I once conducted a marketing training to a group of business professionals. During the training I shared that repetition is critical for audiences to retain messages, and that an individual needs to hear a message at least six times for them to understand and act on it. I advised these professionals to “repeat, repeat, repeat” their key messages to their customers.
As I was talking, one of the training participants popped his hand up to ask a question. I called on him and he said, “I feel like my wife is always repeating the same thing over and over and over again to me. But, the more she repeats, the more I don’t want to listen or do what she says. Is there ever a time when repeating gets to be too much? And, more so…how do I stop my wife from nagging me?” (more…)
Family relations involving children, divorce, social media and hurricane planning were the topics of the most read PR Fixes this year. In case you missed them or need a recap, check out the top 5 The PR Fix for the Everyday Person posts of 2015:
- 5 Rules of Common Courtesy in Social Media
- What Kids of Divorce Want their Parents to Know
- Family Hurricane Plan
- 5 Aha! Uses for Thank You
- The PR Fix for Kids: Everyday Conversation
In addition to the above, here are our (the authors) top PR Fix Picks for 2015:
- How to Write Difficult Correspondence
- ‘But’ Out, ‘And’ In
- 10 Rules for Successful Family Meetings
- 5 Tips for Making More Home Cooked Meals
- 17 Ways to Shake Off the Holiday Funk
Thank you for your interest in and interactions with The PR Fix for the Everyday Person. We would love to hear more about which articles resonated with you and what you would like us to write about in 2016. Please share our website and Facebook page with your friends. We wish you and yours a New Year filled with peace, happiness and love!
Do you ever fall into the holiday funk? You know what we mean, that feeling of being overloaded with obligations and activities during the end of the year. The holiday funk can also be brought on by feelings of loneliness or sadness due to a loved one who has passed, a relationship that is broken, or even bad holiday experiences of the past. I think we all go through periods of the holiday funk from time to time.
While there are many reasons that we and up in a holiday funk, we need to remember that we can choose not to be prisoners of the holidays, but rather drivers of the experience that we want. A good place to start is deciding what is truly important to you this holiday season and work towards that goal. Ask yourself, “What will make me happy this holidays?” For some, it may be spending time with family. For others, it may be enjoying peace and quiet at home and catching up on much needed rest. It may even be taking a trip and getting away from home. Then, stick with your goal. Do whatever it takes for you to achieve it and resist the feeling of guilt if you forgo a tradition or turn down an invitation. (more…)
I’ll admit it. I am so guilty of overindulging in many ways during the holidays. I usually end up wearing leggings everyday after the New Year because my pants feel a bit too snug from all of the food I consumed.
Over-eating, over-scheduling, over-spending, etc. is fine once a while, but with more than a month of festivities from Thanksgiving through the New Year, overindulging can catch up with you, and its consequences may last longer than you expect. For example, we all know someone who had a bit too much to drink at a holiday party that resulted in some crazy behavior. These stories are then retold every year, probably more often than ‘The Night Before Christmas.”
This year, I’m intent on reigning in my overindulging and have come up with a few ideas to combat the indulge monster within me: (more…)
The holidays are supposed to be a season filled with fun and cheer. However, it can also be a stressful time given full schedules, parties, presents, and more.
Here are 5 PR Fixes to help you navigate through and have a happy holidays: (more…)
Many of us come from families in which our parents have gotten divorced. Children of divorced parents experience mental, emotional, and even physical strain that weighs heavy on them, not only in the early stages of divorce but also in various ways for the rest of their lives. While divorce is common these days, this does not lessen the hurt, sadness, anger, and confusion that children in these situations feel.
In my experience, here is what kids of divorce want their parents to know: (more…)
My grandfather has a bit of difficulty hearing sometimes, especially when he chooses not to wear his hearing aid (chuckle, chuckle). Phone conversations with him can be challenging and involves a lot of yelling and eventually spelling out words on my end. Once a conversation that should have taken 20-seconds ended up being a 2-minute cacophony of frustration on both ends. That said, I love my 86-year-old grandfather dearly, and he is fairly tech savvy. He uses a smart phone and email. So, in recent years I’ve come to text and email him as much as possible. It’s an easy way for us to communicate clearly with each other.
