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10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

Generations of men have complained that they just can’t make their spouse happy no matter what they do. A big reason for this is that men often miss the signs that their wife needs more attention. Have you ever heard the saying, “A Happy Wife is a Happy Life?” Well, it’s true. For the men out there thinking “that’s not fair,” you are right! The key thing to remember is that it’s about balance. You deserve to have your needs met as well. In this article, we will concentrate on the first half of the equation. I can promise you that if your wife is getting enough attention, you will greatly increase the likelihood of your needs being met as well.

Keeping score of how much you are giving is a recipe for problems. Instead, an alternative is to play “all out” and serve one another. You may not perceive her concerns as “worthy” of your time, but realize that invalidating her views will negatively affect your relationship. Creating space to attend to her needs will create a stronger connection and help you to know what to do when she is low on the attention scale. Let’s take a peek at some very important signs that your wife needs more attention, along with some solutions that can help ease the tension.

1. She is knit-picking on things that are “not very important.”

It can be irritating when she has the eagle eye on you and notices everything you are doing “wrong.” You might feel like she is being dramatic and can’t differentiate what’s important from what’s meaningless. Well, if your wife is yearning for more attention, she will often find a way to get to you — even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense. The truth is that even an emotionally-charged connection is better than no connection at all when she is looking to get your attention.

Women have a strong need to connect (silly idea, right?). If they lack attention, they will find small reasons to verbalize their displeasure just to get a response. Instead of being mad, use it as an opportunity to get closer. “Knit-picking” is usually a result of unresolved issues. Clarify what’s breaking down and some possible solutions. It may also help to ask, “What can I do to help you feel more connected to me?”

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2. She starts bothering you when you want space.

Yes, men like “space.” We need it like we need oxygen. It could be a nice workout at the gym or just watching a football game. You may feel like she treats you like you don’t deserve time for yourself, but the reality is usually that she just misses you and wants to feel more important. That’s why she may interrupt you in the middle of a game. She’s thinking, “Does he care more about me or the game?” I know it may sound like she is being a little dramatic or overly sensitive, but women are wired differently than men. Her “bothering” you may be a symptom of a bigger issue. She may even feel a little jealous that you seem to enjoy other activities more than the time you share with her.

The solution is to make her feel important. You may ask her, “What kinds of activities do you like to do that make you feel closer to me?” Be open to what she says and don’t judge her solutions. If you ignore her position, you will continue to see attention-seeking behavior that will make it extremely difficult for you get any space without a struggle.

3. She makes you feel guilty if you do something for yourself.

Guilt is probably the singular, most effective intervention used to alter another person’s behavior in a relationship. If your wife is making you feel guilty, there is a good chance she feels like she isn’t getting enough attention. She may tell you that you are spending too much time fixing your car or on the Internet. When she sends guilt your way, she is telling you on a deeper level that she wants your attention.

Finding time for the two of you to hang out and do activities one-on-one is important. The time you spend alone should always be balanced with relationship-building activities together. Your wife just wants her fair share of your time because she loves you. Is that too much to ask?

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4. Sometimes, it seems like she’s inciting a fight for no reason.

You may think that your wife actually likes to argue — this is false! Unless there is a deeper issue, (beyond the scope of this article) if she is pursuing you in an argumentative way it often means she is lacking attention from you. If you are sitting there and just nodding your head “yes,” but don’t really mean it, you can bet that she won’t be stopping her approach anytime soon. Ignoring the discomfort will just make it worse.

The solution is to stop what you are doing and give your wife your eyes and ears. She may feel like you don’t care about how she feels or are more into your own needs. Create space for a meaningful conversation and give her your undivided attention. Discover what’s wrong and work together to find a solution.

5. She tells you she misses you regularly.

Your wife missing you should be a good thing, right? Well, if it feels like a burden, it’s probably because she is asking you for more attention than you are willing to give. You probably don’t require as much attention as she does. She isn’t trying to keep you locked up or get in the way of your freedom. Women love connection time. See it as an opportunity to nourish your relationship.

Take time to check in with her and see if her “love tank” (aka emotional connection) is empty. Taking a preventative approach is way more effective than waiting until she is complaining that she is missing you. If she stops missing you, then you will have a bigger problem on your hands!

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6. She often says that you don’t love her that much.

I know it seems like you can never give her enough love. She always wants more. I hope this doesn’t scare you, but a woman’s thirst for love never ends. Just like men could always have more sex, women can always use more love.

If she is telling you that you don’t love her that much, it’s a sign that it’s time to get into action. You may not even be aware of what she is looking for. Instead of guessing, just ask.

7. She appears jealous when you spend too much time at work or with friends.

If your wife is telling you that you care more about your job or your buddies than you do about her it, could be a sign that she is feeling jealous. You might think she is making a mountain out of a mole hill, but what she is really telling you is she wants more time with you. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion to ignore in a relationship. If you pretend it doesn’t exist, your loved one may become resentful and you will grow apart.

Talk with her about the disconnection and get clear idea about what “more attention” looks like. Increasing attention takes a combined effort with both of you on board.

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8. She craves uninterrupted time and it seems that you can never give her enough.

In today’s world, uninterrupted time can feel like it’s difficult to find in your relationship. The more opportunities you can create to enjoy one another with no distractions, the better off you will be down the road. The less time you give, the more she will crave. The more time you give, the less she will complain that she needs more time.

If you have children, it’s a great idea to set up at least one night out of the week when you can have a date. It could be at home or away from home. Having dinner alone or a little wine by candlelight will feel amazing. You might even like the extra attention yourself!

9. She tries to bribe you or talk you into staying with her when you want time with your friends.

It may sound crazy that bribing is a part of marriage, but it exists. Especially if she feels like she needs to manipulate you in some way to get you to stay home. It’s a sign that you have been ignoring her for a long time.

Accepting a bribe from your wife can lead to further problems. You are validating a solution that will keep this behavior in place. The alternative is to approach her when she is offering the bribe and ask her what she would like to be different. Arrive at a solution that is a fit for both of you. It may take some give and take, so be willing to be flexible.

10. She makes you feel like you never make her a priority in your life.

This point pretty much sums everything up. In marriage, your spouse should be a priority in your life. If you fail in this area, you will see her approach you in a multitude of ways looking for attention. It’s the main way she knows that you care. Your wife notices if you put her first or if she is a secondary thought. Your behavior speaks loudly. The alternative is to create “us” time and make decisions as a couple. It’s really about being in the game of life together. Once you make your partner a part of the conversation, she will feel heard, and your days of frustration will begin to end.

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More by this author

Dr. Jeff Kane

Doctor in Marriage and Family Therapy

10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

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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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