10 Profound Realizations That Arise With Higher Consciousness

The term raising our consciousness refers to the act of stepping back from the canvas to perceive a bigger chunk of the picture.

Just like a painting, when you are too close to the painting you can see all the little imperfections and confusing dots that make no sense from that point of view.

But when you take a step back, you realize that every single thing in the picture is at its right place, there are no imperfections on the beautiful picture that you are seeing.

This analogy is describing what happens when you raise your consciousness to higher levels.

Suddenly all the little things you saw as flawed fade away and you start to see a different reality, one where many things create a bigger meaning that you can now perceive.

10 Profound Realizations That Arise With Higher Consciousness:

1. You are responsible for your life.

The control of your life depends on the responsibility you take about your life. The higher your consciousness raises the more you realize you are the only one responsible for your life.

There are many things you can control and many things you can’t control, but your real control is in the way you react to things that happen. You can make choices and reactions, and that’s all the control you really need.

2. Everything connects to everything else.

The bigger picture gives you a different perspective about reality, it shows you how seemingly unconnected details link together. You see that choices and events you didn’t really think had anything to do with each other actually connect on a deeper level.

And this is because most of our choices are inspired by our subconscious configuration. One subconscious occurrence might pull different strings that are seemingly not connected.

3. Our unconscious mind plays a big role in our life.

Just like our subconsciousness is responsible for most of our choices, our unconscious mind is responsible for most things in our life.

Things we have experienced and suppressed, traumas we repressed, emotions we don’t want to feel again, all these things configure a record that is spinning in circles. This record is making us relive same old patterns because it wants us to embrace the parts of ourselves we run away from and become whole.

4. Our emotions shape our reality.

The emotions we feel at a certain moment shape the theme of our reality. If we are in a happy state we perceive things that maintain this state. When we are in a sad emotional state we perceive things that justify the sadness.

When we are angry it’s the same. When we are afraid we start seeing danger in most things. As we raise our consciousness we become aware of this, we see emotions as lenses of reality.

5. Suppressed emotions prevent smooth energy flow.

The emotions we suppress, the sensations we run away from and do not want to feel stay within our emotional body. These sensations accumulate and start to block the smooth energy flow of our body.

The longer they stay the bigger the resistance of feeling them grows. As we raise our consciousness we learn to embrace all of our emotions. We realize there are no good or bad emotions and we embrace all of our sensations.

6. Everything is energy.

As we raise our consciousness to higher levels we start seeing beyond the matter that constructs the world around us. We start to realize that within the matter there are particles smaller than atoms and between these particles there are forces.

We realize that even these particles at their fundamental level are energy. Hence, we realize that everything is energy in a different level of density.

7. Our intuition is most often right.

Most people get the messages their intuition is giving them but they are so focused outside of themselves that they do not even perceive them. Some people feel these sensations but can’t find the logical sense to trust them.

As we raise our consciousness to higher levels, and as we see how things connect to each other, we realize that our intuition was right most of the time in ways we were unable to perceive.

8. Relationships reflect the self.

The relationships we have with other people are the biggest mirrors for the relationship we have with our selves.

The level of dependency and avoidance of our partner, the circle of friends, the way we express our love for other people, the relationship patterns we spin around in, the attributes we find attractive, the personality of our romantic partner, everything reflects an aspect of our inner self.

9. Love is our default state of being.

Most of the world is being presented the romantic idea of love. This is one form of love not all that love is. It’s just one reflection of its infinite number of reflections.

Real love is not just romantic just like fruits are not the only form of food that exists. Real love is our natural state of being and everything that reminds us of this purity within us is associated with this vibration of love that we all naturally have.

10. We are not our feelings and thoughts.

The emotions you are feeling, the thoughts you are thinking are just information. They are like the words you read and the images that you see, like the smells and tastes that you perceive through your senses. You are not these.

You are the one who perceives them. You are the one who is observing the thoughts, you are the one who is observing the emotions. You are the one who sees them.

If some of these realizations resonated with you it means that your consciousness is already at much higher levels than the consciousness of others.

