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How to Gain Confidence When Other People Criticize Us

How to Gain Confidence When Other People Criticize Us

Life is filled with “instant-save” moments when we have to stop from our wandering ways and question what exactly we are doing. We survive our days doing what we know without having to second-guess ourselves until some wise-guy offers us to examine our lives in their perspective. “Why thank you for your unrequested advice!”

We usually don’t approach a situation of this sort in a friendly fashion. We may shrivel up inside temporarily and cringe with discomfort. I can guarantee you’ve had someone point out something you wish they hadn’t for no apparent reason. I like to get defensive and fire an eye-opener right back at them. “How about we take these next proceeding minutes and talk about [insert insulting comeback here]? I believe that you are the one with the real problems!”

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Someone once chose to confront me with the fact that I like to move at the speed of snail with my daily preparations. I already knew this about myself, but to have someone openly criticize me made me furious. I turned around and showed them my unsatisfied glare-of-death. I responded, “You seem to have some sick fascination with watching me get ready for my day. Is it because your life is boring? Or is it just the fact that you would be cooler if I let you borrow my t-shirt?”

If you think that I might have taken it a little too far, you’re probably right. I instantly insulted them. I considered what they had said about me. Although I already knew that I move peculiarly slowly, this helped me love that about myself. I analyzed why it was that I got ready as fast as an infant learning to drive a stick shift.

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I realized that I do this because I am busy mental exercising myself for the day at hand. I visualize all the tasks I have to accomplish. I organize my to-do list. I embrace every detail of the day as much I can because when it comes time to perform, I am more than ready.

Although, we generally do not like the fact that someone has aimed their words directly into our unconscious imperfections. We hold on to these moments long enough to let them shape our lives. It’s important that we use this opportunity to mold ourselves the way we would like and not let it break us down into a million more pieces of “where does this one go again?” This is when we need to take the time to start setting things straight for ourselves.

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You are not the victim!

I mentioned that it’s almost necessary that we allow ourselves to get defensive when this happens. Someone has noticed something about you that you’ve been oblivious to. Evaluate their perspective and decide whether or not you like this about yourself. If you do, reaffirm to yourself that this makes you unique and you’re proud of it. If it isn’t, you should appreciate the opportunity that you have to better yourself. Whatever you choose, this should not be something to beat yourself up about.

Be conscientious!

Knowing who we are, what we are capable of, and being aware of our weaknesses and strengths is a powerful thing. Maybe we’re not the person in charge at work, but we can always be in charge of ourselves. We can even learn how to develop a positive self-image from our not so admirable characteristics.

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The next time someone wants to call you out on that, “thing you didn’t want to know you did,” pause and say, “Thank you for blessing me with the chance to decide whether or not I value your criticism!”

Featured photo credit: Arguments by Artis Pupins via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

If You’re Staying In

  1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
  2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
  3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
  4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
    • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
    • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
    • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
    • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
      • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
      • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
      • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
        • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

        If You Want to Get Away

        1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
        2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
        3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
          • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
          • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
          • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
          • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
          • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
          • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
            • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
            • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

            New & Exciting Experiences

            1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
            2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
              experience.
              • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
              • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
              • Experience white water rafting.
              • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
              • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                  • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                  • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                  • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                  Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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