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Do You Know the Three Magic Words to Succeed in Relationships?

Serena Reep, Ph.D. -- Whether in a personal or professional relationship, Ego is often the biggest enemy to true success. While not very easy to overcome, the consequences of the alternative can be much less attractive and more costly in the long run.

After studying thousands of face-to-face interactions over a long period of time, I have come to the conclusion that people go out of their way to create unhappiness and friction in their relationships instead of choosing a much easier task that can bring them great rewards. This has always puzzled me about human nature -- why some things that are so easy and so obvious are the hardest things to do...

I had a dialogue with Jim who was about to lose his job. He was about to lose his job not because he was incompetent but because everyone in his team saw him as combative and disagreeable, always looking to prove he has a better answer, and, not being a team player.

Finally after several attempts at trying to get him to see his drawbacks and suggesting ways of improving his performance, I had to throw my hands up in the air and say: Sorry, I can't help you if you are not willing to see your actions, their impact on others, how others see you, and be willing to make the necessary changes."

Another case study in the same vein: Janet gets irritated and flies off the handle very quickly. (I have been on the receiving end of this many times with her.) Then she realizes that she has been less than cordial or her un-friendly attitude was not called for. She spends a half hour dancing around the topic and describing why she did what she did but never a direct admission like "I am sorry..." or "I was abrupt and it was not called for."

Do you have this problem too?

Do you see people in your circle with these types of problems?

"I was wrong," "I am sorry," or "You are right" are the most powerful MAGIC WORDS that help in more situations than I can count. It is so much easier to use these magic words than a circuitous route to save the ego. You only think you are saving your ego when you do not admit failure in some form. But your efforts to save your ego are much too transparent to most of the people in front of you, and that makes your mission a failure anyway. Yet we persist in our losing ways and cling to them like a well-worn blanket.

Now, is it that simple? Say "I am sorry" or "I am wrong" or "You are right" and all is well again? No, not really.

It is not enough to just say the magic words like you take some bitter pill and get it over with. You have to say it like you mean it. If you begrudgingly say it to get rid of the person, conversation, or situation, it can actually backfire and make it harder to establish credibility or keep open lines of communication.

So what do you do after you say the magic words? Elaborate further why you now conclude differently or accept their viewpoint etc. (for example -- I did not see it that way... or I am sorry my ego was in the way of seeing what you said... or you bring up a good point which I did not consider before, etc.) along with the three magic words. This will help solidify the sincerity of your admission and shows that you are not just paying lip service.

Ego is our biggest enemy. We must get it out of our system if we want to truly be successful and make a difference in our world -- the people we care about and the relationships we want to nurture. I know it is a tall order, and not very easy to implement. However, the consequences of the alternative are much less attractive and more costly in the long run.

Source: EzineArticles

Dr. Serena Reep is an Ex-College Professor, communication, and relationship management coach, corporate project management trainer, author and motivational speaker. She considers herself a social-entrepreneur and likes to promote social causes in all her ventures. Serena Reep received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Her specialization is Social Structure and Personality. In addition, she also holds an active PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, and frequently speaks on best practices in communication for successful project management as well as successful interpersonal relationship management. Want to change your life from the mundane to the magnificent? Want to know more about how to be more proactive and productive in your relationships and communicate better with others? Want to be understood and appreciated for all you are worth? Subscribe to the no-cost newsletter from Dr. Serena Reep at

© 2009 Serena Reep, Ph.D.

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