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20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have a Big Sister Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have a Big Sister Would Understand

Growing up, sisters played a part in our development. Having an older sister was a plus rather than a minus. The early years may have been awkward, but both of you came to understand why you have to always be together and be there for each other. Through these times, there are amazing memories that will forever be a part of you.

1. You had someone to protect you.

In the mission to become a better person and enjoy the adventures life has to offer, your older sister was there to have your back. She didn’t just protect you; she also made sure you were always safe from the terror of the world.

2. You had someone to look up to.

An older sister is there to act as a pacesetter to all the achievements you will forever make. If she was getting a C, you had to get an A. At least there was something to look up to and records you had to surpass.

3. She was the mother when your parents were not around.

You never had to be lonely when your parents were gone. She stood as a shield and quickly took on the mantle of responsibility in making sure you were well taken care of.

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4. There was someone to be proud of.

Whether you felt intimidated or envious when she graduated sum cum laude from a prestigious college or not, you had something to share on your Instagram page.

5. You had someone you could call when you got knocked down.

Life has its way of throwing stones at us. However having an older sister made sure you were not overwhelmed with the frustrating times and you were not beaten by them. You had someone to give a call to provide an illumination when it all seemed dark.

6. There were clothes and toys that you could borrow.

Your sister’s items could also be borrowed and you could feel proud wearing her shoes or clothes to that dinner party because she shared her best items with you.

7. There was someone to give you a good laugh.

You knew your sister wouldn’t fake or pretend. She was always herself around you. That was why humor between the two of you was real and clear.

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8. She offered solid advice about the opposite sex.

Yes, she has been through it all, and she could relate with any issues you have about the opposite sex. She never restrained from telling you what she knew. And oh, how this proved beneficial.

9. There were ugly times, but both of you conquered.

There were disagreements and sometimes, it was not just okay between you two. However, you knew how important it was for you to stick together and pummel through the ugly times and build something everlasting.

10. She never forgot your birthdays.

It hurt your feelings when others forgot to recognize such special moments in your life, but to your older sister, it was a duty not only to remember your birthday, but to make sure you got a special gift.

11. She gave you the best graduation party.

She was someone who cherished your achievements just as much as you cherished hers. She was there on your graduation day and made that photo complete.

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12. She wanted the best future for you.

Yes, there were times when you just didn’t feel right about what will happen next and did not know what direction your future would take. But she made a future with you. If there was any opportunity, she let you know about it. She planned what would be the best option for you to take.

13. She loved you unconditionally.

It wasn’t about the circumstance being favorable or not. It wasn’t about if she was positive or negative about what choices you were making. She loved you unconditionally and supported you all the way.

14. She was there to build your character.

Having a bigger sister doesn’t mean that you had someone who pampered you outrageously. There were also limitations. If you had to be in your room when her friends were around, that was it. Somehow these limitations made you see the reality of dealing with people and how you could rise above an obstacle.

15. She covered for you.

Sometimes when things went wrong in the house, you never took the blame—your older sister did. She could be scolded or grounded, but that didn’t stop her from going on another risky adventure with you.

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16. You were popular in school because your older sister made it so.

Before your first day in school, you were already expected. People referred to you as so-and-so’s sister and somehow you got shielded from all the bullies who would have been happy to take a shot at you.

17. She made a fool of you sometimes.

You would never have taken her too seriously, right? Because despite all her accusations of you being the adopted one, she was only trying to pull a fast one on you and make you look stupid.

18. She was the best babysitter you ever had.

There were other babysitters but she was a special babysitter. Because after the curtains came down, she was the most consistent babysitter you ever had.

19. She was your best friend.

There were secrets between you two—secrets your parents will never hear about. And these secrets bonded you better and made you best friends.

20. She challenged you to become the best person you could be.

Looking back now at all the memories and all the times you spent together and played together, you can’t help but admit that your sister defined and shaped a part of you. She challenged you and gave you more understanding than any teacher would ever give you.

Featured photo credit: Two sisters in green on grass, st patricks day via shutterstock.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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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