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We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

Friendship. What is friendship? Friendship is a bond created when you meet a stranger inside your radar. Your radar is defined as the scope in which you detect other strangers. The instant bond and vibe that is created is what causes friendship to be formed. It is the bond that is there to support you when you are sad and the bond that is there to share your happiness. It is the bond that interlinks two different life together into one.

These are the bonds that will make you chuckle like a kid whenever you think of your best friend. The kind that makes you feel glad you are alive. This bond that is shared, it’s what makes you both key components in each other’s lives. You will feel grateful for the existence of each other and never regret your friendship.

However, this friendship may be put to the mettle when certain circumstances occur. You and your friend may graduate from school and your best friend moves back to his hometown or maybe your best friend migrated to another country. The bond you have forged with your best friend is now being tested.

I was at a dining restaurant just a few weeks back. It was a posh restaurant with an exquisite design. I looked around as we were brought to our seats to be seated. As soon as I sat down, the aroma of fried cutlet chicken drifted and danced around me. It reminded me of my best friend immediately.

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His favorite food is fried chicken cutlet and he loved it. He always chooses fried chicken cutlet if there was a choice. I still remembered how we made a bet on how many days he can go without eating fried cutlet chicken. He failed and I won myself 2 pieces of home made fried cutlet chicken. It was good and I sat there going through memory lane. I immediately texted him and said “I miss you” and continued with my meal. I knew he will not be able to reply since he sleeps very early and it was 10 pm for him. I miss him and longed to meet him again and during that process, our bond grew even stronger.

Here are a few of the many concepts I’ve learned during our long distance friendship.

1. You will cherish them even more

When your schedules and timezone clash, it will be hard for you to spend time with your best friend. Every time any opportunity arises, you will cherish this bond even more as you have put in extra effort to secure it.

2. You have precious memories that cannot be forgotten

All the memories you forged together will never be forgotten. Your memories that are shared with your friend are always so precious and valuable that they can never be forgotten.

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3. Every little incident reminds you of them

Once, my best friend migrated over to japan. He used a certain hair wax that has a distinctive fragrance to it. Even today I am still constantly being reminded of him whenever I smell that distinctive smell.

4. They will always be there for you

They will always be there to hear you out. Even though they are not beside you, their hearts will always have you in it. You will always share your biggest problems with your best friend and they will definitely help you solve it, one way or another.

5. You will never forget their laughter

Despite the distance between you and your best friend, you will never forget about your best friend’s laughter. The weird chuckle they makes or the hysterical high pitch laughter, it will always be deeply etched in your mind.

6. You will always remember to buy them gifts

It could be a birthday gift or a souvenir you got from another country. They will always be in one of your top priorities. You will never forget to sent them a present when you go overseas.

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7. You will never forget their birthdays

No need for social media to remind you of their birthday. Their birthday are stored in your heart automatically. You will have a clock in your head that rings whenever their birthday is approaching soon.

8. Sending a letter is a common thing

Sending an letter to your best friend, half way across the world, is the primary way you communicate with each other. You make it a point to convey your feelings across to them using physical writing.

9. You will always look forward to the day you meet-up

Every conversation will end with you asking your best friend to meet-up soon. You will always look forward to the day where you and your best friend will meet again.

10. You will remember their favorite food

I remember my best friend’s favorite food. It is fried cutlet chicken. You will never forget their favorite food and will always be reminded of them when you see the favorite food.

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11. You will feel grateful and blissful

Every time you are feeling down, you know that somewhere across the globe, your best friend is there to support you and you will feel extremely blissful inside. You will feel glad that you have a friend that will always be there for you.

No matter what happens, your best friend will never ever judge you, dislike you, hate you or even hold a grudge against you. This is because the friendship you have forged is too valuable to receive such treatment. You will feel that nothing is impossible and one day, you will eventually meet up with your best friend and have a blast together.

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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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