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The Heartbreaking Truth About Meeting the Right Person at the Wrong Time

The Heartbreaking Truth About Meeting the Right Person at the Wrong Time

They say timing is everything. And “they” are right.

We live our lives striving to make perfect decisions. We are bombarded with information that tells us we are imperfect and that we must strive to attain success. Whether it’s how our bodies and faces look and how we must retain our youth, despite the natural process of aging; how we dress; how much money we earn; where we live; what commodities and material possessions we can accumulate.

Popular culture tells us that we need to work very hard and use all the resources available to us to make sure we reach our fullest potential, the pinnacle of success and superiority. Nobody strives for being average, for doing just OK, or for simply being. So, when we think we have made the wrong decision, or missed out on something we believe we are entitled to, we feel a sense of loss that is hard to shake. This can apply to a job opportunity, or promotion, a property or commodity purchase, and even relationships. Meeting the right person at the wrong time can be life changing when it doesn’t work out the way we desire. It can impact us for a long time to come, resurfacing [1] when we least expect it and preventing us from moving on.

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When we meet the right person at the wrong time, we feel like missing out the good.

Psychologists refer to the grief of missing out, or “Fear Of Missing Out” most recently and commonly known as “FOMO”, as dealing with ”unfinished business”. [2] When all the factors don’t come together to create the outcome we desire, for one reason or another, we don’t get what we want and this creates feelings of loss, grief, regret and even hostility. Holding onto these feelings are the only connection we have to the elusive thing that has slipped through our fingers and so we focus on the negative feelings as a security blanket instead of letting go and moving on with our lives.

When we meet somebody who seems ideal, it is only natural to want to make that connection and to manifest a relationship with that person. Those feelings may even be reciprocated and we may even begin an intimate relationship. But if that seemingly right person comes along at the wrong time, for us or for them, the relationship is doomed to fail. Although all the other boxes are ticked; attraction, values, life goals, geography; if the timing is off, neither party has any power over the course of the situation and the reality needs to be accepted.

It’s harsh to accept, but meeting someone at the wrong time means he/she is the wrong person.

If you meet the right person at the wrong time, chances are they are in fact, the wrong person. The right person doesn’t only need to fulfill the criteria of your desires and vice versa, if two people are heading in the wrong direction from each other, if one person is more ready than the other to settle down, or is dealing with their own unfinished business and hasn’t got the capacity to maintain the needs of the relationship at that time, then it is inevitable that the relationship will end and resistance will make it end badly. Timing is everything, it is the one ingredient that ensures a relationship’s longevity, prosperity and success.

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Dealing with unfinished business when you think you have met the right person at the wrong time, in fact making them the wrong person, can be confronting and painful. The struggle[3] is real and you will experience a number of emotions that could leave you confused and depressed.

To move on and meet the right person, learn from the relationship with this wrong person.

The key to coping and moving forward involves not only communicating[4] with the person, to resolve the issues between you both and deal with the deterioration and cessation of the relationship, it also requires you both to do your own individual purging of feelings by confronting your grief, extracting the lessons and moving forward. Writing a letter[5] to the person, regardless of whether they every read it or not, is one useful exercise to consider.

Here are some other ways to address unfinished business when we meet the right person at the wrong time:

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Cherish the good memories, you don’t have to forget them.

Like any great experience, good relationships are sometimes fleeting and just because they are not forever, doesn’t mean they were any less meaningful. Sometimes having to let go of someone, makes your time with them even more significant, specifically because it was so short lived. Use your time reflecting on the good times instead of dwelling on the negatives and the fact that it had to end.

Don’t lose your ideals, stay true with what you want.

When you meet the one you think may be the right person at the wrong time, it is tempting to change yourself and your goals, in order to fit into the criteria that you believe will preserve the relationship. You are setting yourself up to fail and eventually, the real you and your truest needs will re emerge and you will have done nothing except waste yours and the other person’s time. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be true to yourself; your desires, your life goals and where you are at in your life. Despite what you think you are missing out on, if you remain authentic, you can’t go wrong.

Feel the bitterness, this helps you to recover faster.

It is OK to be sad, angry, resentful, confused, even bitter. All feelings are valid and denying them only intensifies them. Life is all about ups and downs and the idea that it will always be smooth sailing is false and fabricated by the aforementioned manufactured ideals we get from popular culture. The times we feel most alive and connect deeply with our humanity is when we experience loss, which by the way is inevitable. It is the human condition to know and to feel and therefore to grieve. We want to protect ourselves from this pain and disappointment and to make the best possible decisions to avoid unnecessary hurt, but sometimes not everything is in our control and we only gain this information and the tools to make better decisions through bitter experience. Embrace it.

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Be determined to walk away from what doesn’t serve you.

Being willing and determined to walk away from something that we really want but can’t have takes strength of character and emotional maturity. Unless you’re a toddler, you need to develop the understanding that you can’t have everything you want in life. Where’s the challenge in that? It is simply counterproductive and in fact destructive to try to force a situation or a relationship when it isn’t working out.

Meeting the right person at the wrong time is an opportunity to gain these life lessons and in time, most people tend to look back with hindsight and are able to appreciate the reasons why things evolved in the way they did. We can look back and see that although things didn’t work out how we wanted them to at the time, they were better for us in the long run.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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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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