Category Archives: Personal development

Public Speaking Made Easy – Do’s and Don’ts

Public Speaking Made EasyThere are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg

But, how is it possible? Public speaking is one of the worst fears that people face other than the fear of dying or hurting oneself. Yes, folks! It is that common. Shaky voice, cracking voice, feeling dizzy, trembling, forgetting everything that you wanted to speak… Public speaking can be very difficult at times. It can make you mumble, fumble and make your words all jumbled up. Public speaking is an art. For some it’s an easy task, while for others it is like hell! But, public speaking is not that difficult or scary. If you know about its dynamics, you too can master the art of public speaking. Let us look into the dynamics of Public Speaking:

Psychological Causes behind the fear of Public Speaking

Fear of speaking in public or social settings is often caused by different psychological phenomena. Some of them are:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Lack of personality finesse’
  • Speech anxiety or glossophobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Problematic decoding of rehearsed material in memory
  • Problems in encoding, storage and retrieval of memory traces
  • Past negative experiences in public speaking

How to prepare yourself for public speaking

Going prepared to a public speaking session always helps to avoid fear or nervousness during the event. Starting from a good night’s sleep to your diet, everything plays a vital role in effective public speaking. Here are some of the important things you need to do for preparing yourself for public speaking:

Know the event

Even before you start planning for the public speaking session, try to know the theme of the event. What is the occasion, who all will be attending it, what is the implication and significance of the event, possible outcome and probable expectations of the audience….try to do a home work on these aspects before you start!! This will help you to captivate your audience and speak the right words in the right most way.

Plan for the even

Planning for the event gives a buffer and boost to your public speaking performance. Planning for the event means what time to get up in the morning, how to get ready for it, keeping all the important stuff/papers you need absolutely ready the night before, what time to leave for the event, how to commute… Planning means to be well prepared about each and every logistics of the event.

Dress right

You can end up feeling embarrassed if you don’t dress decently and properly for the public speaking event. Select clothes that are gentle, that are not too flashy, and that fit well. Check out for any wardrobe malfunction too. Most importantly, the clothing that you are planning to wear for the event should be comfortable and apt for the occasion and audience.

Sleep well the previous night

Even if you are stressed out for the public speaking event, even if you are getting anxious nerves everywhere…do not spend sleepless night. Try to relax and de-stress yourself more and more and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Meditation, deep breathing, soothing music and massage are some of the ideas that would help you to de-stress yourself. Always remember that, the more you are relaxed and composed, the more confident you will feel while speaking. Sleeplessness will only make you more tired, dull and shabby!

Rehearse

Stand in front of a mirror, or speak out in front of your friend….try rehearsing the public speaking material before you actually keep your words out in front of the whole group of people. An elaborative rehearsal will help you keep an eye over your body language, speaking skills, eye contact with your audience, memorize the speech and look into the important points, your voice modulations and lot more.

Review

This is what most of the people forget. Before leaving out of the house for the event, take a tour inside the entire house to cross-check whether you have left any important thing back After you have re-viewed everything, take a deep breathe and zoom forward for the event with a positive spur ‘n’ spark!

Don’ts before Public Speaking

Here is a quick guide on what not to do in or before the public speaking:

  • Do not foster negative thinking or speculations
  • Stay away from assumptions
  • Do not skip meals or sleep. It may make you feel sloppy, weak and queasy
  • Do not over-learn anything. Just make the points clear in the mind…words will automatically flow out.
  • Do not lose your own-self confidence.
  • Do not focus on others… Focus on yourself and what you want to say.

Public speaking is not that difficult the way you are thinking. If you have confidence on yourself, if you believe in yourself… You can do it!!! To help you more here is a wonderful saying by Dale Carnegie:

Students of public speaking continually ask, “How can I overcome
self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an
audience?”
Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some
horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the
thundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a
farmer’s wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as
the train goes by?
How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a
back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or
automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see
the machines?
Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and
fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain
freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise. A book may give
you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the
water, but sooner or later you must get wet, perhaps even strangle
and be “half scared to death.” There are a great many “wetless”
bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim
in them. To plunge is the only way.” – Dale Carnegie, The Art of Public Speaking

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Body Language: Says Everything Known and Unknown

