365 Days of Self Discovery: Day 92

12.03.18

Are you a good communicator?

  • At a very young age up until late high school, I struggled with my socialization skills & communicating with peers. Especially when it came to voicing my opinion, confrontations, debates, communicating my feelings/thoughts to others, etc. It wasn’t that I was anti-social or didn’t have any friends, I was very outgoing (still am) and had friends, but I was what most would probably consider “awkward”; Having a conversation with someone was harder due to my social anxiety — being a class clown all my life was my way of communicating and making friends, it seemed so much easier to find ways to make people laugh, than it was trying to talk to people in normal day to day conversations. I have many reasons as to why I feel as though I was struggling with this, mostly with other women vs men. I was a tomboy, so being one of the guys and hanging with my younger brother was my way of trying to fit in, vs hanging out with a bunch of girls from school. At a young age, I knew I was different, but it didn’t strike me as hard until I realized that maybe I had an attraction towards the same sex, and this just made communicating / socializing even harder at times. As I got older, I started to learn to open up to people more and had more conversation & my class clown acts weren’t as rapid, but after suffering from  losing friends, and having to move to different states/change schools, my communication skills started to once again dwindle because of my social anxiety from not knowing anyone. At the same time I had a hard time communicating with my own parent, my mom wasn’t the easiest lady talking to growing up (still has her moments now) because she is both stubborn and stuck in her ways and she believes what she says, goes — so I didn’t really have the confidence to speak up to her about certain matters until later in life. I’d say now, my communication skills aren’t perfect & I still have social anxiety, but I am better at voicing my opinion to peers, better at communicating my feelings within relationships and with close friends & I have gotten better at trying to voice my thoughts to my mom (even when she doesn’t seem to want to hear about it), regardless, I am glad this is something I have learned to excel at, and having taken a communication class in college, helped me to be able to talk in front of others with less fear. The hardest thing is keeping in touch with people — I am not good at doing that. 
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World Autism Awareness Day

For those who are unaware, today is “World Autism Awareness Day” — I am all for mental health awareness (my blog focuses on both mental and physical health). I think it is good that we keep ourselves educated and aware of current events going on around us, mental health issues/conditions and wanting to understand other people’s experiences. I know autism isn’t anything new, but I know people who suffer from a mild form of it, and some of my family members have worked with kids who suffer from moderate to more severe forms of autism. We have come a long way in science, but still there is no affirmative answer as to how some people become autistic and others don’t. It is believed that both environmental factors and genetics play a part in autistic persons but NO specific environmental causes have been proven yet. For a while I know many people blamed the vaccination that prevented childhood infectious diseases but multiple studies have said that the vaccinations did not increase the chances of autism — not saying that these studies are 100 percent true, because I believe there may be studies who slightly disagree with this claim, but I suppose it all depends on what source is saying what and your thoughts around it after gaining more understanding and research on the topic. 

 

If you are unaware of what autism is, it is characterized as “a developmental disorder that that impairs the ability to communicate and interact”. With this being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone with autism cannot speak or form sentences, or is mute; I have a client with autism, who functions and speaks just the same — as said before, some have mild forms and others have more moderate or severe forms of autism. 

 

Common signs of autism?

 
  • Social impairment and communication difficulties — some people find social interactions difficult. Simply avoiding eye contact, not respond to their name, children with autism may find they would rather be alone (play games by themselves vs playing with other children), many people with autism may have a difficult time with talking about their feelings and understanding other people’s feelings. Delayed speech, no speech, inappropriate forms of speech, awkwardness while talking, may repeat phrases, or give unrelated answers to questions.. etc.
  • Repetitive & characteristic behaviors: Repetitive movements or unusual behaviors, become obsessive over certain topics, preoccupied with certain aspects of a toy, many people with autism thrive from routine (changes can be challenging for them), anger or emotional outburst. etc. 

There are more signs I hadn’t listed but this gives you somewhat of an understanding but it’s always good to get more information from your medical doctor or a specialist in the area of mental health who can provide more answers. 

 

Treatments can include medications that DON’T CURE OR TREAT MAIN SYMPTOMS, medications can help some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression, obsessive behavior), another treatment is “educational & behavioral interventions (which have been proven to be helpful) 

 

Diagnosing autism can be difficult at times because of the fact that sometimes symptoms go unrecognized for a period of time & not everyone experiences the same type of symptoms. 

Some early on indicators might be: 

  • poor eye contact
  • no response to name
  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

just to name a few. Later indicators:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation of certain objects or subjects

plus more that I haven’t listed. Again, the best thing to do is ask questions to medical professionals or do your own research, because even if you don’t know anyone who suffers from autism, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come into contact with someone who doesn’t have it. Hopefully this information was somewhat helpful and more of you share your own tidbits of information in the comment sections; thanks for reading, comment, like, and share! 

