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10 Things to Forget If You Really Love Yourself

10 Things to Forget If You Really Love Yourself

You might often be put into a position where you are obligated to do a certain thing or be a certain way, or to please the people around you. The truth is, you don’t always hold the responsibility of others’ happiness. Loving yourself is essential in order to ensure happiness. You have to learn to love yourself first, before you can proceed to help others. Here are 10 things you should forget, if you really love yourself.

1. Forget trying to make everybody like you.

While it is nice having people to like you, it is not possible to be adored by everybody. By accepting the fact that each individual has different preferences in things and people they like, you will be able to appreciate those who adore you and be okay with those who don’t.

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2. Forget trying to please everybody.

You can never please everybody. It is important to be nice, but trying to please everybody is just going to end up burning you out because you can never fulfill every person’s expectations. Help others when you are capable of helping, and know when it is the right time to just let others take care of things on their own.

3. Forget always needing approval from others.

The only person you should seek approval from is you. You might think that fulfilling the expectations of others will make you happy, but in a long run, you will start resenting them or yourself for not truly living for yourself. Finding your passion and living true to it is the right way to get approval from yourself.

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4. Forget what others think of you.

What others think can serve as a reference for your learning, but what they think shouldn’t bother you to the point where it brings you down or changes who you are. Every individual has different values and beliefs that make them think they way they do; therefore they will never truly understand your situation base on your values, beliefs and life experiences. As long as you know your own purpose and motivations, what others think doesn’t really matter.

5. Forget trying to be perfect.

Aiming to do a great job is admirable, but nothing can ever be perfect, as there will always be room for improvement in everything. What matters is for you to constantly aim to improve yourself. As long as you put your heart and soul into your pursuit, you have already done the best you can, so you should be grateful for the accomplishment and enjoy the process.

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6. Forget about fearing failure.

Fear is a choice. Choosing to be taken over by it will only stop you from moving forward and pushing to improve yourself. Take every attempt as a learning experience, regardless of the outcome. Understand that without those outcomes, you will not get to learn what doesn’t work, and strive for what works to achieve your goals.

7. Forget overly pampering yourself.

Loving yourself is important, but over pampering yourself will cause you the habit of over indulgence. Having a good balance between self-pampering and self-control helps you to appreciate the things you enjoy as a reward for your hard work.

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8. Forget trying to explain everything to everyone.

No matter how much you wish others would understand you or your situation, there will be people who always stick to their own perspectives and beliefs. They will not always agree with the decisions you make. Every individual has their own values and beliefs. As long as you know what you are doing is right for you, and your decision does not harm anybody, you have all the right to pursue them.

9. Forget trying to be someone you are not.

The true freedom of happiness occurs when you can be true and honest to yourself. Hiding your authentic self will leave you miserable in a long run, because you only live for the sake of others’ expectations instead of living for your own values and purposes. Live your life fully by being true to yourself. As long as you are living with a kind heart, there will eventually be people who will appreciate and cherish you for who you truly are.

10. Forget getting involved in too many people’s agendas.

Being helpful and kind to others is a wonderful thing to do. However, if you spend your life trying to get involved in everybody’s agendas, you will only end up with exhaustion and stress. You only have this much time to seek for your own happiness. You can’t save everybody from their troubles. Sometimes it’s good to let them handle their own issues, as that will help them grow to be a stronger person. By allowing others to take care of themselves, you are doing them a favor by encouraging strengths and believing in their abilities.

At the end of the day, you are only human. You are bound to make mistakes. As long as you are willing to learn from each encounter, and be grateful for what you have, you will definitely find your happiness and love yourself for what you have accomplished in life.

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Crystie Lim

Life Coach

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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