Body LanguageBody language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” – Deborah Bull

Body language, as the name suggests is the way through which you tend to non-verbally communicate. Even if you do not speak out your thoughts and feelings, your body language says it all. The way you walk, the way you talk, the way you carry your body, your dressing sense, gestures and postures… Each and every bodily nuance of yours speak volumes about your thought processes, behavioral styles, personality features, and so on. So your body language is a very important part of your daily life living. Be it an interview or a party, whether it is a formal meeting or an informal gathering, if your body language is not right then it may lead to wrong implication, connotation and comprehension by others. Therefore, body language plays a significant role in your personal life, relationships, professional life, inter-personal communication and your social life as a whole.

Now let us see some of the common body languages and what do they mean:

Open Body Language

This reflects the openness body posture. It epitomizes confidence, a well-defined self-esteem, overt or extrovert personality, leadership qualities, and a positive personality style.

Defensive Body Language

Opposite of the openness mental state is the defensive mental state. This posture reflects defensiveness, falsity and introversion. People using this body posture are not usually comfortable with their body image. They have a low level of self-esteem and self confidence. They are prone to getting affected with the stressors and pressures of life and can get easily frustrated.

Body Language - Doubt

Have you seen anybody using the above gestures? It means that he or she is probably lying or has doubts regarding the correctness and validity of the subject matter being discussed.

Leader Listener Follower

The three positions above reflect the leader, the listener and the follower. The first picture depicts leadership, confidence and outgoing nature. It would be difficult to convince a person using this form of body language. The second position is listening position. People using this body language are good listeners and are very adaptive. They have good coping skills and can adjust themselves in any situation. The final picture depicts a personality that is low is self-confidence. People using this posture are often stressed out of their lives; they lack motion and motivation and can easily be used by others or taken advantage of. In short, they are very gullible.

Feet Signalling

People who are attracted towards each other tend to point their foot towards the person they like or are attracted to. This picture is a vivid example of the same.

Following is an illustration of the different body outlets that reflect your personality, cognition, conation and affect:

Non Verbal Body LanguageBody language is the most primitive and significant form of human communication. It came into existence even before our ancestors developed speech and language. Use of correct body language is a boon in all the dimensions of your life. Research studies suggest that your body is the reflection of your mind and the way you control your body, it will have an impact on your mental processes too. It is a mutual process. Therefore, daily practice of effective and positive body language techniques will aid you in personality development, refined cognitive skills, positive life and sound health. If you want to learn more about body language then please write a comment below!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Emotional Ventilation: Necessity and Uses

Emotional VentilationIf your body does not express, your mind suffers in silence…

Human emotions are one of the most beautiful creations. Emotional articulation is an art and is an essential part of our lives. Emotions tend to add meaning and form to our feelings. Without them we would be like zombies or robots. The way you feel and express your emotions play a vital role in maintaining your physical and mental health. Emotional ventilation is the backbone of a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Do you tend to cocoon your emotions or allow a space for the ventilation of your emotions? If you are emotionally expressive then you are on the right track. But, if you tend to seclude your emotions, hide them away and do not feel comfortable in expressing them…then its high time your should express them. 16-year-old X (name changed) suffered from depression and anxiety attacks. He used to remain cocooned in his own world and never expressed his emotions. His peers called him “a dumb fellow” while his teachers were fed up with his emotional silence. No matter how hard he was provoked to express his emotions and feelings, he seldom brought his emotions to surface. Gradually, his grades started decreasing, he was despised and his peers left him. He remained closed in his own room for hours and days together. “Plastic Puzzle”, this is what Y (name changed) is called in her social circle. She is a 35 yeas old professional who lacks socialization skills. Though she is a wonderful human being and very talented. But, due to lack of emotional expression no one likes her in the group. Most of them consider her as being dumb and cranky.

Though many reasons pull a person back from ventilating his emotions, however, emotional shrouding has a lot of ill effects. Emotions are meant to be ventilated. That is why your eyes can cry with tears, your mouth can utter words; you can hear soothing words of concern with your ears.