 

Shay-lon 

Building a positive social circle

I plan on getting back to the podcast soon that I created (been away from it for 3 months) and so to keep things fresh, I will probably do the Tips Tuesday — and gradually get back into things, don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much because of all the extra stuff I am now taking on. With this being said, I created this tip months ago, and I figured it is very important — something we should all aim for & that is:

 

Building a positive social circle.

 

What this means, is choosing to surround yourself with people who help to build you, motivate you, encourage you, and support you. We all have had people in our circle at one point who seemed like the debbie downer or the one that constantly complains about life and all the downs but never sees any positive things from it — but maybe some of us have been the negative one in our own circle (if this is true, change your outlook .. in order to gain the positive circle you seek). This is excluding those of us with mental illnesses that might play a part in our mindset, but even so with that illness, finding people who appreciate you and give you hope and have a concern for you and your life as much as you have for them is a start in the right direction. 

 

I am not perfect by any means, but since growing up and becoming more mature and making better adult decisions, I have gotten better at being alone until I meet people who have a good impact in my life instead of being friends and accepting everyone in my circle — I had to learn to be more picky because I get discouraged easy and I deal with my own demons and having a negative person who constantly brings me down, only creates more issues in the long term for me. Something we have to learn to do, is be picky as to who we allow in our lives and who we allow to impact our lives. Down below I list some ways to build a positive social circle:

 
 
  1. Be PICKY! Don’t allow anyone in, make sound decisions. Not everyone needs to be your friend
  2. Change your outlook/attitude about yourself – when you have a more positive outlook on yourself, people tend to gravitate towards you and in turn you make more relationships that are good relationships
  3. Respect people- Respect goes a long way in life, if you can respect others, normally it means they will have mutual respect for you
  4. Be open minded: Open minded individuals tend to see within a person vs the outer layer, they want a deeper connection with someone and in turn you truly start to build a stronger bond
  5. Compliment someone: Giving someone a reason to smile can make a difference — people will feel appreciated & it can make your day knowing you made someone else’s day. People enjoy compliments, truths about themselves that maybe they don’t see within them, but hearing it from someone else gives them a reason to continue being awesome! A simple compliment can carry a lot of weight
  6. Don’t be self absorbed: I always say there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself BUT you don’t want your circle to get tired of learning about you, when you become self absorbed everything revolves around you and that shows others that you don’t have their best interest in mind. I will just add that, being self absorbed can lead to bad relationships because everybody wants a chance to shine and when you take someone’s limelight to shine back on yourself, it comes off as arrogant. 
  7. Confidence is needed: Confidence is a necessity because people feed off someone who is confident with who they are, you need to carry yourself like you are proud of being alive, proud of who you are and proud of where you came from because it is what makes you, you! You might have a bad past but it doesn’t mean you are bad person, and you might have flaws but flaws don’t make you less of a person. 
  8. Think before you speak: We get in a habit with saying whatever is on our minds, which isn’t always bad, but it can lead to bad outcomes if we don’t think about how to go about things. If you keep other people’s feelings in mind, then you will have better outcomes, telling the truth isn’t bad but its how you say it that can make the whole difference. Take others into consideration before speaking too much of your mind. 
  9. Don’t be “two faced”: We all know what it means to be two faced “someone who smiles in your face but will talk behind your back when you leave” , yes, that’s very dishonest, rude and immature. Grow up, if you want people in your circle who are positive, don’t make it hard on yourself by giving them a reason to not trust you or like you. 
  10. Find people with similar hobbies: It can pay off when you acquaint yourself with those who share the same interest and hobbies as you, this makes life a little easier but don’t disregard those who are opposite because many times they can give us new experiences and allow us to step outside our comfort level. 
  11. Be true to SELF: Be real, be authentic, and be yourself. Changing for others will either end badly or last for a short period of time because you will run into all walks of life and having to shift who you are for each person will get tiring — change is good if it makes you into a better person and develops you mentally and physically and spiritually but when it becomes a change in order to “fit in” with people or groups of people, it drains you, overwhelms you, and reduces your chances of making deeper connections with people. Not everyone will like you, but those who do like you, will be worth it because they will see the best in you — 
 

Building a circle isn’t about being “popular” and most liked, it is about building a meaningful bond with people who take the time to build that same bond with you. Building a positive circle isn’t about having to smile and be happy everyday, it’s about building a circle that allows for bad days but doesn’t dwell on them — Shay-lon Moss 

 

A circle can be small (2-3 close friends) or a bigger circle (5-10 friends), or your family members — it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, it’s a circle that has your back no matter how deep the water gets; they motivate, support, and uplift you– they give you truths but don’t slam you with bad vibes — Shay-lon Moss

 

Have something you want to add to this list, feel free to leave in the comment section!