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20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Siblings Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Siblings Would Understand

Sure, having a bunch of brothers and sisters running around can be annoying sometimes. But, at the end of the day, you know in your heart of hearts that you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Why is that? Because they add so much to our lives. Indeed, there are many things that only those with multiple siblings experience, such as…

1. Car trips are never boring.

When you have a couple brothers or sisters in the car with you, it’s impossible to run out of things to do, even when it’s a trip that lasts five hours or more.

2. Never running out of clothes.

Sure, the clothes might not fit, or they might be a bit threadbare, but you always have a supply of them ready-to-use (especially if you are the youngest child).

3. 24/7 competition.

This is especially true if you are a guy with multiple brothers. Who can play this instrument best? Who can win the most games of basketball? Trust me when I say that you’ll run yourselves ragged trying to find out.

4. Jealousy (that goes both ways).

Whether you’re mad that your younger brother is taller than you, or that your sister can run faster than you, there’s always something that makes you jealous towards one of your siblings. Luckily, there’s usually something they envy about you too!

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5. Sharing everything.

Whether it’s your room, your toys, your video games, your favorite plate, or even your toothbrush, you’re bound to share pretty much everything you own with your siblings.

6. Having support, no matter what.

If you are a bit of a loner in school, or are targeted by a certain bully, your siblings will always be there to have your back and help you navigate the treacherous waters of life.

7. Family pictures are impossible.

Getting everyone looking their best at the right time is pretty much never going to happen when you have multiple siblings. Even when you think you have it, your youngest brother or sister will make some strange face that forces you to start over again!

8. You get to be a pseudo-parent.

If you happen to be significantly older than one of your siblings, you get the joy of being able to teach them about the world in a way that your parents could never do.

9. You will have a lot of acquaintances.

When you have tons of siblings, all of your social networks get muddled together, especially if you are close in age. Even if you aren’t friends with your sister’s or brother’s friends, they’ll know you (and will probably refer to you as “so and so’s brother/sister”).

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10. Getting ready in the morning is an experience.

Most families will have one bathroom for the kids to use, which becomes a major issue when everyone is in school. Good luck figuring out who gets to take the first shower!

11. Food is a precious commodity.

If you weren’t on that box of Cheez-Its the moment your mom brought it back from the grocery store, then you could forget about ever getting your hands on that cheesy goodness.

12. Hiding your favorite snacks was a thing.

You and all of your brothers and sisters had a spot where they hid the good stuff. Luckily, this actually helped to prepare you for college and dealing with food-stealing roommates!

13. Dish duty inevitably fell to you most nights.

You don’t know how or why, but for some reason you were always cleaning the fifty dirty dishes left by your family at the end of the day.

14. Your Converses fit better.

If you were the younger sibling and got your older brother or sister’s Converses, they were usually stretched out and perfect for wearing by the time you got them.

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15. Teachers judged you based on what your siblings did.

Even if you are a saint, Mr. Teacher will always distrust you all because your older brother was the class clown.

16. You had to be a walking encyclopedia.

Whenever someone asked you about your siblings, you were expected to know every detail about their lives.

17. People freaked out when you told them how many brothers and sisters you have.

People are generally amazed if you have more than two brothers or sisters, because it’s pretty rare in this day and age. Luckily, you get to tell them all about what it’s like for the umpteenth time!

18. Christmas shopping makes your wallet cry.

It’s hard enough buying gifts for your parents and friends, but add your several siblings on top of that and you’re looking at a hefty chunk of change! The good part is that you’ll get a lot of gifts in return (that is, if they remember)!

19. Board game nights are filled with drama.

And no, it’s not because of the game itself. It’s because one of you is always cheating, and another is always really really angry that they lost!

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20. You have your own language.

Or, at the very least, you added several strange words to your language’s lexicon that only you and your siblings understand. If any outsiders hear your strange speech, prepare for some awkward stares!

How many of you grew up with multiple siblings? Would you agree that it could be tough, but that you also wouldn’t trade the experience for anything? Comment below!

Featured photo credit: Portrait of three siblings via shutterstock.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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