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There’re 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You?

There’re 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You?

Man is by nature, a social animal. We all have a primal need for companionship and want people to understand us as we are, and share things with. Loneliness breeds anxiety and depression and whenever someone we know is going through a break-up or is stuck in a rut, we advise them to ‘meet new people’. Yet most of our problems tend to centre on our relationships and the more we grow older, the fewer friends we seem to have.

If you’re wondering why your social circle has been thinning steadily, then you must realize the problem is with you and with not other people, and it’s completely in your power to turn the situation around for the better. The first thing you need to do is take a cold hard look at your life and figure out your nature, because when it comes to making/keeping friends, there are only[1] 3 types of people.

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So Which One Are You?

1. The Independent

They make friends wherever they go, and tend to have more acquaintances than deep friendships. They usually are extroverted, confident and instantly likeable- the “social butterfly” kind- and look like they’re having a good time. People seem to want to spend time with them for they’re very easy to talk to, non-judgemental and have an understanding smile on their faces. But this has its drawbacks too- juggling work and a busy social life leaves no room for genuine heart to heart conversation and such people who have a lot of surface friendships tend to be pretty lonely on the inside. For instance, Jane Doe has thousands of Facebook friends and Instagram followers, and will always have someone to eat with and party with, but when her boyfriend broke up with her, she couldn’t seem to decide who to call.

2. The Discerning

They are very particular about the company they keep. They only have a few best friends they stay close with over the years, and they’ve actually put in a lot of effort to cultivate and maintain such a friendship. When a problem arises, they have people to fall back to. Although they may not look so social on the outside, they have a tight-knit community to turn to for help. But there are disadvantages as well. Life is extremely unpredictable and sometimes the friend may have to physically or mentally move away from you. Also, the deep investment means that the loss of one of those friends would be very very devastating. For example, John Smith has always been the quiet one, not very active on social media and usually seen hanging out with high school buddies Pat and Jesse. But Pat has recently moved away and Jesse died in a car accident and he has no one to turn to for solace.

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3. The Acquisitive

These are the people who do their bit to stay in touch with their old friends, but also continue to make new ones as they move through the world. Thus they’re never alone for they have people to hang out with and make small talk and when trouble arises, they have best friends who’ll always be there for them. But being such a person takes time and effort, but once you get there, the rest of your life gets super easy for you. For instance, Rose Carter has always been an amiable person, who balances time spent on social media and real life very well. Her co-workers love her and she makes time for her old friends at least once a month. Her marriage is recently showing some kind of trouble, but she’s getting by pretty well for she has a very supportive community who always has her back.

As per the 2014 American Time Use Survey [2], those in the 20-24 age group spends the most time socializing- a number that steadily decreases with age. Meanwhile surveys[3] repeatedly the importance of having good friends in one’s personal happiness.

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So Which Is The Recommended One?

The answer’s easy. Those who belong to the ‘acquisitive’ type, are the most flexible and have a pleasant life. So what can you do to be more acquisitive? Well firstly make three columns.

In the first one, make a list of people who truly matter to you, who agree with you on moral and ethical values and with those you can truly connect to. If no one comes to mind, think back to your school and college days. Once you have made the list, try to connect with them. Send them friend requests on Facebook or ask them out for lunch if they’re still close by. But don’t just stop there after the first meeting. Do follow-ups, surprise phone calls and send them birthday presents to make them realize you genuinely care for them.

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In the second one, write down the names of acquaintances you meet everyday and get along with. Be grateful for them, and see if you can turn the surface friendships to something deeper.

And in the last column, write down the names of people you met briefly but would genuinely want to be friends with. Every time you meet someone new and like them, jot their names down. These are people who may become great friends in the future.

Finally, don’t forget to be a nice and friendly person. Be polite, empathetic and kind to all those you meet. Help people however and wherever you can and soon you’ll be living a life where you’re genuinely happy and have more genuine friends than you can count.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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Archita Mittra

wordsmith, graphic designer, ideator, creative consultant, full time freelancer

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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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