Tell Congress that Puerto Ricans want nationhood, not statehood

For Puerto Ricans who support self-determination, it is truly mind-blowing that some Democrats have the audacity to offer statehood as a solution on the question of Puerto Rico’s political status. At a time when Congress cannot come to grips with its responsibility to decolonize Puerto Rico – let alone guarantee a process of negotiation – support for statehood becomes suspicious at best, seeming way too much like political opportunism. The disconnect between the Puerto Rican reality and pro-statehood declarations is dismaying. 

Ill-informed support for statehood is based on several myths: 

Puerto Ricans are Americans: False. The Puerto Rican national identity remains an ethnic identification of peoples without a national citizenship of their own who live in a territory they call “their country.” This does not obscure the reality that Puerto Rico constitutes a nation, which has had a colonial relation with the United States since 1898. Ambiguities were created by Public Law 600and by the portrayal in 1953 at the United Nations of the Commonwealth as “a compact” between both nations. As the Harvard Law Review clearly stated in 2017: “Puerto Rico’s heart is not American. It is Puerto Rican.” 

Puerto Ricans in the U.S. have struggled for civil rights, but the political, societal and constitutional reality of Puerto Rico is altogether another issue. You cannot erase a nationhood by overlooking its existence and assume that “Puerto Ricans are Americans.” Such statements constitute a classic strategy of assimilation that negates Puerto Rico’s right to exist.

Most Puerto Ricans support statehood: False. Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood in five plebiscites held since 1968. The 2017 plebiscite was boycotted by all anti-statehood Puerto Rican parties, resulting in statehood receiving 97 percent support, with only 23 percent of registered voters’ participation. The 2012 plebiscite, so far the only one held the same day as local elections, was boycotted by one of the major political parties, resulting in an avalanche of blank votes, pro-independence and pro-Free Association, which outnumbered pro-statehood votes. Statehood persistently has lost support since the 1993 plebiscite (788,296 votes in 1993728,157 votes in 1998834,191 in 2012, and 502,801 in 2017). 

While in power, pro-statehood administrations have corrupted the Puerto Rican government to the point of its collapse, making this faction incapable of leading any future political project. In summer 2019, the pro-statehood governor Ricardo Rossello was ousted

Civil rights in the U.S. are not being addressed by making Puerto Rico a state. As an unincorporated territory, Puerto Rico has a different constitutional reality, and its urgency is not related to civil rights but rather to our human right to decolonization. Since 1998, the only political option gaining support is Free Association, a negotiated compact in which both countries become freely associated. 

Puerto Rico is not a country: False. The Foraker Act, the first law passed in Congress concerning Puerto Rico, stated that Puerto Ricans “shall be deemed and held to be citizens of Porto (sic) Rico.” Fifty years later, Public Law 600 recognized Puerto Ricans as “peoples.” In 1953, in a push to get international recognition for the Commonwealth as a pact between the U.S. and Puerto Rico “forming a political association, which respects the individuality and the cultural characteristics of Puerto Rico [and] maintains the spiritual bonds between Puerto Rico and Latin America,” the United States pursued Resolution 748 at the U.N. General Assembly, allowing the U.S. to cease delivering annual reports on Puerto Rico’s colonial status. Our nationhood has withstood all attempts to be assimilated. Puerto Ricans refer to Puerto Rico as “el País” (the country). Puerto Ricans are a nation, and its people are in Puerto Rico and in its global diaspora. We are not American expats living in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a domestic issue: Partially true. Puerto Rico is a domestic issue as much as it is an international issue. The U.S. took over Puerto Rico through invasion, bilateral negotiation, and a peace protocol, normalizing the relationship through Supreme Court decisions known as the Insular Cases. The U.S. scored a diplomatic victory with U.N. approval of Resolution 748. Even though Puerto Ricans at the time already were U.S. citizens, and even if the country’s political fate was thought to have been sealed, Puerto Rico today again faces the important issue of sovereignty.

Furthermore, the persistent federal mismanagement of the humanitarian crisis following the 2017 hurricanes will continue to be an international issue, as economic, political and social conditions deteriorate. Puerto Rico is a pending international issue with multilateral repercussions.

