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Don’t Worry About Being Cute. Worry About Being Interesting

Don’t Worry About Being Cute. Worry About Being Interesting

Adolescence is a tough time: you’re still navigating the road between child and adult, but with the added stress of new set of emotions, experiences, and social situations to tackle. Future colleges and universities expect your applications to be full of extracurricular activities and leadership positions, not just above average grades.

Then, in high school, there are the cute girls with their perfectly tousled hair, unchipped nails, and designer clothes. These girls are definitely popular and get the attention of not just our male classmates but also our teachers as well. (Does anyone else find it strange that some teachers seemed to be more focused on gaining the approval of the cute, popular kids over finding innovative ways to teach?) With all this noise, it’s no wonder you’re gravitating towards the benefits of being cute rather than focusing on all the other things that matter, like your grades and your hobbies. Don’t fall for that trap!

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Instead of spending all that time worrying about being cute, spend it figuring out how to be interesting. Here’s why:

Being cute doesn’t get you into college or get you the job of your dreams.

What you look like is normally not a large part of the application process for college or for most jobs – at least not in the initial stages of application review or resume screening. Rather, building out a robust life with interests, hobbies, and exemplary achievements is much more important. It may feel like being cute is the most important thing in the world right now, but in just a few years you’ll wish that you had spent more time making yourself a whole person, with expertise in different things.  That depth is what will give you perspective to perfect your college application, or build an interesting resume that warrants a call back.

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Worrying about being cute may mean you’ll miss out on important life experiences.

Focusing on being cute, and what you think comes along with it such as popularity, fame, and attention, will rob you of more important life experiences. Have you dreamed of experiencing new cultures, or hiking through nature to learn more about yourself, and discover new things? It’s hard to backpack through Europe or Asia with little more than two changes of clothes and no cosmetics when you’re worried about being cute. Are you a budding writer or musician? Distracting your mind with something that’s so fleeting will impact your deeper concentration and future success. Don’t miss out on the rest of life because you’re preoccupied with something that’s extremely short term and short sighted, like being cute.

Worrying about being cute may actually backfire, no matter how cute you are.

Why is being cute so hard to do? Because you have to do it effortlessly. It has to come naturally and you can’t show insecurity. If you’re preoccupied with being cute, and are constantly worried that you need to keep being cute, it won’t seem natural. In fact, you could come across as fake or insincere.

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Your future life partner already thinks you’re cute.

Whomever you end up with won’t care whether or not you were cute before they met you. In fact, they already think you’re incredibly cute – just as you are. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to find someone because you’re not cute as you are, so you change yourself to fit an idea of what is cute, you just won’t attract the right person for you.

Why worry about something you already are?

You may not have noticed it, but you’re already cute! You have your own unique personality and qualities that make you who you are, and that is definitely cute. Don’t worry about trying to be something that you already are.

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Featured photo credit: meikkis5/maria morri via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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