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18 Signs You’re Extraordinary And You Don’t Even Know It

18 Signs You’re Extraordinary And You Don’t Even Know It

A newborn baby looks extraordinary in the parents’ eyes. However, since young, we’ve been taught to fit in with the rest of the world. We were told to be quiet, keep a low profile and not to be different. Otherwise, we would risk being ostracized. Soon, we forgot that we are extraordinary and we lost the unique voice that we have. Have you forgotten how extraordinary you are?

Here are 18 signs that remind you how extraordinary you are.

1. You read every day.

You believe in continuous learning. You are extraordinary because you invest time to improve yourself and your knowledge. Other people may see you as a bookworm or a nerd, but that shouldn’t discouraged you to read. One day, you will do something great with all the knowledge you have accumulated.

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2. You daydream and you dream big.

Most people are too busy to dream. You are extraordinary because you have dreams and aspirations. In fact, your dreams are so big that others see you as impractical and unrealistic. Some may even laugh at your dreams. But don’t let them stop you. You have a gift. Like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, you have a vision that most others don’t have.

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3. You stop to think and reflect.

While everyone is rushing their work to meet deadlines, you stop and understand the underlying problem. Your colleagues think you are slow, inefficient and overly cautious. But you are extraordinary because you don’t follow instructions blindly. You challenge status quo and find the best way to do your work.

4. You cry when you watch a touching movie or listen to a beautiful song.

You have empathy. You understand how others feel. Others may think that you can’t handle your emotions well. But you are extraordinary because you let your emotions flow naturally and allow yourself to be touched by something beautiful.

5. You help others without expecting anything in return.

People think that you are silly to help others without asking anything in return. You are extraordinary because you don’t see everything in dollars and cents. You enjoy helping others and being kind. That makes you happy and feel good.

6. You mediate in the morning.

You know your relationship with yourself is as important as your finance, career and relationships with others. So you practice yoga, mediate and say positive affirmations in the morning. Other people think you are weird. But don’t most successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Jack Canfield and Hugh Jackman take time to mediate in the morning?

7. You listen more than you speak.

You choose to listen more than you speak, not because you are shy, quiet or boring. You have opinions, but you are open to other people’s opinions too and willing to understand where they are coming from. You are extraordinary because you listen attentively and are genuinely interested in learning more about others.

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8. You embrace and love failure.

Most people don’t like to fail. They rather be stagnant than risk failing. It’s not that you are a risk taker, careless or impulsive. You love failure because it tells you if you are on the right track. You are just testing to see what works and what doesn’t, so that you can decide what action to take next.

9. You are comfortable being alone.

You are independent. You have no problem eating alone, watching movie alone and going holiday on your own. Other people may see you as loner or anti-social. But you are just confident and comfortable with yourself. You don’t need constant attention and validation from others.

10. You don’t follow a strict routine.

Although you have a to-do-list, you don’t follow it a 100%. You get bored with routines easily, so you shake things up once in a while. Others may think you lack of self-discipline and self-control. But you are extraordinary because your life is never boring. You are always finding new ways to spice up your life.

11. You let go of things that don’t work.

People think you are a quitter because you give up too easily and lack of persistence. But in your mind, you are not giving up, you are just letting go of things that don’t work. Why continue to pursue something when you realize it won’t work for you or it’s not something that you want after all?

12. You take care of yourself before others.

Sometimes, others mistake you as selfish, indifferent and uncaring. But you are extraordinary because you see the importance of taking care of yourself first. You know you have to serve your needs and not be a liability for others. You don’t depend on other people to take care of you.

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13. You never stop asking questions.

You are inquisitive and curious. You want to know how things work and you don’t take things at face value. Others may find you bothersome and irritating. But you are extraordinary because you care about the world. You don’t ask for the sake of asking. You ask to understand more about the world, so as to make it better and be more appreciative of it.

14. You seldom express anger in front of others.

Sure, you get angry and irritated by people and things around you sometimes. But you hardly express anger because you are compassionate. You know it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of someone else’s anger. Others may see you as a pushover or weak. However, you know the value of harmony, so you make the effort to preserve it.

15. You are positive and see beauty in everything.

You are easily inspired by others and the things around you. Others think you are overly positive and optimistic. But you are extraordinary because you believe there’s goodness in everyone. Although you know that there is always room for improvement, but you would rather focus on the positives and be happy, instead of dwelling on the negatives.

16. You consult your heart when making decision.

You know that something doesn’t feel right if your heart isn’t consulted when making decisions. Others see you are as unintelligent or too emotional. But you know that your heart is as important as your mind when it comes to decision-making. Both of them need to be in agreement, otherwise you won’t feel committed to take action.

17. You allow yourself to do what you love.

You are extraordinary because you don’t force yourself to do something you hate. People think that you are silly to spend so much time and money on your passion. But you know doing what you love makes you happy. You know your time and money aren’t spent, but rather invested in your happiness.

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18. You love yourself.

Most people blame themselves and others when things don’t go their way. You are extraordinary because you love yourself and treat yourself kindly. When something doesn’t work out, you ask yourself nicely for solutions. You don’t call yourself names and judge yourself.

Celebrate Being Extraordinary

It’s okay if you don’t match with the 18 signs above. Everyone is extraordinary in their own special way. So share your gift with the world. Don’t hide behind the curtain. It’s time to celebrate your unique self.

Featured photo credit: CIA DE FOTO via flickr.com

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Yong Kang Chan

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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

Reference

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