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20 Things You Need to Stop Doing

20 Things You Need to Stop Doing

Life is short. It may feel like it takes forever sometimes, but the reality is that you live, and a short time later, you die. It happens so quickly, many people don’t even realize they had a life until it’s already over. If you don’t want to be one of those people who looks back on their life with regret, here are some things you need to stop doing immediately:

1 – Stop Doubting Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Success starts in your mind, and if all you’re doing is putting yourself down and predicting failure, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of doubting yourself, think positively. Not only will you be happier and more successful, you’ll spread it to everyone around you. Get some tips to help you think more positively with this lifehack.

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    2 – Stop Being Negative

    Now that you’re done doubting yourself, stop doubting others. You don’t like when people are critical of you, so stop being critical of others. Think about how you make other people feel – even if you have good intentions, people don’t like hearing negativity. Stop saying negative things in negative ways and learn how to criticize without causing offense with this lifehack.

    3 – Stop Procrastinating

    I don’t feel like procrastinating right now – I’ll do it tomorrow. When you procrastinate, you remain stagnant. Whatever you’re putting off doesn’t go away; it stays in front of you like a carrot on a stick. Take the carrot, resolve the problem, and move on. You’ll be much happier in the long run. Don’t wait – learn how to stop procrastinating with this lifehack.

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    4 – Stop Being Mean

    It’s completely possible to step on someone’s toes without meaning to – it happens all the time. There’s no need to pile on by purposefully doing mean things, so make a conscious effort to stop being mean. If someone wrongs you, let it go. There’s no need to seek vengeance unless that’s the type of person you want to be. Learn how to stop being mean with this lifehack.

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      5 – Stop Eating Out

      Eating out is the biggest waste of money. Every so often it’s nice to treat yourself, but eating out for every meal is the quickest way to drain your bank account. Learn how to cook at least a handful of foods you enjoy: It’ll save you money, keep you healthier, and occasionally impress people. Improve your cooking skills with this lifehack.

      6 – Stop Being Lazy

      Lazy people are annoying – it’s like pulling teeth getting them to do anything. If I can’t do something as simple as going to a movie with you without having to factor in an hour of convincing you to get your lazy butt out of bed, I’d rather go alone. People have enough trouble motivating themselves; don’t make your friends and family waste their valuable energy motivating you as well. Tired of being lazy? Learn how to stop being lazy with this lifehack.

      7 – Stop Complaining

      We all have problems, and sometimes we need to vent to someone. That’s acceptable, but pay attention to how often you’re venting. If you have a friend you always vent to but never talk to about happy subjects, from that person’s perspective, you’re a Debbie (or Donald) Downer. We all love helping our friends and family, but when all you get from someone is negativity, it’s easier to cut them off than help, especially if they’re always complaining about the same things. If you must complain, learn how to complain successfully with this lifehack.

      8 – Stop Being Selfish

      If you only think about yourself, you’ll soon find yourself by yourself. Stop for a minute and think about how your actions affect other people – did you take the last cup of coffee from the break room? Refill it! Do you live with others? Don’t drink out the milk carton. We share this world 100% of the time, so every action you take can affect other people. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re selfish, learn how to spot selfish with this lifehack.

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        9 – Stop Wasting Time

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: time is the most valuable resource we have. Don’t waste your time on unproductive things. If you want to explore the world’s dark corners, that’s great. I still associate with people who have not-so-kosher careers, but I don’t hang out with those people at the expense of my own short- and long-term goals. Learn more about how to stop wasting time with bad friends with this lifehack.

        10 – Stop Watching TV

        I won’t stand on a moral soapbox about why your television set is a tool of the devil. I love TV shows, and I think we’re experiencing a Renaissance of quality content. The problem is that cable television is a dead medium. Those of you still tuning in regularly are holding back the progression of entertainment technology. You’re keeping cable on life support and encouraging providers to price gouge on internet. Stop ruining it for everyone and cut the cord already: learn how to live without a TV with this lifehack.