Many factors refrain one from emotional ventilation. Some of them are:

  • Ineffective coping with emotional turmoil
  • Faulty parenting
  • Emotional instability
  • Cultural and group norms
  • Depression and apathy
  • Some clinical mental ailments
  • Physiological or neurological illnesses
  • Social causes
  • Considering emotional expression as a sign of weakness and so on

As I wrote in the starting lines of this blog, lack of emotional ventilation silently hurts you in many ways. The pent up emotions pile up and finally explode one day in the form of physiological and mental ailments like ulcers, migraine and headache, blood pressure problems, heart problems, depression, anxiety, stress, sometimes clinical mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, delusional disorders etc. Therefore, in order to be physically healthy and mentally sound, you should ventilate and express your emotions.

Emotional expression is a sign of good health and strength rather than weakness. There are numerous ways in which you can express your emotions in adaptive ways:

  • Accept and understand your emotions. Do not avoid them. Just take a deep breathe and feel them.
  • Talk to your friend or anyone whom you trust about the way you feel in different life situations.
  • Keep an emotion diary with you. Write about how you feel and what you learned from a given emotional situation.
  • Recognizing your emotion and listening to a music track related to the mood of the emotion also helps in ventilating it.
  • Paint your way to emotional expression. This will help in releasing pent up emotions and will boost creativity too.
  • If you are angry or aggressive try running on the beach, brisk walking or walking on the sand. This will help release the negative flow of impulsive energies.
  • Stay away from self-harm or negative thinking
  • Learn to adopt adaptive ways of emotional ventilation

Cry like a child, roll on the floor laughing, yell your lungs out and express yourself. There is no other relief and beauty than emotionally expressing yourself. Emotions make you feel lively and fresh.

Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” – Sigmund Freud

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Successful Anger Management Case Study – Inspirational Life Story

Successful Anger Management Case StudyHuman emotions are the wonderful aspects and assets of life. Without emotions, our life would be so mundane and colorless, isn’t it? Technically there are six basic emotions (viz. happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust and surprise), but in practical life we tend to experience innumerable hues and shades of emotions. In short, emotions are the colors that give expression and meaning to the entire fabric of your life.

Problems arise when emotions start controlling you, rather than you controlling your emotions. Among all the emotions that I said above, anger is the emotion that can have devastating effects on the person, people related to him and his surrounding as a whole. Anger not only harms your body and mind but is also a potential threat to the safety and emotional world of others. If not managed properly, anger leaves a deep imprint on you, your loved ones and the ones who became the innocent victim of your anger. Therefore, if you feel that your anger is puffing up and is getting out of control, then it is best to try and work on anger management.

People always think that there is a certain age for something; it is easy to change or transform oneself during the early years of life and so on. But, in real life it is not like that. If you are determined to achieve something, then you will get all the strength to achieve that irrespective of your age, ethnicity, gender, etc. Determination and perseverance are the two guiding stars that help man to cross the deepest seas and climb the mightiest mountains of life.

Let me tell you a true inspirational life story of Mr. X (Name changed) who made real progress in controlling his anger and also developed his own new anger management technique. I am proud to be his therapist. If you think that it is only in the earlier stages of life that we can make changes within ourselves, then let me tell you that at the age of 84, Mr. X groomed himself into a person who has greatly improved control over his anger and emotions. He is dynamic, he is filled with youthful energies and above all he is always ready to make positive changes in his life. During the formative years of his life, Mr. X was taught to bottle up his emotions and anger rather than understanding more about them or learning to cope with them effectively. In due course of his life he also confronted many difficult situations. This was not his fault. Each time you are angry, I guess most of the time you would have been also told to calm down or do something else. In worst case, may be you would have been spanked or shouted back for throwing your anger tantrums. This is natural. This happens in most of the households. But, sometimes we need to see things the other way round. When we start looking at things, people and situations through the lens of empathy, understanding and acceptance, the whole world changes within and around us. Mr. X did the same thing. Even if his anger issues were bothering him, he did not sit quietly. He stood up and worked towards anger management. First he tried to accept the fact that he has anger issues, then he started looking at things and situations with more patience and understanding and finally he worked hard to kick off anger out of his life.