Puerto Rico has no option but statehood: False. Puerto Rico’s status question can be resolved with strong bipartisan commitment. Inspired by its anti-colonial foundational spirit, guided by its experience with the freely associated republics in the Pacific, and in compliance with international law, the United States has available political options that Puerto Ricans would be ready to discuss. In fact, many Puerto Rican professionals agree that negotiating a compact of Free Association with the United States is the correct mechanism for finding a reasonable political solution to this issue.

Congress will serve the cause of Puerto Rico and the United States by understanding and accepting that Puerto Rico needs decolonization, through a process of dialogue and negotiation. Statehood goes against U.S. political and economic interests, and actually never has been on the negotiating table. Sovereignty serves the interests of both countries, and currently is Puerto Rico’s only feasible solution for decolonization and economic development.

How to Have Deeper, More Intimate Conversations

In a time of disconnection, deep conversations can make all the difference.

David Brooks, the opinion columnist for The New York Times, wrote an article last month titled “Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus,” describing how the anxiety and isolation of the pandemic were impacting everyone in some way. He quoted Bonnie Badenoch, an expert in trauma, who felt one antidote to this stress was a need to have “deep reciprocal attunement (with others) that makes you feel viscerally safe,” and Martha Welch, a professor at Columbia University, who stressed the need to connect with others by having “vulnerable,” deep conversations. 

Deep conversations may be an important way to connect with those we care about in these difficult times, but they are always a good idea. They are the foundation of strong intimate relationships — those “we talked all night” conversations when dating, or those seemingly rare but cherished, heartfelt times when you lowered your guard and spoke from your heart with someone you trust. They connect you to the human race, to those important in your life, in some way to yourself.

Good idea, but often easier said than done. Here are some tips of going deeper into your conversations:

Make sure it’s a good time to talk

This is a matter of logistics. It’s hard to have a deep conversation when someone is on their cell phone driving to the grocery store or when they are trying to get their three kids to bed. These times are for quick check-ins — how-you-doing, catch-you-later speed conversations. For those deeper conversations you need time; find out if the other person has some. Simple question: Is this a good time to talk?

Set the tone

Because you’re the one initiating this, you need to be the one to set the tone, the one to let the other person know that you’re interested in having more than a how-you-doing check-in. There are two ways of doing this.

One is to set the tone by talking about yourself more deeply than you usually do. You want to move beyond the standard, “I’m good,” to more honest statements about how you are really doing – I’ve been feeling down lately; I don’t know about you, but my kids are driving me crazy; I had been doing okay until Tom and I had this argument last night. This is about self-disclosure and revealing more of you and your feelings. With this introduction, you are letting the other person know what kind of conversation you want to have, what emotional level you are comfortable talking about. You can then turn the conversation towards them.

The other approach is to ask hard questions at the start: Not the “Doing okay?” but “Have you been having a hard time?” “Have you been feeling depressed or worried?” “Are your kids driving you crazy or struggling?” People only know what is safe to talk about based on what you talk about and what you ask. By drilling down into specific, more emotionally difficult conversations, you are letting the other person know that you are ready to hear what they have to say, that you are ready to go there.

Ask about details

Good therapists do this instinctively. They try to move from broad statements (“I’ve been feeling anxious“) to the details: What about, what thoughts have you had, how do you talk to yourself? You don’t need to be a therapist and try to deconstruct the other person’s psychology, but you want to ask about details (about an argument they had or about how the kids are driving them crazy) because emotions ride on content. Broad questions yield broad, bland emotions; detailed questions stir deeper, more poignant feelings. And expressing these deeper emotions and having them accepted glues people together.

Give space between emotions

And when these emotions arise, you only need to acknowledge them (“That must have been hurtful; that sounds so frustrating”) and then stop and be silent. This can be hard—our instincts are to repair, to fix, to make it better by saying the right thing right then to calm the waters. Don’t. Take a few deep breaths, allow room for you both to absorb what has been said (or for them to finish ranting or crying).