        11 – Stop Making Promises

        Always under-promise and over-deliver. When you make a promise, you’re adding responsibility to your plate that, despite all your best intentions, you may not be able to deliver on. More often than not, your promise is an absolute (i.e “I promise I’ll always love you”), and only Sith deal in absolutes. Instead of making a promise with your words, simply be there when people need you, and exceed their expectations with your actions. Learn more about promises with this lifehack.

        12 – Stop Being Complacent

        It’s cool to listen to people’s opinions; the problem comes when you follow everyone’s advice at the expense of having your own independent thoughts. Just because someone tells you to do something doesn’t mean it has to be done. Just because something is a law doesn’t mean it has to be followed. There is a difference between a just and an unjust law, and sometimes you have to shake things up for the greater good. Stop following and become a leader with this lifehack.

        13 – Stop Being a Pushover

        We live in a capitalistic society in which everyone’s trying to sell us something. There are scores of scientists whose only job is to figure out how to drain you of all your time, money, and other resources. Everyone’s looking out for themselves in one way or another, and you need to do the same. Stop putting yourself out because you’re too shy to say no. If you’re a pushover, learn some confidence tips and tricks with this lifehack.

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        14 – Stop Listening to Haters

        No matter what you want to do in life, there’s always someone around to tell you why it can’t and won’t work. I can come up with millions of reasons Twitter won’t work, and yet it’s one of the most popular social media sites on the web. My opinion didn’t stop Twitter’s success any more than it convinced Kobe Bryant to quit the NBA or Josh Hartnett to stop acting. Why would you let someone’s opinion stop you? Stop negative people in their tracks with this lifehack.

        15 – Stop Being Wasteful

        You don’t finish your meals, and away food instead. You leave the faucet running when you brush your teeth, pouring precious water down the drain. You drive places you could easily walk, burning gasoline (a non-renewable resource). You are wasteful, and it needs to stop. Follow the lead of large, respected corporations and go green with this lifehack.

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          16 – Stop Littering

          The only thing I hate more than wasteful people are litterbugs. Litterbugs are my least favorite bug, and there are more than you’d think. If you’ve ever thrown even one piece of gum, paper, candy wrapper, cigarette butt, etc on the ground, you’re a disgusting litterbug, and you should be ashamed of yourself. There are over 7 billion people in the world – if each person only throws one “innocent” piece of garbage on the ground, that’s 7 billion pieces of garbage littering a world in which nobody “did it”.

          Your one decision makes a HUGE difference, and I will not allow you to blow it off and walk around with your head held high. You’re a litterbug, and it needs to stop immediately. You don’t get a lifehack for this one, you filthy animal. Just stop – you already know how.

          17 – Stop Taking Everything Personally

          People get offended about the strangest things. Take Kendrick Lamar’s now-infamous verse on “Control” this summer: he called out a list of a dozen rappers he thinks he’s better than (and he’s right). The internet went crazy, and rappers all over the industry rushed to their mics to record a response. The thing is, all K-Dot said is he’s the best rapper. Everyone took it personally, and that’s exactly what he was going for. The lesson to learn from this is that not everything is about you, and if you’re easily upset, someone will use that to their advantage. Stop being so sensitive and learn to manage the people who bother you with this lifehack.

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          18 – Stop Talking

          Sometimes it’s best to just STFU – especially in relationships. I can’t even count how many times I created an issue that didn’t need to be an issue simply because I opened my mouth. Even if what you want to say is important, just shut up and ride it out. You can say more with your actions than words, and you can’t listen when you’re talking. Discover the perfect ratio of listening to talking with this lifehack.

          19 – Stop Ignoring Signs

          I sometimes think I’m mystical because I see signs other people don’t… like the speed limit. People like to look for divine signs telling them what they should be doing. I’m no fan of imaginary deities, but I wholeheartedly believe the path is there if you know where to look. It’s up to you to recognize and interpret the signs for your own life. Stop letting life pass you by, and learn to read signs with this lifehack.

          20 – Just Stop, and Breathe…

          No matter what you’re doing in life or how your day is going, there’s always room to just stop for a moment and just breathe. Try it right now to celebrate getting through this list of everything you’re doing wrong. You’ve been a great sport…now stop…breathe…and move on…

          Can’t move on? Learn 4 Unconventional Solutions for Getting Stuck

           

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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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