Starting from relaxation techniques to realization and reformation… he did not leave a single leaf unturned. Even at this age he did it! Mr. X invented his own anger management technique. I would like to share his valuable words and techniques with you too. Here they are:

The “APOX “ Technique
A = Awareness that I am upset and then accepting it, and stop beating myself with a guilt trip about my feeling angry.
P = Pause: Count to 10, relax, short-circuit the automatic rage response by taking control of the situation.
O = Options: Think of various options I have to respond, what the consequences of each would be, then choose.
X = Express myself in the way I have chosen.

There! Having written it down, I feel better already.

So folks, controlling and dealing with anger is not impossible. If Mr. X could do it at the age of 84 then I think you all can do it too. I read somewhere that Anger and Danger are the same and have only one letter difference. Anger leads to danger. Therefore, do not let anger issues overpower you. If you or your loved ones are facing anger related problems then please try to put Mr. X’s techniques into action. You will surely gain relief. You can also get professional help by starting our online anger management program. We are eagerly waiting to help you deal with and eradicate your anger issues and potential problems.

Every emotion is necessary and obvious… so is anger too. But, everything depends on the depth and intensity of emotions, their expression and who controls whom…

My sincere gratitude to Mr. X who was a wonderful client, whose dedication towards life and change inspired me to spread his enlightening wisdom and determination everywhere.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

How to Deal With Life Transitions

Deal With Life TransitionsHow strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” – Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

Change is law of nature. Without change this world would have been so mundane and stagnated. Change is what makes life colorful and interesting. It epitomizes the different shades and hues of life. Change is like a natural process that no one can stop. Can you stop time? Can you stop blowing winds? No, folks! Similarly, life transition is something that happens and has to happen.

Life transitions refer to the cumulative changes that take place in our lives throughout our lifetime. Change in age, personality, physiological and psychological states, emotions, and feelings… All these aspects come under the scenario of life transition. When change is so obvious and cannot be avoided, then why do we fear or resist change? Days change, seasons change, nature changes and everything within and around us changes. Transition is eternal and ever-pervading. So rather than resisting it, we should try to accept it.

Do you know about some of the common transitions in life? Let me tell you some:

  • Age transition from childhood to maturation, from maturation to adulthood and old age
  • Transition when a child starts to go to school
  • From home to studies and then profession
  • From singlehood to marriage
  • Transition as parents
  • Mid-life crisis
  • Retirement or loss of job
  • Loss or death of someone

Since people tend to resist such changes or are apprehensive towards such life transitions, it leads to psychological turmoil in many forms. Some of them are:

  • Anxiety, Stress, Depression
  • Fear, nervousness and apprehension
  • Imbalanced emotional states
  • Anger and frustration
  • Confused state of mind, problems with memory-attention-concentration
  • Problems in decision-making and other cognitive issues
  • Palpitations, changes in sleep and diet patterns, blood pressure changes, etc

As I said that life transition is obvious and inevitable, each and every phase of life transition tend to influence you either in a positive or negative manner. Therefore, when you confront a life transition it is better to be well-prepared for it and embrace it whole-heartedly. Let me tell you about some ways through which you can easily deal with or cruise through life transition phases:

Accept the transition

Instead of running away or avoiding the change, try to accept that it has happened or going to happen. The more readily you accept the change, the more easily you can cope with it or work on it. If you know that you would be going through a life transition phase, it is always wise to be mentally prepared for it.

Do not resist

It is a difficult thing to do because you would already be feeling nervous and out of balance. Just as change is unavoidable, similarly resistance from your side is also quite natural. Rarest of the rare people have the courage and motivation to embrace change. If you start feeling uncomfortable physically or mentally due to the transition, then it’s high time not to resist the change or life transition. For example, your child will surely start going to school one day. So, instead of being anxious or making your child anxious… it’s better to prepare yourself mentally and prepare your child too.

Have a positive outlook

Not every change in life ends up being a disastrous one. Sometimes change is good and happens for good reasons. Sometimes either change changes us or we become the reason of change. Therefore, try to have a positive outlook towards change. As I always say, “be positive, believe in yourself and believe in the best”.

Express yourself

Do not cocoon or suppress your feelings that you feel while going through the life transition. Either you feel bad or sad, thrilled or happy…. Express it or share it with your near n dear ones. That will make you feel lighter and better.

Take help

If you feel that the life transition phase is really taking a toll on you or is too overwhelming to bear, then taking a professional help to deal with it is one of the best options.

Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Self Confidence Vs. Social Anxiety

Self Confidence and Social AnxietyBecause one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

Struggling with social anxiety? You have come to the right place then. Social anxiety is the intense fear and apprehension that you face when you are in a social situation or about to go to a social setting. Along with the apprehension you would also experience bodily discomfort like palpitations, frequent urination, stomach upset, trembling, tremors, shivers, cold feet, profuse sweating, etc.

The roots of social anxiety are sown right from your childhood when you start socializing or interact with others. The way you are brought up, the way you are treated by others, how people see you and your personality… everything has an important role to play. However, at the very core of social anxiety symptoms lies a shattered and battered sense of self or self-confidence. If you have a high level of self-confidence then probably you won’t experience social anxiety at all! But, if your confidence levels are low, then you are under social anxiety threat.

As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.” – Nic Sheff

So, how to develop a good sense of self or a well-defined self-confidence? Here are some techniques to add a buffer and boost to your self-confidence levels:

Building Self-confidence

  • Do not compare yourself with others. This is the major mistake that most of the people do. Focus on your own inner self. You will find a lot of potentialities within.
  • Identify your weaknesses and shortcomings. Once you have discovered the loopholes, you can easily bridge the gaps. But, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is ok to not to be perfect. In fact, no one is perfect out here. We all are a work in progress!
  • After you have identified your weaknesses, try not to avoid them. Try to accept your weaknesses, take them as a challenge and work on alleviating them.
  • The next step is to discover your strengths and strengthen your strengths. The more you harness your strengths and virtues, the more confident you will be.
  • Believe in yourself that you can do it! Be optimistic! The more you start believing in yourself and believing in the best… you will see a new beautiful n bright “U”.
  • Accept compliments with generosity and listen to comments mindfully. If someone comments on you, try to analyze if it’s really meant for your well-being. If it’s good for you then there’s nothing bad in listing to other’s advice and working for your betterment. If it’s meant to hurt you, then put the words in one ear and flush it off from the other ear. That is the reason why you have two ears!
  • Celebrate your success no matter how big or small it is. This calls for a party!
  • Sometimes making others feel good also makes you feel good and confident. Be good and do good…that’s the best serum n syrup that would boost your confidence to unfathomable levels.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” – E.E. Cummings

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Human Perception and its Fascinating Facts

Human PerceptionThe whole is always greater than the sum of its parts…” Gestalt Psychologists

How do we see and perceive the world around us? The retina in each of our eyes is flat-shaped. But, still then how do we see a three-dimensional world out of a two-dimensional retina! Have you given a thought to this? The environment around us is filled with colors, dimensions, angles, shapes, sounds, forms, textures, gradients, depth, proximity and nearness, blocks, designs, tactile sensations, and a multitude of other sensory stimulations. Despite of all these characteristic features of the environment our brain does not get confused and gives us a well-balanced perception of the world. Interesting isn’t it?

In the generic sense of the term, Perception refers to the process of receiving sensory information through our sense organs (eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin) and making sense out of it. Without perceptual abilities perhaps you would have been just like a robot or sensing-machine. In other words, perception gives a definite form and meaning to anything and everything in and around you. Without it, you would have only sensed different entities as blocks, independent sounds, smells, colors, patches, etc. Even while reading this blog you would have seen only lines, dots, curves and angles…but not words, phrases and meaningful sentences.

For many years scientists, psychologists and philosophers wondered about how the human brain tends to organize things so wonderfully with finesse’. Then, Gestalt Psychologists came up with amazing facts and explanations. They said that, the human brain has the ability to perceive different aspects as a “whole” entity. Even though we gather sensory information in “bits n pieces”, yet we have the stunning ability to combine them and perceive as a wholesome entity. Here are some of the laws of perceptual organization that we all do in our everyday lives:

Law of Proximity or Nearness

We tend to perceive things closer to each other as a group. For example: in the figure, we don’t perceive the circles as separate dots, rather we see them as groups of dots forming a square and lines placed together.