Slow down, focus on them

In the same vein, you want to slow the conversation overall. Move through the conversation like a turtle, not a jackrabbit. Keep the focus on them, give them the room and attention they need, and resist using their stories as launchpads to talk about your own. Only when they are done is it time to turn the conversation towards you.  

Take risks

You know if you are moving into more vulnerable and intimate territory if what you want to say makes you feel uncomfortable, you get those butterflies of anxiety. Intimacy is not about disclosing some big, dark secret, but saying anything that is, for you, difficult to say. Take that risk for yourself, and listen for it in the other person. They may say “I’ve never said this before or thought about this before,” or there may be a hesitation or an unfinished sentence and a sigh. Ask them to finish the sentence. Give them space to say what is hard to say. 

Use your anxiety as a sign that you are emotionally plowing new ground. Go deeper to connect.

Social vs. Physical Distancing: Why It Matters

Psychology Today

used with permission Lisa Langhammer

By Amy Banks, MD

To protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the devastation of the coronavirus health experts are strongly encouraging everyone to “socially distance” — to stay 6-10 feet away from other people.

I am concerned — not by the strategy but by the way people are enacting it. The few times I have ventured out to a grocery store or for a walk around my neighborhood, I’ve seen people not only keeping distant from one another but also seeming afraid. They pass each other on the street or in a store without looking at each other or exchanging greetings.

It’s as if we were each locked in a personal bubble that no one can enter. The threat of COVID-19 and the stress it induces can understandably cause individuals to become terrified and myopic — to turn inward in an attempt to stay safe. While a week of that may be more stressful to some than others, months of this type of social isolation is dangerous. Research clearly shows us that our physical and emotional health and well-being are dependent on loving relationships and physical touch. To weather this pandemic, we need one another.

Weeks ago, my colleague and friend, Roseann Adams, LCSW, recognized that the national strategy of social distancing was a double-edged sword. She identified that social distancing can be a threat to all of us as it leads some people to socially isolate potentially causing further stress and, over the long haul, impairing our bodies’ immune system. In fact, strict social distancing may set us up for other illnesses.

Within the first few days, she was encouraging people to physically distance with social connection. Differentiating physical distance from social distance acknowledges the virus’s malignant ability to be transmitted from person to person but also acknowledges that the virus has no power over our ability to support and nurture one another in this time of extraordinary threat.

Think about the power of social isolation in society. Solitary confinement is considered the worst punishment a human can receive. In fact, most civilized communities consider it a form of torture. The physical and emotional toll it takes over time includes a worsening of mental health issues, an increase in self-injurious behavior and even suicide.

Isolating individuals is perhaps the most common first step domestic abusers use to gain power and control over their victims. He or she begins to control who you can see, where you can go, what you can wear. When a person violates the rules set by the perpetrator the punishment is harsh and swift.

Social distancing, as it has been presented, can feel like that.  In fact, in my work with trauma survivors during this time, I have heard people describe feeling trapped and threatened again. That is not sustainable. Becoming socially isolated may keep the majority of us alive, but not well.

By naming the national strategy as physical distancing rather than social distancing and emphasizing the need for human connection we can stay safe from the virus but also hold onto the heightened need we all have for one another right now. Each of us needs an extra dose of being seen and held within our connections during this extraordinary time. Perhaps now more than ever we must be intentional about giving our neural pathways for connection a workout.

In fact, we need to go out of our way to make eye contact, wave, move, or loudly say “hello” from behind the mask. This gives our smart vagus nerve and our mirror neurons a workout. Literally, the sound of a friendly voice and seeing the eyebrows of another person raise in greeting stimulates your social engagement system, which in turn sends a signal to your stress response system to stand down. Those moments of interaction may make the difference in the long run as to how we, as a society, survive the pandemic. 

The human nervous system is amazingly adaptive. Our brains will adapt to social isolation over time, but the burden of stress the isolation causes will lead to long-term health problems. As a society we will not be well at the end of all of this — not because of COVID-19 but because of the message we take in that being with others can be dangerous.

