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15 Things People Who Love Their Lives Do Differently

15 Things People Who Love Their Lives Do Differently

I think pretty much everyone’s ultimate goal is to be happy and love their lives. But how many people really do? If you ever come across the lucky few who genuinely do love the life they are living, you might think, “What are they doing differently?” If that thought has ever crossed your mind, here are 15 things that these people do, that you can too…once you make the decision:

1. They know that life is short.

It might sound cliche, but people who love their lives know that every moment is a precious gift. They frequently have their mortality on their minds, not in an obsessive way, but in a way that reminds them to live each day to the fullest and not take a single thing for granted.

2. They aren’t demanding of other people’s attention.

If you’re happy and love the life you are living, there is no need to be the constant center of attention. People who love their lives tend to be self-confident, and they don’t need everyone falling at their feet to feel good about themselves.

3. They are wise with where they spend their money.

Happy people who love their lives realize that being impulsive or careless with their money will have negative consequences. They think before they spend. They budget and make sure that they never go into debt, because that would cause unneeded stress.

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4. They are in touch with their feelings.

Part what is so great about life is loving other people and feeling our emotions deeply. While they can’t guarantee that their emotions will always be good, people who love their lives allow themselves to feel and express emotions. They realize that feelings are part of life and they don’t repress them.

5. They claim their own power.

In other words, they don’t let anyone control their world. For example: if someone says or something nasty to them, they don’t let it ruin their life. They change what they can, accept what they can’t, and let the negative emotions flow through them so they don’t let other people control how they feel.

6. They roll with the punches.

Life never goes the way we expect. People who love their lives know this. They know that the unexpected can happen, but they don’t let it stop them from being happy. They simply shift gears and find another direction.

7. They know how to control their actions.

Some people think their actions are a result of some outside force. How many times have you heard, “She made me yell because she said something stupid!” No. No one makes you yell but you. Yes, people can make you angry, but what you do with that anger–and how you channel it into action–is another story. People who love their lives know this.

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8. They take responsibity for their actions.

No one is perfect. As I said in #7, happy people know that they control their actions. However, sometimes they make mistakes. If they ever temporarily lose control and behave in a manner that may have hurt someone (or isn’t productive), they apologize. After they apologize, they change their behavior.

9. They turn their passion into a career.

You have probably heard people say, “Do you what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Many people agree, but they don’t know how to make it happen. People who love their lives know that there is a way to turn any passion into a money-making opportunity.

10. They know they have the ability to control their thoughts.

Most people think that their thoughts control them, instead of vice versa. That isn’t true. At any time, you have the ability to choose a different thought. You might not believe it at first, but the more you replay a positive thought over and over in your head, the more you will start to live it.

11. They only associate with positive people who lift them higher.

Happy people don’t like to be around negative people. They get drained, and would probably rather be home reading a good book alone than be around any negativity. No one likes complainers, so people who love their lives only surround themselves with other positive people.

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12. They enjoy being with people and being alone.

Being social is fun, but being alone also has its benefits. People who love their lives are able to incorporate both into their lives. They don’t necessarily lean to either extreme; they tend to have balance.

13. They are confident in the choices they make.

They have the ability to step back and logically analyze the choices presented to them. They think before they act. They look at the possible consequences of each choice. Once they make a decision, they are confident about it. Even if it doesn’t turn out as planned, they can change courses fairly easily and happily (see #6).

14. They know how to be a positive influence on others.

People who love their lives know that their life is an example for the world. They know that other people are watching them, and they try to be the best they can be. They only want to spread happiness and joy, and to model good behavior.

15. They love themselves.

This is not narcissistic love (narcissism isn’t really self-love at all). What I mean is that they genuinely like who they are. In other words, if they were someone else, they would probably be friends with themselves. They think they’re pretty cool.

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If you don’t love your life, don’t give up hope. There are always changes you can make to become happier. These 15 things are just the start to being happy and loving your life. Why not try a few of them today?

Featured photo credit: Happy hipster girl making photo with retro camera on city street via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is a communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

Dealing With Anxious Attachment: Advice from a Relationship Therapist Practical Advice for Overcoming Problems in INFP Relationships Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner) How to Become a Motivational Speaker and Influence Millions of People Why It’s Okay to Hit the Wall and How to Overcome It Fast

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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.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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