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Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

Longing can be such a sweet sorrow. But sometimes the sorrow can outweigh the sweet, and then you just have heartache. This is among the many reasons that long distance relationship falls into the top 3 most unwanted relationships.

Everyone says they would never entertain the idea of a long distance relationship. That is, until they meet the one person that they’re willing to wait for. Love can happen at any time, and in most cases, it happens at the worst time. But some individuals refuse to let timing get in the way and pursue this flourishing love regardless of the risks. It may seem romantic; but it’s really very draining, frustrating, and lonely.

Unfortunately, love is not enough to make a relationship work. Before committing to a long distance commitment, you and your partner really need to iron out the details to see if you are capable of maintaining your bond.

Instead of Romanticizing, Start Realizing.

I’m not hating on long distance relationships. In fact, I always find myself in these situations where I meet the right person at the wrong time. So trust me, I speak from experience. And I’ve personally watched a beautiful functional relationship get torn down to tattered bits until we both finally let go. We knew it would be hard, but we just didn’t know how much.

We met as travelers, backpacking the Australian terrain. We didn’t start dating right away, and maintained a budding relationship as we explored opposite ends of the country. Since we were used to the lifestyle and had spent so much time apart already, we thought that it would actually be ideal. He being from England, and I being from America, there was an entire ocean between us. Blinded by love and naivety, we went for it.

There’s no way to really prepare yourself for the issues and emotions that will arise during your time apart. But whether or not you’ve already decided to commit, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your true nature and your partners to see if your love can withstand the distance.

These Questions Give a Hint on How Your Coming Long Distance Relationship Goes

It may be hard to imagine while you’re still in the idealistic honeymoon phase where nothing can go wrong, but eventually something will. Then you will realize just how fragile your relationship really is. Distance creates that fragility, and issues that would quickly get snuffed out in a normal relationship will cause your entire relationship to hang in the balance. You’ll find yourself asking, “is this all even worth it?”

Ask yourself and your partner these very important questions to determine whether your relationship can survive the distance:

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1. Are you BOTH willing to commit?

What does this matter?

It takes two to make this thing work. If only one of you is on the fence, then this thing isn’t going to happen. One-sided relationships are crippling, and open-relationships are confusing. You need to be on the same page.

What consequences might arise?

One of the partners is going to get fed up with making all of the effort. If they are constantly questioning your intentions and commitment to them, it’s going to cause a mess of insecurity and inevitably destroy the relationship.

2. Do both of you have enough trust?

What does this matter?

In today’s hook-up culture of side pieces and main squeezes, infidelity is glorified. You truly have to trust your partner and yourself to be completely honest about intentions and mistakes. And most of all, be honest about insecurity. Jealousy is toxic.

What consequences might arise?

If the trust is already flimsy, then your partner is going to constantly question where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and if you’re telling the truth when you provide the answers to these questions. If they feel you cannot be trusted, then they may do something regrettable out of spite or insecurity.

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3. Do you both communicate well?

What does this matter?

This isn’t just a matter of whether you can maintain an interesting conversation. You must be able to speak openly and freely to your partner, unafraid of their negative reactions to your concerns. You’re going to experience many negative emotions during your time apart, and it’s important to be able to talk about it.

What consequences might arise?

The conversation will dry out very quickly if you can’t find things to talk about. Going through the motions of your days is not very riveting. Or sometimes you may feel that your partner can’t relate to your situation, so you don’t talk to them about it; unintentionally creating distance. And if you can’t fully communicate your feelings, then you’re going to internalize them where they will convert into resentment, jealousy, insecurity, and a slew of awful emotions that no one wants to feel.

4. Are you willing to give extra security support to your partner?

What does this matter?

Your once strong and impenetrable partner will become extremely vulnerable to you during these trying times. They’re going to need extra reassurance and surprise pick-me-ups from you to know that you still care.

What consequences might arise?

More likely than not, the reason that you are dating long distance is because you have obligations elsewhere that you need to attend to. So, you’re probably very busy and can’t be bothered by neediness. You may get turned off by the vulnerability and constant need for attention and may not be willing to give them all of that extra reassurance that they need. This will make your partner feel that you don’t care.

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5. Is it OK to have less physical attachment?

What does this matter?

One of the main issues with long distance, is that the relationship is no longer tangible. You can’t touch, kiss, or cuddle your partner. Yes, sex isn’t everything but it is absolutely a component in a healthy relationship. And sometimes, it’s not even about sex. It’s just about intimacy, and having someone next to you (which has proven to have therapeutic effects [1]).

What consequences might arise?

Even for people who don’t consider themselves sexual, this will get taxing after awhile. You’re living out a virtual relationship, where you can only see digital projections of your lover, and hear their voice over a landline. Many people need something tangible; and a simple Skype call can’t fill that void. For some, this is where the prospect of cheating may arise. Not because their distant partner isn’t enough, but because they feel that they need that physical connection.

6. Do you each have an independent life outside your love life? Can you live alone?

What does this matter?

This is so incredibly crucial. Whether your relationship is distant or not, it’s very important to have an independent life outside of your relationship. Or else you will cling to them, monopolizing all of their time. This is still possible in a long-distance relationship; and you can drive your partner crazy no matter how far away you are. Independence is not only an important quality to have, but it is also very, very sexy.

You don’t necessarily have to live alone while they are away. Roommates can make the distance a lot less lonely as long as you can live in harmony. What’s more important is whether you can swing sleeping in an empty bed every night.

What consequences might arise?

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Without your own life, job, friends, or hobbies keeping you occupied, you’re going to drive your partner insane with the constant need for entertainment from them. They’ll feel that you don’t respect their busy life and goals that they are trying to reach, and may think less of you for being so helpless and needy.

If you have issues with being alone, then you will have serious struggles with infidelity. There’s nothing wrong with needing companionship, some of us need it more than others. But you need to be honest with yourself and your partner so that no one gets hurt when you reach out for attachment.

7. Do you guys have an end plan?

What does this matter?

Without an end plan or goal to work towards, you’re just floating in a lovers limbo with no way out. You need goals such as moving closer to one another, marriage, or planning a trip to see one another.

What consequences might arise?

As with anything, you need a reward to make the effort worth it. Without these goals to work towards, your relationship will start to feel like it isn’t worth the hassle. At this point you’re basically pen-pals tied up in a melodramatic, failing love. The relationship will inevitably fizzle out, leaving the two of you feeling jilted and angry that they didn’t try any harder. But the truth is, long distance relationships are their own breed, and it takes a very specific kind of couple to tame that kind of beast.

Featured photo credit: Love My Britt via google.com

Reference

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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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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