That is why each of us must do our part to not only stay physically six feet apart and to wear masks but also to go out of our way on the street, in the grocery store, through FaceTime, Zoom, or whatever platform you can use to reach out to one another. We all must know that nurturing the relationships we have and reaching out to others who may be isolated is as essential to surviving the pandemic as physical distancing.

Let’s add another important directive to our national policy of containing the coronavirus — to reach out each day to three other people — to check in on them, simply hear their voice, or share the pain or joy of the day. This is a wider strategy to not only survive the pandemic but to keep our humanity alive.

3 Simple Swaps To Boost Your Happiness

Improving your everyday involves making swaps to upgrade your experiences, ramp up your output and set you up for success and happiness.

A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is considered to be difficult to give up. Which are the habits that don’t serve you? What are you doing that is making you feel tired, irritable and negative? It’s time to identify these habits and swap them out.

Consider that the first thing you do upon opening your laptop might put you in the wrong frame of mind. Your morning coffee might put you on edge more than it gives you focus. Even the way you always brush your teeth might be suboptimal. The same for the way you train for a marathon or how you unwind in an evening or how you shop for groceries. Doing the same things in the same way leads to the same results. If you want a different result, make a change.

It’s more effective to replace habits with new ones than stop old ones all together. It’s why vaping has helped many people quit smoking and why a change of scenery can spark an epiphany. Make a list of the habits you have that stop you living the best possible version of your life.

1. Fearful thinking

Worrying about the future is the opposite of contentment and, therefore, happiness. Reading into someone else’s actions or words and assuming the worst is a form of self-inflicted torture. Think of all those bad things you once worried might happen. Chances are that most of them never came to pass, and the ones that did you overcame heroically. Worrying is like visualizing a future that you don’t want. It’s a complete waste of time and energy.

Swap it for:

Negative visualisation. Write a list of all the worst possible things that could happen, and then write down how you’d handle each scenario. There’s always a plan you can make and there’s always a way through any problem. Back yourself to get through whatever is thrown at you and realise that worrying doesn’t make it any more or less likely, so there’s no point doing it.

Meditating. Worrying either means you’re anxious about something that happened in the past or something that might happen in the future. Either way, your head isn’t in the present. See if you can be present and focus on what’s actually happening in the room rather than in your head. Separate the two. Listening to guided meditations might help you see the difference and stay in the here and now.

Making a success plan. There are some things you can control and there are things you can’t. Out of your control: other people and what they say, do and think, the weather, and so on. In your control: what you say, what you think, how you act. Make a success plan along with daily, weekly and monthly actions you’re going to take and measure the inputs instead of the outputs. Focus firmly on what is in your control and let everything else go.

2. Checking your profiles

There’s always something to “check”; your inbox, social media or a forum, that might result in a dopamine hit that satisfies a short-term craving. The designers of apps and websites do so deliberately to keep you on them for longer. Notifications, endless scroll and candy-dispenser-like alerts keep you hooked and in a loop of checking that’s not conducive to happiness.

Swap it for:

Batching activities. Separate every action you take into big things and little things. The small, minor things are those tiny actions that overall make no difference. Things like checking emails, checking social media, checking bank accounts, invoices and Google Analytics. Batch them into less frequent actions and have a giant checkfest once a week, but no more.

Picking one thing to focus on. With the space you have found by batching little things, pick the big things that you can attack. The big things are those projects that really move the needle and get you where you want to be. The ones that seem daunting until they’re done. Set a pomodoro timer, close all your tabs, turn off notifications and get started. Keep going until you find yourself in a state of flow.

Producing. Turn your ideas and knowledge into articles, blogs, books and downloads. Instead of consuming, checking and scrolling, look to create and produce. What seems obvious to you can be groundbreaking to someone else. Write, record and create to inspire, inform and educate.

3. Watching TV

TV is a massive time-suck. No ifs, no buts. It’s not a good use of life. It can become the default option for an evening, meaning you end up watching stuff you don’t really care about that has zero value or bearing on your life. Those on the path to greatness don’t watch much TV, if any. You can watch TV on a treadmill but not on the racetrack.

