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For Busy People: How To Make Your Relationship New Every Day

For Busy People: How To Make Your Relationship New Every Day

We all have a lot of things on our daily to-do lists. Even if it’s stuff closely related to our goals in life, we still need to get back to reality and dedicate time to the small things that matter. At the end of the day, they are the things that actually make a difference.

I’m talking about finding the time to improve our relationships, to say something nice to our loved ones, to ask them about their day, and listen to them with a smile on our face. Take the time to remember how you first felt when you fell in love. Remind your partner of these emotions whenever possible.

We all know we should be doing that, but with everything going on throughout the busy day, we come home exhausted and just want some time for ourselves. Unfortunately, if we let things be like that, it soon becomes a habit. We may not notice that right away, but the ones closest to us do. They may even be hurt by the lack of attention.

That’s why you should start doing something small daily to remind them that you’re here and you still care, even though you’re busy.

Here are some little things to do daily to renew your relationships:

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1. Practice random acts of kindness to remind people that they are loved.

It may be a small gift every now and then, an unexpected call at work, preparing a meal when they don’t feel well, or doing most of the work at home so that they can relax. For example, I sometimes call my mom on Skype just to have a quick chat with her since we live in different countries. She’s always happy to hear my voice and see my smile. I also send messages to friends whom I have not spoken to in a while, just to see how they are doing.

All these seemingly small things can make someone’s day. The most important thing is that they are random. The other person doesn’t expect them. Furthermore, once it happens, they see you’ve been thinking about them and are doing something special, even though you don’t need to.

In the long-term that can keep a relationship alive, or even renew an existing one.

2. Be a good listener.

We speak too much and listen too little these days. Most of all, we crave to be heard.

To overcome this, sit down every day for 10-20 minutes and pay your whole attention to what the other person has to say. Don’t interrupt. Don’t try to express opinion or talk about yourself, simply listen and try to read between the lines.

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You may ask questions to make him feel comfortable, so they can share what’s on their mind. Once they start talking, let go of anything else that distracts you and focus on their words.

For me, this is always during meal times. My wife and I have a rule where we put away our phones when we eat so we can concentrate on each other. It takes no time at all, but can become a powerful ritual of connection and compassion. Accordingly, your relationship will thrive.

3. Don’t judge and criticize loved ones during the short time you spend together daily.

It’s easy to constantly criticize people, expect more from them, and judge everything they do; however, it’s also completely wrong. To make matters worse, someone usually gets hurt in the process.

Instead, accept them for who they are. We’re talking about people you love here, so there are many reasons to appreciate them. You’ve chosen to be a big part of each other’s lives, so remind yourself of the main reasons more often.

Soon you’ll stop judging these people, and will be grateful for having them around instead. They will feel loved and more comfortable being themselves around you. This makes your relationships grow stronger over time.

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I have a number of friends who consistently do things which I find incredibly silly or self-destructive. I have long decided to accept them for their faults and just be there to support them when they need it. This has made it a lot easier for me to let go of my frustrations and just enjoy their company instead.

4. Establish traditions and make them a priority.

If you want to make your relationship with someone you love new every day, but are really busy, create a tradition. It means making time for a conversation, or a meal, or to gather with friends in the evening. It could be anything.

Start with once a week, if you can’t make time daily, but stick to it. Make it your top priority. Once you see how beneficial it is to the relationship, you’ll see it’s worth finding time for it each day.

I make sure to bathe my daughter every day. It is our special time in the shower together and she enjoys talking to me. She also enjoys “helping me” wash my hair. Even when I get home late, she will wait for me so she can have that time with me. I really love this precious time together.

5. Be completely honest with the other person.

It’s important to say everything as it is. If you see that things between you are going in the wrong direction, talk about it. Say it directly. Also, share the fact that you don’t make enough time for that person and feel bad about it. This way they will see you still care and are ready to make changes.

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If you never talk about it, they may think you haven’t even noticed that things are bad and don’t care. That may mean losing the person without realizing, only because you haven’t been honest and they have moved on without you. Don’t let that happen.

My wife and I have agreed that we will always be truthful with each other, even if it means letting each other know that the other party looks fat in that new pair of jeans. It helps so we don’t go out looking like crap!

Conclusion

No matter how busy you are, make some time daily to renew your relationships. Hopefully, with these tips you can improve your relationships and live an even happier life.

Featured photo credit: Couple d’amoureaux dans une brasserie parisienne / Jean-Marc PAYET on Flickr via flickr.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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