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Can’t Get Over Your Past Relationship? This May be The Reason You Haven’t Realized

Can’t Get Over Your Past Relationship? This May be The Reason You Haven’t Realized

There are many reasons I’m sure you could think of when you’re asked, “why can’t you get over your ex?” Breakups are one of the most painful transitions that we will ever endure. We get into relationships, form what seems to be unbreakable bonds and then suddenly, it’s over. It’s never easy, and post-breakups are the worst.

However, you may be missing the main reason…you could just very well be bored.

It’s early in the morning, and I’m just lying in bed, drifting off into the dangerous thought of; him. I used to think that I was crazy. I’d get five minutes to myself and I’d be all over his social media to see what he was up to. He really wasn’t that great. I mean, from the outside looking in he seemed like a great guy. Funny, charming, has a lot going for him, but it was what went on behind closed doors that really made me want to rip my hair out. My friends thought I was losing it.  Literally, and so did I. I’d lay there and wonder what he was doing, who it was with, if he missed me, if he thought about me, if he started seeing anyone new, you know, all the crazy thoughts.

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What was weird about all of this was that I knew I was over him already. When I was bored, I would catch myself thinking about all the nice times we had together and wished that I was still able to have that. Then when I somehow ventured back to reality I remembered his true colors, who he really is. I remember all the crazy fights over Skype because he went to school three hours away, the spitefulness and bitterness. It was not healthy; it was incredibly toxic. For years I made him out to be this perfect guy. Even though I knew he wasn’t, I was in denial. I made it out to myself and all of my friends that I was the one who lost out and he was perfect. It is insane how your mind can keep you from seeing what’s real.

The truth is I was bored.

I didn’t actually miss him. I missed him because I had no one else occupying my time. I was alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be alone. There is something so fulfilling about loving your own company, but he was the last person I was extremely emotionally invested in so every time I got bored my mind drifted off into space and he was everywhere.

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Do I do this?

That’s probably a question you’re asking yourself right now. “Is this me?”, “Am I just bored?” The answer is probably yes. How do you know? I’m going to tell you. Let’s say you meet some guy and he’s great. You go on a few dates, he meets your friends and the two of you are having an absolute blast, caught up in the “newness” of the potential relationship. Then for whatever reason things just start drifting apart. You guys aren’t talking as much, you aren’t hanging out and things seem to be dying out. So what happens? Your mind starts drifting off to that ex of yours you haven’t thought about in Lord knows how long. Why? Because now you don’t have anyone taking up your time. So you drift away and start thinking about him and everything the two of you shared, good and bad.

So you sit there, staring at your phone trying to decide if messaging him is a good idea or not. “I’ll just see what he’s been up to and say that I hope all is well.” You start creeping through his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook trying to see what he’s up to. You need to stop. You’re just bored. You don’t actually want this guy. He’s mediocre at best and you know it. He’s a filler in your life when you’re bored and lonely. Nothing about him really appeals to you anymore so don’t act on a feeling that really isn’t there or real for that matter.

How to get over your ex

Everyone says that this is the hardest part of the breakup: the how to get over your ex part. But it’s really not. Why not? Because you don’t even want him anymore. He was a lesson in your life and that’s what you need to keep telling yourself. Sure you’ll have your weak moments, but I’ll tell you what you can do during those times.

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Spend time with your friends

Friends are the best medicine for times like these. They were there for you during the break-up and they’ll be there for you post break-up. I’m sure of it. Call or text one of them and tell them how you’re feeling. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel just by getting some things off your chest.

Do the things you love

For me, my outlet is hitting the gym and photography. Find out what you love and do it during those times of weakness. We all have them and there’s nothing to be ashamed about.

If you ever find yourself alone one day and you’re completely wrapped up in your mind over a guy you didn’t even think brought that much value to your life in the first place, just remember that you’re most likely just bored.

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Featured photo credit: Francisco Moreno via stocksnap.io

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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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