social skills

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  social skills

    Listening skills

    “One of the benchmarks of great communicators is their ability to listen — not just to what’s being said, but to what’s not being said as well. They listen between the lines.” ~ Laurie Buchanan, author I’ve always been interested in how communication works — or doesn’t work — in our daily lives. Good listening skills are as essential to healthy relationships as good talk. Thankfully, I’m married to a guy who’s an outstanding, empathetic listener. (That’s him in the background of the photo above.) More often than not, however, I notice that other people are so focused on what they want to say next that they aren’t really listening to…

  • Photo stories,  relationships,  social skills

    Silly presents

    “A friendship can weather most things, and it can thrive in thin soil. But it needs a little mulch of notes and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often, just to save it from drying out completely.” ~Pamela Brown A few years ago, after a painful surgery on my eyelid for skin cancer, a dear friend brought me a lovely “care package” that touched my heart more than words could express. I’ll never forget the morning she showed up at my door with that gift. That same friend was injured in an accident earlier this week, and as soon as I learned about it, I started shopping for a care package.…

  • Photo stories,  social skills

    Keep it simple

    “Simplicity is discerning the essential from the unessential. Simplicity is having room for the unexpected. It is savoring life. Most of all, simplicity is freedom: It’s freedom to choose what you want in your life because you’re not letting in everything that shows up.” ~Victoria Moran, Shelter for the Spirit Keep it simple? It sounds so much easier than it really is. Ours is a culture that promotes constant activity — which partly explains why some people panic at the mere thought of slowing down or having “nothing to do” on the weekend. In the past, most of the stress I’ve experienced has been the result of trying to accomplish too much…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  social skills

    Deep listening

    “How often do you offer your undivided attention to others? Do you inquire into how they’re doing, what’s happening in their world, or what they need to feel safe and happy? Or are you quick to talk about yourself and see how others might serve you?” ~John Amodeo, PhD One of the hallmarks of a great conversationalist is the ability to listen. Ideally, when someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, you hope they’ll pay attention to your answer and proceed as if it matters. Too often lately, most people seem eager to shut you up, derail your topic, and reroute the conversation back to themselves. Social media platforms…

  • Photo stories,  social skills,  the challenges of being original

    Someone else’s shoes

    “We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other. It is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.” ~Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund In our culture, we talk a lot about the importance of honoring our differences and celebrating our uniqueness. We want others to accept or appreciate our flaws and quirks — as well as our opposing points of view. We want the freedom to worship as we choose, the freedom to express ourselves, and the freedom to simply “be” ourselves. But…