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Kristina Taylor
Personal and Professional Conflict Resolution and Life-Executive Coaching
Personal and Professional Conflict Resolution and Life-Executive Coaching


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With V-Day quickly approaching, those of us who are single may be dwelling on feelings of being alone. Well, no  need to let that negative emotion rule our lives. Read my tips on how to enjoy time solo in Refinery 29's blog:

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How to Win the Guinness World Record for “Nicest Divorce Ever”

Ok, well maybe that is going a little too far. But, there is no reason (no matter how angry, hurt, pissed off, betrayed, furious, upset, sick, crushed, or otherwise awful you feel) the divorce process has to be filled with bitterness, contempt, or hateful words.

I am not saying that acting like a respectful, responsible, mature adult will always be easy, but after all, that is what you are right? So it’s time to start acting like one (or at least trying to act like one).

So the next time you are blinded by fury or so heartbroken you could weep, think of this:

1. No matter how badly we feel, it is NEVER ok to put down or hurt someone else to make ourselves feel better.
2. What we say and do speaks far, far more about us than it does about those we are badmouthing.
3. Stress kills. Literally, it will take years off your life, add grey hairs to your head, and put lines on your face. Is your ex worth all that? 
4. In a storm, it is always wiser to take the higher ground.
5. You are a role model to others (especially if you have children). Show them how gracefully you can let go of what is no longer meant for you.
6. You will never reach a positive place with negative thoughts and actions.
7. Who are you really mad at? It might be yourself, and you don’t deserve to be yelled at. 
8. Anger and worry have never solved anything, except maybe how to waste inordinate amounts of time you will never get back accomplishing absolutely nothing. 
9. If your goal is to eventually be happy and move on, you need to start now. That means letting go of all those negative emotions that are keeping you stuck where you are right now, feeling the way you feel right now. 
10. And if none of these words of wisdom have inspired you to stop the yelling and social media bashing, at least be nice for no other reason that it will really piss the other person off. 

This advice has helped me make better decisions while going through my own divorce. You will struggle. There will be times you will yell, scream, cry, and act less maturely than you truly are. But, the point is not to be perfect, but to strive to be better than you were the day before or the minute/hour before. 

I have struggled as a psychologist and conflict specialist who should “know better,” so I am definitely not saying letting go of the anger and hurt will be easy. 
I will admit there were times I name-called, bashed, and put down. What I learned from those times was that those behaviors ultimately made me feel worse rather than better. I felt horrible for treating another human being that way, especially one that I had at one time loved dearly. I was also embarrassed at myself and felt ashamed when I had to recount my actions to friends and family. That is not the kind of person I want and strive to be.  

We are human, we feel, and that means we are susceptible to irrational, immature, spiteful behavior. But we don’t have to let our anger and hurt control us. Take charge of your emotions and your life. You will be happier you did. 

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We have just seconds upon meeting a new person to get him/her to like and be interested in us. This is true for both personal and professional relationships. Making a meaningful connection in a short time can give us an edge, whether its during that important interview, the date you have been excited about, or when trying to secure a new client or business contact.

One way to grab attention and build rapport is to be in synch with the other person. People like those who are similar to them. One easy way to get in synch with another person is through matching and tuning into that person’s sensory style. 

Below are the main sensory styles. Most people have a preference for one, but we use all sensory styles depending on the situation.

Sensory types:

- Cares about appearance, dresses well and likes to stay fit
- Talks and thinks quickly
- Uses words and phrases such as: 
o I see
o See you later
o Imagine that
o I can picture it
o A sight for sore eyes
o We see eye to eye

- In between visual and kinesthetic styles in terms of appearance and body type
- Moderate rate of speech and thinking
- Uses words and phrases such as:
o I hear you
o I clicked with him/her
o Listen
o I got an earful 
o Tune out/in
o That rings a bell

- Focuses on comfort rather than style and is not as concerned about body appearance (unless person is an athlete/trainer)
- Tends to talk and think more slowly
- Uses words and phrases such as:
o I feel you
o Firm grasp of the situation 
o I connected with him
o Pain in the neck
o Go with the flow
o I will get in touch with you

Challenge yourself to begin listening to and noticing the styles of others around you. Once you actively try to pick up on someone’s style, you will find how easy it becomes. You can start doing this as a fun way to kill time while waiting in line at the super market, when eating in a restaurant, or while riding on public transit. 

Once you become aware of another’s style, try synchronizing with it by using words/phrases that appeal to that person’s style. This simple technique can get others to like you quickly, giving you an edge in any social situation.

Want to know your style? Take the quiz below to find out.
Sensory Style Quiz:

1. When checking into your hotel for vacation, you choose the room that
a. Has an ocean view but is noisy
b. Allows you to hear the ocean, but has no view
c. Is the utmost of comfort and luxury, but has no view and is noisy

2. When faced with a problem, you
a. Look for alternatives
b. Talk about the problem
c. Rearrange the details

3. When buying a new car, you want it to
a. Look good
b. Sound quiet or powerful
c. Feel comfortable and/or safe

4. When describing to a friend the latest concert you attended, you first
a. Describe how it looked
b. Tell your friend how it sounded
c. Describe how it felt

5. In your spare time, you most enjoy
a. Watching TV/movies or playing video games
b. Reading or listening to music
c. Doing something physical like crafts, gardening, or sports

6. The sense you would never want to lose is
a. Sight
b. Hearing
c. Touch 

7. You spend the most time indulging in
a. Daydreaming
b. Listening to your thoughts
c. Picking up on your feelings

8. When someone wants to convince you of something, you
a. Need to see evidence or proof
b. Talk yourself through the information
c. Trust your intuition

9. You usually speak and think
a. Quickly
b. Moderately
c. Slowly

10. Take a breath. Where did you breath from?
a. High in your chest
b. Low in your chest
c. Your stomach

11. When navigating around a new city, you
a. Use a map/GPS/Google maps
b. Ask for directions
c. Trust your intuition 

12. When buying clothes, you pick
a. What looks best on you/what looks the most polished
b. What makes a personal statement or reflects your personality
c. What feels comfortable

13. When deciding on a new restaurant to try, you make the decision based on
a. The building looking impressive
b. The restaurant being quiet
c. The restaurant being comfortable

14. You make decisions
a. Quickly
b. Moderately
c. Slowly 

Tally your responses. 
Mostly A’s- Your sensory style is Visual
Mostly B’s- Your sensory style is Auditory
Mostly C’s- Your sensory style is Kinesthetic

Write down your style in rank order (e.g. VKA). Have your partner and/or close friends take the quiz to see how well you are matched. People tend to get along best with others who have a primary or secondary style in common. If you find yourself arguing with or having trouble connecting with someone, it could be because your sensory styles are out of synch. 

(Information adapted from How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less- Nicholas Boothman)
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