Law of proximity or nearness

Law of Similarity

In this law, similar items form a group or organized whole. So in the figure, you must be seeing circles and triangles as separate entities, e.g.: group of triangles and group of circles.

law-of-similarity

Law of Good Figure or Symmetry

In this law you tend to perceive different objects as being symmetrical and forming around a center point. It is generally pleasing to perceive objects in equally divided parts. For example: We perceive the figure as 3 groups of brackets, rather than 6 brackets separately.

Law of Symmetry

Law of Closure

Do you see the figure as jagged and non-continuation lines or a circle and square? You see a circle and a square, right? This is due to the law of closure. Our mind has the capacity to perceive incomplete objects as a complete form despite being presented with incomplete stimuli.

Law of closure

Law of Continuity

According to this, we perceive objects as continuing throughout rather than being fragmented when the cross something or are inter-positioned with something. You can see the figure for understanding this law more clearly.

Law of continuity

Now, the question arises that how do we perceive depths and movements? Try doing the two small exercises below; you will yourself get the answer:

Take a dime or hold a pen in a vertical position with its nib pointing upwards. Close one eye and look at the dime or the pen’s nib by pressing the eyeball of your closed eye again and again? What did you experience? You saw the dime or the nib dangling, right? Now keep the dime on a table or flat surface and move your head from side to side while looking at it. What happened? The dime or the nib seemed static, right?

Now try another exercise, while looking at something it becomes our focal point or fixation point. If you move your head from side to side, you will see that the objects close to your fixation point will move in the opposite direction of your head, while objects farther from the fixation point will move in the same direction of your head. This is also called motion parallax in movement illusion. You must have seen the same phenomena while traveling in a bus or train. Trees, plants closer to you would be going in the opposite direction, while the sky and distant mountain would be going in the same direction as yours.

We perceive depth, color and movements due to the cues or clues we get from different sensory stimulations and also due to the background/ background information.

So, these were some of the interesting facts about how we perceive the world around us. If you put them into practice in your thought world you will see that you tend to get attracted towards like-minded people, even if you heard a part of the conversation you can make out its sense or the topic in which someone is conversing, chaos and litter tend to disturb you and you would like things and people in proper order and symmetry.

Your mind has invincible powers and strengths. The more you learn and know about it, the more you can use it for worthwhile purposes because:

Every sunrise is priceless and you can experience the richness that life holds only when you live life to the full instead of just being an onlooker.” Stephen Richards, Think Your Way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Easy Mind Reading Exercises

Whether you are an extrovert or you tend to be shy; do you like to work in details or maybe macrocosmic things allure you… your mind has fascinating capabilities. The intricate and subtle thoughts in your mind can be read in different ways. Let us do some mind-reading exercises and see how your mind and thoughts respond. You can practice these exercises and use them on your friends too. These mind-reading exercises can tell about your general thought-processes, personality styles, life values and cognitive skills. So here we go…

Faces or Vase

If you saw the two faces in the above picture first, then you tend to visualize and get fascinated by the macrocosmic aspects of things and situations. You like to live life the king-size and you are very openhearted. One can easily tell when you are happy or when you are sad. Emotionally you are expressive and overall you tend to be an extrovert. If you saw the vase first, then you look into the depth of situations and things. You tend to hold higher values and philosophies in life. Intricate details attract your attention. You also have good concentration and memory. You can easily hide your emotions. Sometimes you tend to be introverted and like to stay in your own world, inside your own cocoon.

Kanizsa Triangle

How do you feel when you look at the above picture? If you feel it as a beautiful design then you have a well-defined aesthetic sense. You have good adjustment or coping skills. No matter what or where, you can adjust or mold yourself easily according to that situation. In other words you tend to strike proper balance in different aspects of life. But, if the picture disturbed you in a way, it means that you strive for completeness in life. You tend to be a perfectionist and like things and situations in proper order. You have great organization skills and can be a good leader too.

Old Trees

What does the above image reflect to you? If you see this as a complete picture with the trees as the main theme, then you are filled with wisdom. You are peace loving and try to complete things on time. You have good time-management and managing skills. You are down-to-earth and believe in practical approach towards things, problems and situations. If you saw the other aspects of the picture like the green grass, the white-light opening in the background after the trees, the road…then you have reflective thinking style. You like to daydream. You also have striking far-sightedness and foresee things. You have effective planning skills and are philosophical to some extent too.