Swap it for:

Journaling. Use the time to assess the day. Slow down to write in free form and assess how you’re feeling, what’s going right and what needs improvement. Keep a log of your thoughts and actions and understand the cause and effect of everything you do. It’s amazing how therapeutic this practice can be.

Learning a language. Open up new worlds and the chance to meet new people. Put your brain into something challenging in a different way to your regular work. Commit a certain time each day and attend classes or learn via an app or book. Do it with friends in the lead up to a trip you’ve booked together.

Meeting friends. Cultivating arms-length relationships via WhatsApp and Instagram doesn’t make for meaningful connections. Pay someone a visit, take a meal over, invite them round, at the very least call someone you haven’t seen in a while. Learn about their world whilst expanding yours.

For maximum happiness, find the habits that don’t serve you and replace them with ones that do. If applicable, start with watching television, needless checking and fearful thinking.  

How to Spot an Emotionally Unavailable Person

One of the necessary ingredients in a healthy emotional relationship with another person is the ability to be present for that person. Being emotionally available means having the capacity to empathize with a person going through something difficult or challenging and providing support, encouragement, and genuine caring about their experience from a selfless and unselfish perspective. 

The flip side of this is an emotionally unavailable person. This is a person that does not respond on that emotional level, often resulting in feelings of confusion, loneliness, abandonment, and even isolation even when the partner is physically present. In some cases, this emotional unavailability extends to children of the relationship, and the spouse may feel like he or she is a single parent even though the other partner is at least physically present. 

Often people who are emotionally unavailable are people that seem cold and distant, or perhaps aloof and simply “above it all.” They tend to be highly focused on winning or achieving their specific goals, but they never consider how their need to win may be creating feelings of loss, lack of self-esteem, and frustration. 

Learning to spot people who are emotionally unavailable is essential to avoid being drawn into a relationship with someone who does not have the capability to provide emotional support and empathy to their partner. At the same time, these people are often highly critical of themselves, and they may be perfectionists and people who have significant emotional trauma and relationship issues in their lives. In some cases, adults who are emotionally unavailable may have had traumatic childhoods or grown up in families where they were emotionally abused or where the display of emotions was seen as negative or as a challenge to family dynamics. 

Signs of Emotional Unavailability in Adults

The following are classic signs of the inability to connect with people on an emotional level:

  • Extremely analytical – people that focus on the facts or the analysis of an issue but never talk about feelings or express how they feel are often emotionally unavailable. 
  • Avoid affection and emotional situations – people who are not comfortable showing their emotions strive to avoid any type of emotional situation. They may not want to be present for goodbyes, and they may create conflict to “blow up” a potentially emotional discussion, or they may simply not respond to an attempt to show appreciation, recognition, or love. 
  • Limit friends and interactions – emotionally unavailable people tend to relate well to work colleagues in work settings, but they tend to avoid social situations where there is more likelihood of emotions and interpersonal relationships being the focus of the conversation. 
  • They dismiss or discourage your emotional states or make fun of your emotional responses – this is common, and making a joke or telling a partner not to feel emotional about a topic is a common mechanism for the emotionally unavailable to try to control the discussion. 

Emotionally unavailable people can change, but they have to recognize the problem and learn to be comfortable with their own emotions before they can be present for their partner. 

References

Girdwain, A. (2019, November 5). 11 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner- And WTH to Do About It. Retrieved from Women’s Health: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/relationships/a29575105/emotionally-unavailable/

Mateo, A. (2019, October 10). 10 Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Unavailable. Retrieved from The Oprah Magazine: https://www.oprahmag.com/life/relationships-love/a27899292/signs-emotionally-unavailable-partner/

Communicating in High Context vs. Low Context Cultures

How people communicate with one another varies wildly from culture to culture. In our fully globalized times, it is more important than ever to understand these differences and where they come from. One way to reach such an understanding is through the high and low context culture framework, developed by anthropologist Edward T. Hall.

