Your Summer CBT Dublin newsletter.  Looking at 'Risk Taking' and how to get the 'Likeability Factor'!
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The Summer Edition

CBT Dublin Summer News


I hope you have some great fun planned for the summer and are looking forward to a break or two!
In this month's
newsletter I am reaching out to those who need some help with taking risks in the right way.  I have also included a feature on the 'Likeability' factor, what it is, what it isn't and how to get it.
Onwards and Upwards!

Are you a 'risk taker', or a 'scaredy cat'?  Are you in a position at work where you are having to decide upon maintaining the status quo or taking a risk?  Are you in compromising positions in your personal life, that may mean taking risks, but you remain unhappy while you do nothing?  Risks play a part in so many of our daily interactions that we may not even consider ourselves to be 'risk takers'. Yet we might cross a busy road without traffic lights or decide on a new holiday destination with unknown elements.  But bigger risks, ones where there may be financial risks, safety risks, or too many ‘what if’s’ endings, can stop us in our tracks and leave things as they are, for better or worse.
There is currently a new culture spreading through the workplace that has an emphasis on rewarding risk taking.  At many corporate interviews candidates are being asked, 'What is the biggest risk that they have taken?' and the company wants to hear answers!  The culture is thought to have come up from the growth in technology starts ups, the perceived sexy industry that can turn 23 year olds into multi-millionaires over-night and billionaires by 25!  The new “go big or go home” start-up culture has sprung a view that says only those willing to take big risks can reap great rewards. As Mark Zuckerberg says, "Those who do not take chances are on the path to “guaranteed failure”.  It is deemed cool and very much in vogue to be a risk taker and yes, you may get rewarded for it.  But what if you are not a natural risk taker?  What will happen to your career or personal path?  So, if you are in this position but fear has gripped you with its paralysing fingers, I can help.

Firstly, you have to identify the fear, what is it saying to you?  Is it a, ‘What if it all goes wrong’ fear, or ‘I might lose my job’ etc.  Listen to that negative voice.  Once you have it write it down.  The next step is to take my short CBT course in ‘How to take Risks’, it is just launched this week, and won’t take up much time in your day, but will enable and empower you to get on with those risks that you may have to take. 
Go for it!
As a specialist in self-esteem, I love working with clients who want to be liked and yet they find it really hard to be likeable.  Often people, with these worries, will hide behind a veil of being an introvert or shy, and certainly this can add a level of complexity to being likeable but it is not insurmountable.  Their usual default position is to ‘people please’ and this backfires frequently, as they can come across as needy, rather than likeable. Neediness is not an attribute that is considered friendly but it is considered to be draining for the person who is at the receiving end of the ‘people pleasing’, and so they end up pushing that person away. 

I frequently refer my clients to the guru of likeability, Dale Carnegie, and his book ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’, one of the top 10 most read self-help books of the last hundred years.  There is a reason it is in the top 10, it helps people to be more likeable.  Dale, sadly is no longer with us but his legacy lives on.
But there are so many studies and discoveries these days driven by the need to improve emotional intelligence, for example, being academically gifted Is great but it falls short if the emotional intelligence is missing in action.  What is emotional intelligence? 
Definition: Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.  It is the ability to read the situation that someone else is in and to have empathy with that person.  The opposite of demonstrating emotional intelligence is someone who is a narcissist, a person who is completely absorbed in themselves and not in the world around them – obviously not a good look!

Dr. Travis Bradberry is a thought leader on emotional intelligence and has written a book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 which also has a handy emotional intelligence test to see how you rate on this scale.

If you think you are struggling with the 'Likeability Factor' here are some top tips for you to make a start with:
  1. Put the smart phone down! Ok, not all the time, but each time you are with someone in a meeting, at drinks, dinner, a picnic, whatever. If you are checking your phone, in front of anyone you are with, you are signalling that whoever is ‘in’ your phone is more important than them.  Effectively you are rejecting the person you are physically with in that moment and they feel unimportant and will have negative thoughts about you.
  2. Accept compliments without rejecting them.  I was taught this by a titled Lady, a debutante, when I was a teenager. Her voice is in my head every time I hear someone reject a compliment, she said, ‘Each time you reject a compliment you are actually saying that the person giving the compliment has bad taste.’  So, next time someone says, ‘I like your top’, don’t fall into the trap of ‘Oh, this old thing, I got it in Penneys for €3’.  Instead say, ‘Thank you so much!’ and smile.
  3. Say no, once in a while. If you are known for attending every event going, including the opening of an envelope you will look needy. Sometimes it’s good to be missed. Absence can make the heart grow fonder after all and you won’t be taken for granted and become part of the wallpaper.
  4. Remembering important details is crucial for likeability. Start with remembering people’s names. If you have a poor memory use your phone and tag pictures of people with their names so you can reference it next time you are out and you bump into that person you met last time. Check the phone fast before going up to them with, for example  ‘Hi John, great to see you again.’ This will impress them greatly but don’t be upset if they have forgotten your name! Help them along with a quick reminder such as, ‘It’s Clare, we met at Pat’s 50th last month’. They will mentally thank you for the reminder and it is very professional
  5. Quit bragging. It seems to be that social media has created a growth in narcissism and the need to show what a perfect life people have and the possessions that go with the supposed ‘perfect life’. Bragging is a sign of the times but also demonstrates that you are insecure and that you need to show off possessions to be important. But people are not living perfect lives and if you are bragging about your new house, new car, pay rise, Armani suit e.t.c e.t.c people will envy you and envy does not lead to likeability. People can’t help but compare their lives with others, and you, if they are lacking self-esteem and feel you are more successful than they are they will feel like losers, is this a good feeling to give someone?  If your social group is preoccupied with such bragging, and one-upmanship, then you might need to consider the depth of friendships there. Would they be your friend if you didn’t have anything to show off and what does that ‘friendship’ shallowness/quality tell you?
  6. Offer to help someone out now and again, if you can. Particularly in the world of business, people are becoming more zealous of guarding their contacts, even with 'Linked In', and the idea that you can reach out and ask people to introduce you to their people isn’t really working, people rarely do this. If you are in a position to help out someone you think is worth helping, do it. It will make you feel good and make them feel good about you.
It's a start, if you think you would like some help with this area of self development don't hesitate to get in touch or book yourself in for CBT with me, I promise you will be delighted you did.
Enjoy the summer and keep an eye out for the next newsletter, as I have some more, great, CBT announcements to make!
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