Now try filling up the following sentences with the word/sentence that immediately strikes your mind after reading it:

  1. I secretly wish…………
  2. I want………………….
  3. If only I could……………
  4. My biggest wish……………
  5. If given a chance I can…………

So folks, if you answered to the above sentences in a positive way then you have positive outlook towards life. You have well-defined aims and aspirations. You are practically trying your level best to achieve your aims and ambitions too. If you answered the sentences in a negative or abstract manner, then somewhere or the other you have some unfulfilled desires. You probably had a rough life journey so far and some of your unresolved emotions and putting you in a state of turmoil.

The human mind has complex characteristics. The way you think your behavior and personality gets directed in that way. The more you reflect about yourself, the more you can understand yourself and work towards all-round development.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Ways to Improve Your Socialization Skills

Improve Social SkillsCongrats – you are here and reading this blog! It shows that you have already conquered the first step of refining yourself and adding a finesse’ to your socialization skills. This will really help you a lot in showcasing you bright and best side in front of others. For many people socialization is a very easy kind of a thing, but for others it’s too grueling and hellish. So… what are the qualities that you need in order to socialize well and easily? Trust me these tricks are not that difficult to carry out. With a bit of practice and mindfulness you can be the star of the show and steal the show. Here are some ways through which you can really improve your socialization skills and become a social bug soon:

Know Yourself

The first and foremost reason why many people fail in effective socializing is the fact that they don’t know themselves well. Only when you know yourself well, you can reflect yourself well before others. Starting from your likes-dislikes, tastes-preferences, and hobbies-favorites to life philosophy-ideals, strengths-weaknesses, and inspirations-aspirations…. Unless and until you know who you are, what is the purpose of your life, what are your unique qualities, how can you present yourself before others! The simple way to know you is to spend quality time with yourself, meditate and reflect about yourself, try to make good friends, talk to others and assess your thoughts, behaviors in social settings, develop insight regarding your achievements and loopholes. Know everything about your likes-dislikes, tastes-preferences, hobbies-favorites, life philosophy-ideals, strengths-weaknesses, inspirations-aspirations and each and everything related to you.

The more you know about you, easier it will be for you to socialize and showcase yourself.

Be yourself

Another reason of failing to socialize or failing to make that “first impression” is that we try to mimic others. We want to be like “him” or “her”. But, why is that needed? Hey, trust me you yourself are so unique and important! Rather than mimicking others, try to create and reflect your own unique self and identity. How about creating your own style statement, personality dynamics so that others will follow you? Sounds great, right? Yes, guys…doesn’t matter who we are, where we are, what we are…the most important thing that you should know is you are unique, you are important and no other person can take your place in this entire world. So try to understand this and keep forth the best of yourself before others.

Body Language

The way you walk, stand, talk, eat and sit… Each and every gesture and posture of yours speaks volumes about you. Don’t get afraid. As I said before, you are unique. So no matter how you walk, sit or eat… try to do it in your own way. The way that suits you best and in a way it fits into the ethical standard too. You can achieve good and genuine kind of gestures and postures through regular practice and self-reflection. Try looking into the mirror and assess your gestures and postures. If you yourself do not like it, then how will others like that? If you feel that a certain body language is not right, then you can always practice and set it right. There are a plenty of online and offline help available for personality development. Once you start working towards personality development either by yourself or through a professional’s help you will change for good from tip to toe.

Your attire

I had a client who had severe social anxiety. It was aggravated when her mother forced her to wear stuff that was too body revealing. Gradually her anxiety was so aggravated that she had panic attacks in a party and had to be hospitalized for several days at a stretch. I hope you would not like to be in such a situation. Most of us get worried about what to wear and what not to wear in a social setting. The best way to decide is to follow the LOC method. The acronym LOC stands for Location Occasion and Company. First know about where you are going, what kind of a place is it. If it’s a posh city then you can wear your chunky-funky kind of attire, but if it’s a remote village then you need to dress sober. Then you need to know about the occasion. Obviously, the dress for a birthday party and a funeral ceremony would be different, right? So this is quite easy to understand. The final thing you need to know is about your company or the kind of people you would be meeting at a social event. If its youngsters or people of your age then you can dress accordingly, if it’s a meeting with delegates and important persons then a formal wear would work. Many parties also have their dress codes too. For e.g.: Halloween parties, prom nights, get-together, etc. sometimes have their own dress codes. So you can always enquire about these LOC factors beforehand so that you can present yourself accordingly.

