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16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face

16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face

Modern dating is complicated. It can be everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s a revolving door of people with expectations. You’re running on empty if you don’t keep up. Here are some harsh truths about modern dating that will help you deal with reality and prepare you for the unexpected.

People lie.

Face it. No matter how “honest” someone appears there is more reward through lying when you first meet. If you don’t accept everything you hear as the truth, you will give yourself some time. Down the line, you may see the truth for yourself, which is far better than words.

You lie.

Big lies. White lies. You do it. Beware, however, the bigger your lie, the more likely you are to date someone hiding an even bigger lie. To avoid this, date less, and establish intimacy with a few chosen people you want to get to know. That level of comfort will make you more open and honest.

Texting means you’re low on the priority list.

Texting has possibly changed modern dating for the worse. It builds fantasies, false hope, and misunderstandings that complicate communication. It’s meaningful to hear your lover’s voice on the other line. The ebbs, flows and hesitations tell you much more about his mood, personality and what’s really on his mind.

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People got issues.

No one is going to come cookie cutter clean. Everyone has a bad or dark side whether they admit it or not. Just hope you meet the person who knows what her dark side is because she will most likely have compassion when you show yours. Every one you date is a teacher. If you think this way, no relationship is wasted.

There are a lot of options.

From online dating to speed dating, it’s easy to feel like modern dating is a full-time job. Don’t do everything. Find what best suits your personality. An extrovert may love the nightlife and meeting people out on the town. An introvert may prefer online dating or a structured, timed format like speed dating.

You will pay dearly for someone else’s childhood trauma.

If there is unresolved childhood trauma, be prepared for dating to be quite tumultuous. If you experience an adult-child who is acting as if they are stuck on six, instead of 36, because he has not progressed emotionally from what happened, take a step back. Establish boundaries early. It is your job to protect yourself.

You will be disappointed.

Again, and again. You disappoint yourself often, how do you expect someone else not to disappoint you? Learn to live with frustration. If you dump everyone who disappoints you, you’ll never find anyone.

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You will have to change.

You will find someone you’re dating who is going to dig up all your bad qualities. Consider this a good thing. It will help you grow, shift and accept parts of your personality you discarded. If you meet someone who suddenly has you interested in running sprints on Friday nights instead of binging on alcohol that is a huge improvement for your quality of life.

You are not the only one they are dating.

There is less pressure to perform when you keep this in mind. Be comfortable with the fact the person you are dating may be interested in others. It’s all fair game until you become exclusive.

Your “issues” will magnify and scare people away (eventually).

People will dump you when you stop being nice. Eventually, they will see parts of you that are not what they want. Accept this. Stop taking on the choices other people make. This rarely has anything to do with you. We are all on our own journeys and must find the people who will get us there.

Stop being “perfect.”

Being a doormat or a yes man is not going to make dating easier. In fact, it puts you on a pedestal. Sitting on someone’s pedestal is pretty lonely. You can’t be yourself, or share your deepest needs. Express your needs whether he or she likes it or not.

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Unconditional love is earned, not automatic.

No one is going to love or accept you unconditionally out of the gate. If he says he does, you haven’t given him a reason yet. You eventually will. Unconditional love is earned through time and problem-solving. You need to feel confident in someone’s loyalty to you, and that is rare. However, you can always trick yourself into it, by ignoring everything he or she does.

You will never fully know someone.

There is always a side to someone he or she keeps from the world. There are parents who have raised honorable children, and still don’t know why little Johnny is stuck in Mexico on a drug charge. Dating is not the place to “get to know someone.” Get to know yourself first, and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Leave other people to account for themselves.

If you aren’t a top priority, your invitation to spend time together will be a “maybe.”

You will know if you are a priority by where you fall on the list. If you want to be #1 don’t take “maybe” for an answer. Let the other person make the effort to set up the dates. That is a good indication of his interest in you.

The person who cares less has all the power.

This is difficult when you are head over heels for someone. After a few months of dating, you care a lot. You want the other person to know. Forget it. It makes you appear less valuable.

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People want people other people want.

It’s human nature; the whole law of scarcity thing. Don’t make yourself too available or an over-sharer. Let the other person set the pace until you both find balance. It’s only natural for her to feel you slipping away, and want back in.

Give up on relationships. Improve yourself first to attract better dating prospects. Once you feel whole and complete with your good and bad parts, people will stick to you like butter on toast. Men and women are attracted to partners who are most comfortable with who they are. That’s why “bad boys” and “bad girls” seem to have all the fun.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3275748024/ via flickr.com

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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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