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15 Differences Between Positive People And Negative People

15 Differences Between Positive People And Negative People

As you know, it is a drastically different experience being around positive people versus negative ones. If you are striving to be more positive yourself, here are 15 ways you can do so:

1. “Failure is part of learning.”

Positive people view failure as an opportunity to learn and get better. They understand that failure is an event, and doesn’t define who they are. Negative people are emotionally disabled by failure because they allow it to define who they are. They fail to understand that it’s part of the learning and growing process.

2. “I can do hard things.”

Positive people love to be challenged. They understand that there is no growth without struggle. Positive people embrace difficulty, and look for ways to overcome them. Negative people love the easy road. Because obstacles increase the likelihood of failure, they try to avoid them like the plague. To negative people, hard times don’t make you, they break you.

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3. “I always give my best.”

Positive people focus on giving their best effort, regardless of the situation. They understand that there are many things they cannot control, but effort is not one of them. No matter what, the positive person strives to give their best — even if it isn’t much. Negative people want things to come easy to them. If they have to try hard, they believe they just aren’t good at it and give up. They are more likely to give their absolute best if they know people are watching them.

4. “She is inspiring!”

Positive people are inspired by the success of others, they look at those who are excelling and ask themselves the question, “What can I learn from them?” Negative people become jealous and threatened by the success of others. To negative people, when others succeed it means they are failing.

5. “What can I do better?”

Positive people embrace feedback. Because they are always striving to get better, they are open to learn anything that will enhance their skill set. Negative people get offended when they receive correction or feedback. Instead of seeing it as means to improve, they interpret feedback as a sign of their incompetence.

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6. “I give power to what I focus on.”

Positive people focus on things they can control. They understand that their happiness is dependent on how they choose to respond to what happens to them. Positive people believe that they give power to what they focus on, so they use it wisely. Negative people center their focus on things they can’t control. For example, they ruminate over past conversations, beat themselves up on past mistakes, and allow their fear of the future to stop them in their tracks today.

7. “People can change.”

Positive people know that the only thing that doesn’t change is change. They believe that they can change, and that other people can change. Negative people believe that people are fixed; therefore, they don’t try to improve because they believe, “What’s the use?” Additionally, negative people don’t allow others to change. Once a negative person puts a label on something, it’s very difficult for them to see it in a different way.

8. “I still have a lot to learn.”

Positive people love to learn. They understand information evolves, and what used to work 10-years ago, might not be effective today. Negative people believe they know it all, and are less likely to welcome new information if it contradicts what they believe. They care less about what’s right, and more about who’s right.

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9. “Let’s go big!”

A positive person isn’t afraid to swing for the fences because they don’t fear striking out. A negative person not only thinks small, but they also try to convince others that their dreams and aspirations are too big.

10. “Have you heard about [insert name]?”

Positive people build others up when they aren’t around. Negative people tear people down to make themselves feel good.

11. “I am my own worst enemy or best friend.”

Positive people have effective self talk. They are aware of the story they tell themselves, and don’t allow their own thoughts to discourage them. Additionally, they are realistic with their expectations. Positive people don’t feed themselves lies about their weaknesses or how difficult the situation is. Instead, they tell themselves what they need to do to succeed. Negative people are their own worst enemy. They struggle to see the bright side of anything, even if they are successful. They are also masterful at focusing on all the negative aspects, and diminishing their own confidence.

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12. “What is my body saying?”

Positive people carry themselves like champions. They are purposeful in the way they interact with people and their facial expressions show positivity. Negative people carry themselves small. They hang their heads, and look down. Just by looking at them, you would think they are mad, sad, or indifferent — definitely not happy.

13. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

Because they are team players, positive people will get behind and support ideas that are not their’s — even if they might disagree with it. Negative people have a hard time fully supporting ideas they feel won’t be successful. When an idea that wasn’t their’s doesn’t succeed, they are sure to give their teammates the “I-told-you-so” expression.

14. “What’s the bright side?”

Positive people have an attitude of gratitude. They can see the good in a situation, and don’t take things for granted. Negative people struggle to see the silver-lining in difficult situations. They don’t often take the time to stop and notice the positive aspects of a situation.

15. “You’re so good!”

Positive people like to spread positivity. They pay close attention to when others do well, and they are quick to tell them. Negative people say, “Why would I compliment people for things they are supposed to do?” What they don’t understand is, it’s not about the compliment, it’s about showing the other person that you notice them. A simple compliment can strengthen relationships and motivate the person to do even better. Positive people don’t underestimate the power of encouraging words.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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