Handling comments and criticisms

Whew! This can be a challenging thing for you if you are quite sensitive towards comments and criticisms. Since people have different experiences, expectations, views, stereotypical thinking and perceptions…you may need to hear stuff that may not appeal you. I know it may hurt you because no one of us would like to hear bad stuff about ourselves. If you find yourself in such a situation, then just take a deep breathe and think. If you are comfortable with the way you are, if you are following the social norms and ethical reasons, if you are a genuine human being then no need to feel bad for yourself. People will say good and bad things for you. It’s quite natural. It is a basic human nature. But, you should not be taken aback. I follow a simple trick here. When someone speaks ill of me, I do selective listening and hearing. I hear all the stuff, listen to the ones that are actually meant for my betterment, I try to implement them too and expel the rest of the bad or hurtful words I hears. This is amazingly effective. If you cannot shut hundred mouths, at least you can shut your ears and mind towards those. Sometimes changing your perspective changes your world!

So, these were some of the important socialization skills. With regular practice you would certainly do good. But, if socialization becomes too anxiety provoking, nervousness provoking, uncomfortable or overwhelming for you, then probably you would be experiencing social anxiety.

Always ready to help you.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

How Sociable are you? Socialization Quiz

Social PepoleAre you an extrovert or an introvert; do you like to mingle with people or do you like to stay inside your own cocoon..? Since the inception of civilization we are taught that man is a social animal. In order to lead a meaningful life and work towards all-round development socialization plays a vital role. Some of you must be very comfortable in socializing with others, while for some of you it must be like a Herculean task. I was also quite shy when I was young. Can you believe I never talked to a boy in my class? When a guy would ask for my notes or something I would just nod my head, give my notes and literally vanish from there. But, gradually my class teacher taught me lessons on self-worth, socialization skills and communication proficiency. Today I can talk to anyone and everyone… I can talk for hours and days altogether unless someone comes and shuts my mouth. I can easily interact with anyone. If I can do it, I am sure that all of you can fine-tune your socialization skills too.

But, first let us see how sociable you are. Try to answer the quiz that follows. It is a test of your socializing skills. Let’s see how you do this:

Socialization Quiz

• Do you find it quite easy to intermingle with others?
• Do you like going to parties, functions and other social events?
• Do you get too conscious in front of others?
• Do you get uncomfortable while speaking to others?
• Does interaction with people and even the thought of it/socializing makes you feel nervous and anxious?
• Do you like to stay in isolation, inside your own cocoon/world or comfy zone?
• Are you the one who takes the first step in conversation and making friends?
• Do you like being the “center of focus/attention”?
• Do you get nervous while carrying yourself in a party or social setting?
• Are you too much concerned about what people will say or think about you?
• Even if you are not at fault do you hold yourself responsible for whatever bad happens?
• Do you feel like people are talking behind your back or are resorting to backbiting?
• Self-confidence, self-worth and esteem… Do you think you need to work more on these?
• Can you talk and interact with people very easily?
• In a group conversation what role do you play: The leader who initiates; the moderator who intervenes and talks or the by-stander who just observes and listens?
• Can you start a conversation with a know person as well as a stranger quite easily?
• What would you consider yourself: A social hero or a timid guy?

So that was the socialization test. If you have answered with positive answers then you are indeed a very sociable person and carry out yourself well in front of others. But, if you have answered most of the questions negatively then probably you need to fine-tune your socialization skills. Don’t worry folks! If I could transform myself from a shy gal to a highly socializing person – you can do it too. You just need to know some tips and tricks to socialize well. If that is difficult then one magical pill is there: And that is, Self-acceptance and Self-recognition. The more you know about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses… the more you can enhance your self-confidence, self-esteem and reflect your brighter side to the world around you. If you want to know more about how to socialize effectively then check out my blog: How to Improve Your Socialization Skills

“Isolation and silence gives us wisdom, but socialization is the mirror of who we are, where we are and what we need to do…”

Best wishes,

Sareeta