In 1976, Hall proposed that cultures can be divided into two categories—high context and low context. The concept has been a popular frame of reference since its introduction 40 years ago, and is used as a training tool to this day.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

The differentiation between high and low context cultures is meant to highlight differences in how cultures communicate. High-context cultures will use communication that focuses on underlying context, meaning, and tone in the message, and not just the words themselves.

Countries that fall into this categorization are Japan, China, France, Spain, Brazil, and more.

On the flipside, low-context cultures expect communications to be explicitly stated so that there’s no risk of confusion, and if a message isn’t clear enough, it will slow down the process of communication. In the most extreme cases, leaving any sort of wiggle room for interpretation can be disastrous.

Some of the cultures that fall into low-context communication are Western cultures like the UK, Australia and the United States.

HIGH CONTEXT VS. LOW CONTEXT CULTURE CHARACTERISTICS

Cultures typically can’t be organized strictly into either high or low context. Most cultures fall between the extremes on the spectrum and can share characteristics of both high and low context traits to varying degrees.

Although it can be a complex characteristic whether a culture is high context or low context, it can determine many other aspects of a particular culture. For example, in a high-context culture similarity is an important characteristic. This is because the majority of the population in high context cultures typically have the same level of education, as well as a shared ethnicity, religion, and history.

Through these shared experiences, messages can be contextualized by assuming an audience will think in the same way and follow the underlying message implicit in someone’s speech or writing.

In low-context cultures, the opposite is true. They are usually diverse, and focus on the individual, instead of the group. Since there are so many differences within a low-context culture, communication must be basic enough to allow for as many people to understand it as possible.

FORMS OF COMMUNICATION

Just as communication in general is different for high and low context cultures, the forms of communication also change, including the types of media that they enjoy. In today’s fast-paced digital age, these forms can shift, but underlying preferences stay the same.

Generally, high-context cultures prefer oral communications, while low-context cultures favor written communications.

When it comes to emails, texts, and online messaging, low-context cultures use it to fire off quick, frequent messages. Low-context cultures also want these communications to revolve around basic questions, like:

  • What’s happening?
  • Where’s it happening?
  • When’s it going to happen?
  • How’s it going to happen?

Of course, high-context cultures will tend to move in the other direction, with a focus on longer forms of communication that don’t always focus on basic questions.

COMMUNICATING IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Clearly, it’s important for a multinational organization to know the difference between high and low context cultures. A full understanding of these differences will effectively improve both outward, client-focused communication as well as inter-business relationships.

Will a company in Japan appreciate your attempts to get right to the point? Will a German company become bored if you talk around a subject, instead of directly addressing it? Know your audience and their cultural standing, and your message will never get lost.

Relationships fail because most people have conversations like this

By Nicolas Cole

If you listen carefully, most conversations are one-sided.

Someone asks the questions. (A)

Someone talks a lot. (B)

And when the person who talks a lot does direct the conversation back at the other person, they do not ask them questions. Instead, they say statements.

For example:

A: “How are things going?”

B: “Honestly, really good. So much is going well for me! I just moved into a new place. I just started a new job. It’s all fantastic.”

A: “That’s great! Are you adjusting well?”

B: “Oh absolutely. By the way these tacos are great.”

A: “Yup, I love tacos.”

B: “No, they’re like really good. You know I’ve always been a fan of tacos. Tacos are the best.”

A: “I agree.”

B: “Yeah, if I could, I would always eat tacos.”

Etc.

If you read the above, you have to listen closely to see how person A might feel, at some point in this conversation, unheard. Person B does not ask them directly, “What’s going on with you?” They just keep talking (usually about themselves) and saying things at the other person — instead of allowing them the opportunity to talk about themselves too.

This is one of the most common mistakes I have witnessed in human interactions, period.

This dynamic ruins relationships.

It causes unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding.

It stirs resentment.

Everyone wants to be able to share themselves — and if no one ever asks, they turn bitter.

Which makes them less likely to listen to someone else and ask them questions — and then that person turns bitter, etc.

It’s so simple.

When you’re with someone, ask them questions and actually listen.

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face – Daily Star

Humans are social animals. Communication is our superpower.

But now we’re facing a challenge more powerful than any glacier or snowstorm: mobile phones.

