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5 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned After Using Dating Apps for a Year

5 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned After Using Dating Apps for a Year

I always say there are life lessons in anything in life. But even I was surprised to realize there’s a lot to learn from trying to find love online.

Turns out, dating apps are another area where, if you analyze what works and what doesn’t and come to some important conclusions, you can understand why you’re still single, what others are looking for, that it’s completely normal to be doing this and that almost anyone else is, and much more.

In fact, it took me one year to feel comfortable talking about it openly, to free my mind of doubts and negative thoughts and to just reach out to new people and start interesting conversations, to stop judging and expecting, and to just go out with the women that seem promising and see where that can go.

There is a way to do online dating wrong. And again, it’s all in your mind. If you’re not open about this, if you aren’t confident about yourself, if you feel like a failure for using such an app, then it’s no wonder that you will never say the right things in a chat and no person would be interested in going out with you, no matter how good your photos look.

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So, to save you all that, here are some important life lessons I learned during the year of using dating apps that will help you find someone to date much sooner:

1. Friendships can come out of this too

In the beginning, I was desperately looking for a hot woman to go out with, maybe it was like a quest most men go on, or maybe I was just insecure.

But it took me months of being tired of looking for this type of woman, to find out that almost anyone can entertain you, teach you something, or even become your friend.

Dating apps are about forming a relationship, and love isn’t always the end result. I’ve started a few friendships with women because of that, and I don’t regret it.

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2. Failure is not an option

If you’re starting a business, investing all your money in it, telling everyone you’ll succeed, and more, there’s a high chance you can fail and lose a lot. But with online dating, that’s just not the case.

Why? Because if someone rejects you or things just don’t work out, you don’t have a relationship in the first place so you’re basically not losing anything you had. That’s comforting but it can take a while to truly grasp it.

3. You brush up on your skills over time

If you think you suck at online dating, you’ll just have to trust me that you don’t. You lack practice. It’s like taking up a new hobby or sport. You can’t really level up from day one. It takes work, effort and dedication. But each time you do it, you get better at it.

So my point is, give dating apps some time, don’t give up after the first few failed attempts.

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Here’s what you’ll notice after a few weeks:

  • talking to strangers gets easier;
  • you get better at starting conversations;
  • you learn what questions to avoid and what grabs women’s attention;
  • you feel more confident talking about yourself;
  • you become a better storyteller;
  • you aren’t afraid of rejection;
  • and more.

4. How the other person communicates is key

Sometimes the chat will be boring, or meaningless, and basically go nowhere. Spare yourself the awkward first and only date, and just move onto the next person.

Sure, the very first sentence might not be the best catchphrase, but if you’ve been chatting for a day or two and you still feel like anything you or she/he says is just out of place, don’t overthink it. Just accept the fact that this is not the right fit and chat with somebody else.

5. Honesty is good

You might be a player and used to exaggerating the truth and using manipulation to get a woman. But that just doesn’t work in the long run. If you’re using dating apps to find a quality person who’s smart, ambitious, charming and open-minded, you’ll have to start the whole thing by simply being yourself.

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Some people get it wrong from the creation of the profile. Don’t overdo it, though. Even if you put yourself in the best possible light, most people you connect with will immediately feel there’s something fishy.

But being honest about yourself, your life, your achievements, and anything else, goes a long way.

For a start, it makes it easier for the other person to see if she/he really wants to continue communicating with you. Then, it shows respect.

So, whenever in doubt, just be honest, say things directly, don’t hide something that’s a big part of your life, and don’t lie in your profile.

These important life lessons should be enough to get you ahead of others in the online dating game.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to have fun. Meet great people, go out with some, learn more about their lives, make new friends, improve your approach, get better at dating, and – eventually – find your soul mate online.

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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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