Senior citizens, individuals who are 65 years or older, are one of the largest, and growing, groups in our population. They are also some of our most important publics. In our personal lives, seniors are our grandparents, aunties, uncles, mentors, and neighbors. In business, older individuals can be the most loyal customers with big buying power. Communication needs to take into account specific needs and preferences for people of all ages, including seniors. (more…)
I’ve noticed lately that sarcasm has become pervasive in our society. No matter what a person’s background, situation, level of affluence, race, creed or any other defining characteristic, almost everyone expresses some level of sarcasm. Usually, it’s cloaked in humor. Sometimes it’s combined with self-depracation as a way to humble ourselves. Often it gives us a way to connect with people about the “harsh realities” of a certain subject (like parenting, relationships, or marriage). (more…)
There are relationships in life that happen by default, such as with co-workers, stepchildren, in laws, college roommates, or the parent of your child’s BFF. In these cases, you find yourself automatically connected to someone, who you may not have normally chosen to befriend, because of your relationship with your loved one or work. Default relationships are not to be underestimated. They could make or break your most important relationships.
So, what if you don’t particularly get along with your default relationships? You don’t have to be besties with these folks, but you do need to put time and effort into making these interactions easy going and comfortable. Why? Because your relationship with your spouse or child or status at work depend on it. A peaceful family or workplace is a content one. You never want your spouse to feel like he has to choose between his parents or you or his children from a previous marriage or you. That’s not fair.
Here are 5 ways to connect with your default relationships: (more…)
We believe that one of the building blocks of fostering good relationships is being easy and comfortable with conversation in everyday social situations, such as at work, school, the drugstore, the gym, etc. Having a friendly demeanor, grace and tact in everyday conversation are learned skills that take practice. Many of us hone these skills through experience. Often, this happens as we get older, move away from home, and become independent.
When I look back on my younger years, I realize that I only began thoughtfully considering my social etiquette in college, where I found myself in a new city full of strangers and a variety of cultural and societal norms that I was a bit unfamiliar with. I grew up in a small island community where everyone knew each other or were somehow connected, and this set a scene for mostly casual, comfortable personal interactions. I didn’t consider myself uncouth or anti-social, but apprehensive and awkward at times. I think that this resulted in somewhat holding myself back on exploring a handful of opportunities. As the saying goes, I lived and learned, and I am appreciative for my experiences as it helped me grow. (more…)
Given the choice, few people want to visit or live in a country in a state of civil war. Likewise, few people want to visit or be someone who is at war with themselves. When you’re facing internal battles you are just like a country in a state of civil war. You’re distracted, you have little attention for anything besides your unrest, you may be irritable, you may collapse and isolate yourself, and when you do finally see the light, it’s hard work to fully recover.
Many people don’t even realize that they’re in a state of civil war. Like those who live in war zones, they get used to being on edge, to living in conflict, to that feeling of malaise, and to being in survival mode all the time. They don’t remember what it feels like to be happy and at ease, or to be confident and decisive, or how to thrive instead of just survive. (more…)
When you listen to others’ conversations, it’s amazing how much negative content there is. Many people use pessimistic, sometimes downright mean words as a matter of course. They complain. They express worry constantly. They judge and criticize. You can do better than that. In fact you need to if you’re going to be happy and have happy relationships. If your words are full of bile, your thoughts must be just as dark. What’s the point in that? If you’re thinking and speaking about bad things all day, you will be miserable. And you don’t need to be. Words and thoughts are things we can choose. They’re among the few things we have control over so get a handle on them now. (more…)
One of the easiest ways to boost your relationships, whether it may be with a friend, family member, colleague, etc., is to keep in touch. This may seem like a simple act with minimal effect, but it will truly enhance any of your relationships from those with whom you are the closest to casual acquaintances.
One of our FMPR Scholars has kept in touch with us regularly for years. We ask each of our recipients to send us an update of their schooling at the end of the year that they received our award. So they are only required to contact us once. This didn’t stop this one particular Scholar from keeping in touch after every semester as she pursued her degree. We loved receiving the letters from her. Her mom would also email us updates and photos from time to time. When they wrote, they would always express gratitude for our scholarship. Because we developed a relationship with her and her mother over the years as they continued to reach out to us, we decided to award her with an additional scholarship. This individual has become so special to us, and we’ll do whatever we we can to help her succeed. Our feelings for her were cultivated through her constant communication with us. (more…)
I’ll never forget the day that I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and one of my friends posted a photo of her newborn baby and somewhat snidely pointed out that this was her first post to announce the arrival of her baby, which insinuated that others had posted her good news before she had. Yikes!
I’m sure that those who had posted about her baby before she did, did not intentionally mean to upset her or steal her thunder. Sometimes, in the midst of chronicaling our lives, “ATM,” we forego social etiquette that we normally practice in person with others. We must remember that the same basic rules of common courtesy apply to social media. In fact, I would assert that we must be even more attentive to our conduct online because of its permanence and reach. (more…)
I was once pulled over by a police officer as I was driving along a busy road. When he approached my truck window, he was very stern and gruff. He explained that he pulled me over for speeding. As he spoke, I had a million thoughts running through my mind, from “I want to crawl into a hole and die because people are driving by looking at me like a common criminal,” (or so I perceived) to “Ahhh! Why is this officer so scary?” to “How am going to explain this to my safe-driving-stickler husband?”