As 2019 ticks over into 2020 it has been revealed that the number of digital conversations – texts, emails, WhatsApps and the like – have overtaken face-to-face chats in the UK and the USA for the first time.

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face – Daily Star

The world We live in

According to new research from leading insurance broker LifeSearch, the number of face-to-face conversations we have in a day has decreased by 15% in the last five years.

Brits say this is down to more people living alone, the increasing popularity of working from home or, sadly, just ‘having fewer friends’ to spend time with.

What’s worse, despite the rise in digital communication, the overall number of conversations we have – even including texts and emails – is on the decline. Over a million lonely Brits admit that they quite often go a whole day without talking to anyone, either face to face or online.

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face – Daily Star

Even when it comes to talking to our loved ones, half of us say that the traditional family dinner time discussion is a thing of the past, with more and more of us using methods such as the phone, messaging apps or social media to catch up with family.

Modern life means that families can be scattered across the country, or just too busy to talk to each other like they used to. And 14% (about one in seven) of us feel happier communicating digitally.

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face – Daily Star

Emma Walker from LifeSearch comments: “The traditional concept of having those in-depth conversations around the dinner table doesn’t happen anymore – we lead busy lives and often operate on different schedules to our family and friends, and sometimes it’s just easier to communicate through a screen.

“But this is proving to be a barrier to the traditional ‘deep and meaningful’, meaning that we’re not getting to the bottom of the issues that matter.

People now have more ‘digital conversations’ than speak face-to-face – Daily Star

Protection all starts with one open, honest conversation so we’re urging the nation to start talking openly and honestly about these issues that matter most, to not only safeguard their family’s future, but their own too.”

The findings have been released by LifeSearch as part of its Let’s Start Talking campaign, which aims to encourage Britons to have ‘deep and meaningfuls’ about the big things in life.

This 75-Year Harvard Study Found the 1 Secret to Leading a Fulfilling Life

Here’s some wisdom gleaned from one of the longest longitudinal studies ever conducted.

Prioritizing what’s important is challenging in today’s world. The split focus required to maintain a career and a home, not to mention a Facebook feed, can feel overwhelming.

Enter the science of what to prioritize, when.

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers. Since before WWII, they’ve diligently analyzed blood samples, conducted brain scans (once they became available), and pored over self-reported surveys, as well as actual interactions with these men, to compile the findings.

The conclusion? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

Not how much is in your 401(k). Not how many conferences you spoke at–or keynoted. Not how many blog posts you wrote or how many followers you had or how many tech companies you worked for or how much power you wielded there or how much you vested at each.

No, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.

Specifically, the study demonstrates that having someone to rely on helps your nervous system relax, helps your brain stay healthier for longer, and reduces both emotional as well as physical pain.

The data is also very clear that those who feel lonely are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.

“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

What that means is this: It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group of friends and go out every weekend or if you’re in a “perfect” romantic relationship (as if those exist).

It’s the quality of the relationships –– how much vulnerability and depth exists within them; how safe you feel sharing with one another; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are, and truly see another.

According to George Vaillant, the Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study from 1972 to 2004, there are two foundational elements to this: “One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

Thus, if you’ve found love (in the form of a relationship, let’s say) but you undergo a trauma like losing a job, losing a parent, or losing a child, and you don’t deal with that trauma, you could end up “coping” in a way that pushes love away.

This is a very good reminder to prioritize not only connection but your own capacity to process emotions and stress. If you’re struggling, get a good therapist. Join a support group. Invest in a workshop. Get a grief counselor. Take personal growth seriously so you are available for connection.

Because the data is clear that, in the end, you could have all the money you’ve ever wanted, a successful career, and be in good physical health, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.

The next time you’re scrolling through Facebook instead of being present at the table with your significant other, or you’re considering staying late at the office instead of getting together with your close friend, or you catch yourself working on a Saturday instead of going to the farmer’s market with your sister, consider making a different choice.

“Relationships are messy and they’re complicated,” acknowledges Waldinger. But he’s adamant in his research-backed assessment:

“The good life is built with good relationships.”