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20 Things Every Man Should Learn to Be a Respectable Person

20 Things Every Man Should Learn to Be a Respectable Person

A respectable man is one who not only respects himself, but is respected by the world he lives in. The more you can live as a man whom others actually want to be around, the more respectable you will become. There are no fancy tricks or shortcuts to become a better man, but these 20 things remind you of how you can be a more respected individual, right now.

1. The Way You Dress

I recently read an article on the importance of male dress code and dating. The women in the article stated that it is a turn off to go out with a man who thinks dressing up is putting on a collared shirt. You don’t have to wear the latest fashion trends or expensive clothes, but look presentable, go the extra mile, show you care, and take pride in what you wear.

2. Your Physical Health

You don’t need to be a bodybuilder or marathon runner. A little exercise can go a long way and it’s important to show that you care about your body. If you don’t exercise at all, start by taking a 20-minute walk. Then perhaps join a gym, fitness class or local softball team. Good health also includes going to the doctor, dentist, and eye professional.

3. Your Diet

Like fitness, you don’t have to follow the latest trend or fad, but do your best to eat well. Mostly eat what makes your body feel good — probably more protein than carbs, coupled with fruits and vegetables. Try to eat less junk. Maybe try something new or learn how to cook a new meal. Invite your friends over and offer to cook them dinner. I love trying new ethnic foods and the diverse flavors they offer.

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4. Your Reading Habits

If all you do is play video games and watch TV at night, please pick up a book. Reading fuels your imagination. You don’t have to brag about what you read, but it can be a great way to add value in conversations. Read about topics you love — it shows you have other interests and keeps your mind active. Plus, it’s a good way to wind down at night.

5. Your Awareness of the World

Nobody likes a political snob, or a complete ignoramus. You don’t need to watch the news every night, because most of it is garbage anyway! For some, a comedy news show is all it takes to keep up with current events. It is important to have a basic knowledge of what’s happening in the world, but choose the best way to get the important stuff.

6. Your Passion and Interests

There are some people who live what I call the “extreme life,” which they often describe as “sick,” “gnarly,” or “stoked.” Life is an adventure but we don’t all need to live on the edge (or even appear to be). Simply be passionate about something and be proud of it. Learn something new that you never took the time to learn. Maybe it’s a new language or a new skill.

7. How You Treat a Woman

This ranges from opening doors for women, to speaking highly of women, to never putting women down. Also, make ladies feel special in whatever way that may be. This also means being affectionate towards your girlfriend or spouse and showing her how much you love her because, as men, we often forget to actually communicate how we feel about her. Also, tell your mom you love her!

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8. You Take Risks

I say this with caution. Don’t let your testosterone get the best of you and do more than you can handle. Take smart risks. If we never took any risks, we wouldn’t learn how to adapt to situations and accept defeat. It’s okay to fail when you take risks — look at it as a lesson, rather than detrimental to your ego.

9. You Practice Sound Money Management

A specific dollar amount of money doesn’t matter. What’s important here is actually living within your means — not flashing money around — and understanding the basics of finance. Educate yourself on money and treat it with respect. Be honest with your financial situation and find ways you can make money work for you.

10. You Mind Your Manners

Be polite and be authentic. Remember what your mom told you? Actually say thank you and chew with your mouth closed. Don’t be a bully. Don’t yell at others. Don’t be aggressive. Live the Golden Rule by treating other people the way you want to be treated. This doesn’t mean you are a pushover, but it means that you treat others with dignity and respect.

11. Your Real World Experience

In other words, practice what you preach. Get yourself out there and try new things. Are you just reading about advice or are you actually living that advice? It doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed at everything you try. The point is to experience the world and share that experience with others.

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12. You Get Out and Travel

Get out there and travel somewhere new! It can be a small road trip or can be a trip around the world. When you travel, it gets you out of your comfort zone and you learn something new, every time. Plan your travel around things that really interest you. Again, you don’t have to go extreme. There are tons of ways to travel and it’s a great way to break out of your routine. Plus, it makes for a great story!

13. You Express Gratitude

A respectable man is grateful for what he has in life. For some, spirituality or religion is the path they take. If that’s not you, simply express what you are grateful for each and every day. Try to come up with new things you are grateful for and challenge yourself to let other people know how important they are to you.

14. You Practice Volunteerism

This is a broad definition. Simply put, I define it as giving your time without expectation of anything in return. Give some of your time to help a friend in need. Offer to teach someone something for free. It’s not always about money. Do something nice for a stranger or sign up to volunteer for an event. An added bonus to is that you actually do get something in return — it gives you a sense of purpose and it makes you feel good.

15. You Are Capable of Love

This includes yourself. Be capable of loving yourself just the way you are. When you can love yourself first, you can love others more readily. Be open to expressing love to others. Give someone a hug (even if it’s a man hug). Embrace others and act from a place of love, not from a place of fear or hate.

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16. Your Humor

A respectable man can laugh at himself and laugh with others. Make people laugh, but not at somebody’s own expense. I love to crack jokes to lighten up the mood or make someone feel better about themselves. You can also redirect the humor back to yourself to break the ice in conversations. Women love when you can make them laugh and for some it comes easy, for others it takes practice.

17. You Can Negotiate

You don’t have to be a sleazy salesman or an experienced attorney. It’s important to be prepared to get what you want and to know when you are being taken advantage of. The best way to do this is to educate yourself before you need to negotiate. It’s also important to respect the other person involved. Also, think of negotiating as an important skill in any relationship. When you see the other person’s side, it makes it easier to satisfy everyone’s needs.

18. You Smile

They say that a good smile is the window to someone’s soul. Smiling is contagious and people love to see a good smile. That being said, make sure you are taking care of your teeth. The other day I saw this UV teeth whitening product that nobody needs to buy! Just take care of your mouth and go to the dentist regularly, because nobody wants bad breath.

19. Your Ego

It’s often easy for us men to feel threatened by others or have to somehow prove our manliness to the world. We can be respectable, confident men, without always having to be loud, right, and/or pushy. Actually, a bigger ego represents bigger insecurities that others can often see right through.

20. You Think Critically

Yes, it’s important to be able to problem solve. When you workout your brain to solve real-life, complex problems, it’s easier to come up with better ideas when future problems arise. Some use Lumosity and others challenge themselves to come up with new business ideas. It’s important to make your brain ‘sweat.’ Sometimes you might gain a new perspective that can add massive value to an otherwise improbable situation.

The key to these lessons is practicing them every day. There is not one method that is better than the other, but just do more of what works for you. In fact, there are many ways in which we can subtly become a more respected member of society, without acting like someone we’re not. I encourage you to practice more of what works in learning how to become a more respectable man.

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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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