When the officer handed me the nausea-inducing slip of paper that was the speeding ticket, the only thing that I could think of to say that made me feel somewhat decent was “Thank you.” Yes, I gathered myself up enough to quickly realize that any excuse for speeding would be pathetic and that being flippant, defensive, or mad would just make me look like a fool. So I said “Thank you.” It was then that the officer looked me with surprise in his eyes and dropped his hard core demeanor. He softened his tone, bid me a gentle goodbye, and went along his way. (more…)
One PR Fix, or communication upgrade, that I learned at the beginning of my career, is to replace using the word “but” with “and” to soften unfavorable language. While this has come in handy in business, it’s also been useful in my personal communication as well.
Before I learned this, I never really considered how the terms “but,” “however,” or “yet” can actually be negative. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that they are mainly used in contrary to something and have a subtle way to bring down a conversation. Why? Because many times, “but” is used as an excuse or a crutch. Over and over people use “but” to take the accountability off of their shoulders. For example, “I did my homework, BUT I don’t have it with me because my dog ate it.” Or “I would have been on time, BUT I got stuck in traffic.” Even though this is not the case for all uses of “but,” the frequency of using a “but statement” as a justification for a mistake has dirtied the interpretation of the word. (more…)
I’ve been through two hurricanes in my lifetime. The most recent was Hurricane Iniki, which was a category 4 storm that devastated our island of Kauai, Hawaii in 1992. Every year when hurricane season starts in June with the arrival of El Nino or La Nina seasons, we are reminded by media, utility companies, and government entities to prepare hurricane survival kits and become familiar with procedures in the case that this type of natural disaster occurs. What my family has learned through our hurricane experiences is that in addition to those things, creating a Family Hurricane Plan is a critical component to preparedness.
A Family Hurricane Plan allows for family members to consider and discuss where they will be and what they will need to do in this type of situation. It also puts a system in place for how you will contact each other after the storm. One of the most stressful parts of the aftermath of a hurricane is not being able to contact loved ones to either check to see if they’re okay or to let them know how you are doing. The Family Hurricane Plan is poised to make things in this type of difficult event as orderly as possible.
My family’s hurricane plan encompasses more than 30 individuals spanning five generations. There is no limit to how many individuals can be involved in one plan, and when I say “family” I don’t mean that you have to be blood related to be included in a Family Hurricane Plan. Any group of friends or neighbors that care for each other can develop a plan together. (more…)
There is always a way to graciously address any situation, no matter how uncomfortable. Plain and simple: ignoring the truth or being phony feeds into the discomfort of the most awkward situations and makes them worse. (more…)
This may seem elementary, but it isn’t. The truth gets cloudy sometimes, and that’s what gets us in trouble. Most of us don’t intentionally lie or exaggerate the truth to hurt anyone. In fact, many of us get caught up in an occasional white lie or embellishment to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. You know what we mean. “I’m so sorry, I can’t attend your son’s play because I have another appointment at that time,” (even though you don’t). In today’s modern world, we’ve become too accustomed to seeing media, paparazzi, and advertising exaggerate the truth. Embellishment has almost become the norm, and we’ve become desensitized to it.
What’s so wrong with a white lie to preserve a friend’s feelings? Well, first off, what would happen if they found out that you fibbed? How would they feel then? And what would your friend feel about you? Besides that consequence, the fact is, when you tell a lie, your intentions are to deceive, and deception is never the right thing. It’s just not good for the soul. (more…)
Apologies can be very awkward. Handling an apology gently and thoughtfully can ease your discomfort and encourage the other party to accept your apology so that you can both move forward positively. When apologizing remember to:
- Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. Get right to the point. Say “I’m sorry” upfront.
- Keep eye contact. Looking the other person directly in the eyes shows that you are being genuine and honest.
- Use a soft and steady voice that shows respect and remorse. It also communicates that you are there to create peace versus conflict.
- Don’t be defensive or make excuses. Sure, there are reasons that caused you to do what you did. Regardless, what you did was wrong, so those reasons aren’t relevant. Bringing them up will sound as if you’re justifying or minimizing the wrongdoing.
- Keep it short. If the other party wants to rehash the entire situation, which may bring up bad feelings for both of you, politely interrupt and say “This is why I’m apologizing. I’m sorry. Let’s put this behind us.”
Do you have a specific situation that requires you to make an apology? Would you like assistance with how to carry out the apology? We would love to help you! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your situation, and we’ll email you back with advice on how to handle this apology.
Note: FMPR reserves the right to respond or not respond to any request. FMPR cannot be held liable for the outcome of any advice given by its employees, consultants, or contractors.