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16 Things You Don’t Need To Say Yes All the Time (Though You Think You Do)

16 Things You Don’t Need To Say Yes All the Time (Though You Think You Do)

There are two words I consider one of the most powerful and influential, namely “yes and “no.” The right combination of them and using the right one according to the situation guarantees you more happiness, health and wealth.

To be nice and avoid hurting others, we often say yes though we feel like saying no. Whereas empathy is a good feature to have, being a people-pleaser has terrible consequences.

If you ever regretted saying yes, these 16 examples will help you to not make the same mistake again.

1. You don’t need to say yes to people asking for your time.

Some say time is money, but in reality, there’s one thing that makes time the real wealth. Namely, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Whereas money can always be made up, time never goes back.

Now, don’t misunderstand it with being insensitive ignorant, it’s far from that! When someone ask for your time, don’t say yes when it conflicts with your personal priorities. If you think this person deserves your attention, schedule one day of a month when you can devote your attention to them.

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2. You don’t need to say yes to people asking for your money.

There is an adage which says don’t let your friends borrow money unless you don’t mind never getting it back. If you can’t accept them never paying back, it’s a sign you should decline. Borrowing money can destroy your relationships with other people and make your life really tense. Oftentimes, it’s better to deal with the temporary discontent when you say no than experience the problems later on.

3. You don’t need to say yes to people who clearly exploit you.

When someone approaches you only during struggles, you are just a tool to solve their problems. It’s when somebody only takes and never gives that you should consider stop saying yes. Sure, you should contribute value to other people’s lives, but folks who batten on generosity are not ones who deserve it.

4. You don’t need to say yes to please your friends.

Saying no to a friend is tricky. You care about them and feel obliged to act accordingly. The truth is, a real friend will accept your refusal because they value your close friendship. It’s false people who leave you in case of disagreement.

5. You don’t need to say yes while under social pressure.

Social pressure can be a huge obstacle to overcome. People expect you to go with the flow and please them. Saying no requires courage and confidence but oftentimes it’s a lifesaving decision. Every time you don’t say yes under a big group pressure, you clearly show your values which everyone respects even whey they don’t admit it.

6. You don’t need to say yes so you fit in.

Similar to the previous example, people in the crowd subordinate so in order to not stick out, you are expected to submit to their influence. But at some point everyone comes to the conclusion that fitting in is unnecessary and only causes regrets.

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7. You don’t need to say yes when rules and dogmas limit you.

Different environments set clear expectations toward behavior within the group. Whereas some rules are necessary so the society can function, there are many dogmas you have a full right not to follow. Embrace who you are and don’t let the outdated doctrines change it.

8. You don’t need to say yes to tradition and religion.

Born among people who set religion and tradition as the highest priority, you are expected to worship these values. If, however, deep in heart you don’t consider them as truths, that’s a clear sign to refuse following them.

When I stated to my family that I see religion differently than they do, I faced disapproval. As the time goes by, however, the tension expires and you feel proud of being your true self.

9. You don’t need to say yes to your parents.

Being able to do this is might be as hard as it is to differentiate between following your heart and being unappreciative toward your parents. They love you and want you to live the best life possible, but sometimes it’s you who knows better your deepest desires.

When you parents expect you to choose a certain career path, remember it’s you and not them who will be obliged to that lifestyle.

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10. You don’t need to say yes to your boss.

Be cautious, I don’t intend to make you lose your job! But then again, if you do have alternatives and your current boss destroys your life, maybe it’s time to say goodbye and part ways.

11. You don’t need to say yes to things that make your priorities secondary.

If you don’t respect your values, nobody will. You are responsible for what happens in your life and it’s the moment when you fully accept this responsibility when you can finally give your goals the top priority.

12. You don’t need to say yes to things fighting for your attention.

Today’s world attacks you with distractions on a regular basis. A skill to ignore stuff begging for your attention is invaluable to survive. Remember, whatever you decide to pay attention to, you might be neglecting things that actually matter.

13. You don’t need to say yes to sales and extra offers.

I know it’s often hard not to lose your mind during the sales. And marketers are people who know it best. Various psychology tricks are applied to make you say yes and follow the sales funnel.

At first, you feel instant happiness, but then, as your wallet gets thinner and what you bought collects dust, you begin questioning whether saying no wouldn’t be a wiser decision.

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14. You don’t need to say yes to email offers.

As someone who likes to subscribe to interesting newsletters, I know how  tempting certain offers are. You are presented with an almost perfect offer. As a result, a new need is created and a product for its satisfaction sold. But if you wouldn’t open the email, would you even desire that very product or service?

15. You don’t need to say yes to time-suckers.

Television, Internet or Social Media, these are all the wonders of technology which revolutionized the world of communication and information. But if you don’t control them, they will control you. It’s easy to get lost staring at the screen and mindlessly wasting your time. Your brain tends to say yes to comfortable situations and time-suckers definitely count to that.

As we determined in the first point, your time is the most precious resource so protecting it is obligatory.

16. You don’t need to say yes to notifications.

I disabled every possible digital notification, expect an app that reminds me to work out and it does it at the right time. But it wasn’t always like that. Facebook notifications would immediately catch my attention and destroy my focus. Almost any serious app makes sure to notify its users so they stay engaged and active.

Whereas it’s definitely beneficial to the founders, it’s incredibly harmful to yourself. Turn off every unnecessary notification and never again say yes to distractions begging for your attention.

Featured photo credit: web4camguy via flickr.com

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Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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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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