (p. 472). The intention of offering such an excuse is to reduce the likelihood that the victim of the shove becomes angry and aggressive.

But do these excuses actually work? 

To answer this question, Barlett analyzed data from 15 studies based on a search of the literature for terms such as anger, misattribution, aggression, and reappraisal. Each study examined participants who manipulated mitigating information to reduce aggression toward them for some type of affront. In the studies, aggressive behavior was measured in a variety of ways, ranging from evaluations by the experimenter to the amount of time excuse-makers were exposed to a (faked) “shock” or keeping their hands in a bucket of ice water. All studies involved manipulating the information that participants received about the cause of the affront and whether apologies or excuses were more effective in reducing willingness to aggress than others.

Supporting the idea that an honest excuse is the best remedy for an affront, Barlett found that when the provocation wasn’t severe, mitigating information (the excuse) reduced aggression when it was considered honest and did not include an apology. The key to making an excuse work, Barlett concluded, is to make it effective in changing the offended person’s appraisal of the provocation.

An effective excuse is detailed enough to provide that key mitigating information and justifies why you thought or did what you did. An apology may seem lame to the recipient because it doesn’t provide that mitigating information. An honest excuse is the best. When you lie about the reasons for your behavior, it’s much more difficult to come up with an elaborate justification that will convince the other person to feel less angry toward you.

As long as the offending behavior isn’t too harsh (such as if you were to injure the other person), your best option is to share an honest, detailed excuse. Justifying your behavior won’t change what happened, but it can change the way the behavior is perceived. It will preserve your relationships and allow you to maintain harmony with loved ones.

Reference
Barlett, C. P. (2013). Excuses, excuses: A meta‐analytic review of how mitigating information can change aggression and an exploration of moderating variables. Aggressive Behavior, 39(6), 472-481.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne


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6 Ways to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

What makes someone successful? Is it book smarts, street smarts or a combination of the two? Maybe it is someone who is naturally gifted in their field? You might be surprised to learn that the most successful people are those that know how to manage their emotions.

Knowing how to remain calm in the face of adversity and collected and focused despite external challenges is known as emotional intelligence, and it is the quality that makes people happy and successful.

That is good news because unlike being naturally-gifted, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned, practiced and improved.

In a study on emotional intelligence, a group of participants given emotional intelligence training were better able to handle difficult situations and manage their emotions than the group that received no training at all. The study also showed that the one-time training lasted well beyond the experiment. This means the work you do now will benefit you well into the future.

Here are 6 ways to develop your emotional intelligence:

Be Self-Aware

The first step to increasing your emotional intelligence is to understand your emotions by becoming aware of them. We are often told to hide our feelings but to tap into your emotional intelligence you need to feel.

Start by observing what you are feeling during one given day. Stop yourself and let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling.

Feel it and then describe it. When you describe it, you are becoming more aware and will begin to understand your emotional triggers and patterns.

Adapt Your Emotions

Now that you are becoming more aware of your emotions start looking for patterns and triggers. Look back at a situation where your emotions got the best of you and think of what you would do differently, if you had remained calm and collected.

This mental exercise isn’t about beating yourself up; it is about learning from your past experiences to better prepare you for the future. The best place to be when reacting to a situation is in a place of calm. Once you begin to recognize the patterns, you can talk yourself out of overreacting and begin to react with more intention.

Forgive

Forgiveness is often misinterpreted as letting someone off the hook. The reality is forgiveness is about taking back emotional control over your feelings and releasing the control someone else has over you. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness is acknowledging that the action happened and how it made you feel. There is nothing there that can be changed. You can choose to reside in the feelings of the past or choose to move through them. Moving through it and letting it go is the one the healthiest and most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

Girl on swing at sunset

 

Be Empathetic

Understanding your feelings is only half the equation, the other half is understanding and being able to imagine how others feel. Empathy connects you to another person through shared feelings.

By nature we are selfish beings; we want what we want. And that works just fine until you have to interact with another selfish person. It is through shared feelings that we begin to find our true, authentic self. Our ability to empathize with people gives us the courage to live outside of ourselves.

Manage Criticism

We are critical beings, and one of the best and easiest ways to increase emotional intelligence is stop taking everything so seriously. In other words, lighten up.

How you manage criticism you receive, can impact every area of your life. If you are holding onto critical statements and carrying them with you throughout the day, that negativity is infecting everything you touch.

It’s important to realize that most criticism that evokes negative feelings in us is usually designed for that purpose by the other person. When we react negatively to criticism, whether constructive or not, we are reacting out of our fears and insecurities.

Go back to becoming more self-aware and adapt your emotions to the situation. When you begin to react to criticism from a place of calm rather than anger, you begin to see the criticism as a valuable tool for improving your performance and showing someone’s true colors.

Stand Up for What Is Right

When you begin to develop your emotional intelligence, you are just trying to get better acquainted with your feelings and how to adapt them to serve you better. Every interaction comes with emotions from everyone involved, and now it’s time to take your emotional intelligence to a new level by standing up for what is right.

Gossiping is a prime example. When you are in a conversation that includes gossip, you might not have the most positive feelings yet you let the gossip go on. There are a million reasons why you do: you don’t want to offend anyone, you want to be part of the crowd, or you don’t know how to take a stand.

By not doing what is right, which is speaking from your experience, you are not adapting your emotions to the situation, you are giving in to them. Do what’s right and take a stand for your truth. It is not always easy swimming upstream, but the effort always pays off in the end.

Developing and growing your emotional intelligence is something that anyone can do. It doesn’t require a high IQ or access to higher education, it simply requires you to become vulnerable enough to listen and learn from your feelings.