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15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

We are basically all spoiled eggs, right? That is our reputation. Before we begin the checklist to unite us all in our perceived spoiled ways, let one thing be known. The proverbial apples in your parents’ eyes were set aglow in ways never before illuminated the day your oldest sibling was born; but, they were once again equally illuminated the day they realized their last child had grown up and was on his or her own…well, at least we have that.

1. You know how to handle rites of passage

You have rites of passage just like everyone else. Your advantage, though, is that you got to witness your older siblings walk through the fire before you and observed how they stepped. Whatever burns they sustained, you can choose to also sustain or avoid. Whatever new and amazing discoveries they make you now have access to. Your older siblings explore unknown things and the further down the line you are the more cheat sheets you have to get you through your life.

2. Your parents are too tired to care

You, for better or worse, were allowed to juggle chainsaws and light fires in your backyard after school because your parents were too tired to care. The first, second, maybe even third, or more, were monitored far more than you as the watchful eye was gradually closed shut on your adolescence. The others turned out okay, right? Besides, someone is getting married, another is graduating high school, one more will be a freshman soon, and then there you are, melting ants with your magnifying glass, eating already-been-chewed gum off the sidewalk, and wondering what Santa Claus will bring you regardless of how adamantly your older siblings strive to convince you no such giver of toys exists.

3. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger

You, in memory of what Friedrich Nietzche once said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”, were able to test limits on a spectrum never before seen. You had an ability to absorb this world free of preconceived notions and the pressures parents put on the first of their line. Your parents were preoccupied isolating those before you as you emerged as a nearly unnoticeable drifter not encumbered by expectation, which might have made you the bird with the biggest wingspan in the nest.

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4. You idolized at least one of your older siblings

You idolized at least one of your older siblings as a child if not only for the simple fact that they were older. Well, now that we are all older and playing out the lives we had all imagined in high definition reality you take great joy in realizing that the brother or sister before you is forty, whether you are twenty-nine or thirty-nine.

5. You’re sensitive

You are sensitive because you were the last out the gate. You have the least to gain because you were so far behind. You noticed things the front runner wouldn’t. It wasn’t a fair race and you came to terms with that immediately. There is nothing to win, only things to notice and enjoy along the way.

6. You’re an “Old Soul”

You have been called an “Old Soul” many times and tend to hang out with people who are older than you. The reason you are wise beyond your years is because you have been quietly watching multiple life experiences, which will eventually play out in your own life, occur over and over in the form of older brothers and sisters.

7. You’re accustomed to insults

You are quite accustomed to treatment many others would find utterly insulting, even when you are older. Constantly being given torn or scratched hand-me-downs, never getting a window seat on family trips, and being forbidden from ever sitting at the adult table for holiday gatherings until you were thirty-years-old have all contributed in your modest world view and resistance to irritability.

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8. You’re not very sentimental

You are not very sentimental because it did not take long for you to realize that hardly any pictures were ever taken of you from infant through teenage years. Meanwhile, your oldest sibling has archived films and picture albums dated by the week until he or she turned eighteen.

9. You get called by the wrong name

You do not mind as an adult if a friend, acquaintance, or even your own boss calls you by the wrong name because it has simply always been that way. Your parents’ inability to use your correct name is as natural as calling an apple an orange…”perhaps it is” you might think to yourself.

10. You can sleep anywhere

You can fall asleep standing up, hanging upside down, on the floor, or duct taped to the wall…instantly. It has always been this way because there was no other alternative.

11. You never fail to stun

You never fail to stun your aunts and uncles each time they see you because for some odd reason they expect you to still be eight-years-old even though you are twenty-seven.

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12. You will hear many stories from before you were born

You pay no attention when your family gets together and begins talking about childhood memories. Being the youngest child, your whole life has consisted of random, unfamiliar anecdotes given by your siblings that always end with, “Do you remember that?”

“Ummm…no I don’t. I wasn’t born yet.”

13. You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped

You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped in the event that you display any level of intelligence. Knowing something that no other sibling in the room could answer is a felonious family act punishable by silent treatment and dismissed as dumb luck.

14. You really, really, really enjoy it

You really, really enjoy being younger than your siblings in adulthood…Did I mention that already? You really, really, really enjoy it.

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15. You realized that maybe we are all spoiled eggs

Maybe we are all spoiled eggs, but it is through the exhausting energy exerted on those who came before us that made us the laid back, happy-go-lucky, adaptable, and adventurous creatures that we are.

Featured photo credit: Happy Children Siblings via bing.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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