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5 Things You Don’t Need To Feel Embarrassed About

5 Things You Don’t Need To Feel Embarrassed About

Do you find yourself apologizing or feeling embarrassed for things out of your control? Being a people-pleaser can be exhausting. We are all human and need to realize that not everything will go to plan. Here are 5 things you should stop feeling about about, though many people do:

1. Mistakes while learning

There will be times when you have people above you (a boss) or even next to you (a coworker) that will get really irritated with you for “ruining” something “crucial”. In five years from now, will your blunder cause the company to crumble? Most likely, the answer is no. Errors are bound to happen when you have on your training wheels.

Instead of apologizing to the angered person, try: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am still learning, and I appreciate your patience as I go through this learning experience.” What is the worst they can say back to that? Unless she is extremely narcissistic, she will realize that even though she may have done it right, we all have to start somewhere; it will take time to work out the kinks.

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Winston Churchill once said, “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking potential.” Even if you make mistakes and get a slap on the wrist, persevere and push on. You do not need to be embarrassed for learning from your mistakes

2. Food choices

People are different and have different taste buds. Some people find it appalling that someone would willing to choose to be vegan, while others can’t imagine life any other way.  Some may find it astounding that someone can live their whole lives downing a steak every night.

It shouldn’t matter why you have made this food decision. Whether it is healthy or not, food is a choice and it is a part of life. It is simply a personal choice that people make for their own reasons. You do not need to be embarrassed for food you do or do not like. Tell them, “It is a personal choice I have made, and I am committed to it.”

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3. Your past

“I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.” Allowing positive experiences to define, confine, refine, and outshine you may cause you to be caught up in the past and unable to truly live in the present. Whether your history is positive, negative, or somewhere in between, don’t hone in on the negative experiences and let it reflect your current behavior.

This idea can apply to relationships or jobs. If you start a new relationship after dating Person X, don’t get upset when Person Y does your relationship differently.  There will be new experiences, personalities, expectations, and schedules. When you start something new, take your past experiences with you, but don’t let it define your new start. Doing so will only lead to disappointment. It is a new start for a reason.

Your defeats and accomplishments (from Person/Job X) bring new insight and vision to the relationship, because remember, your new Person has a Person X as well. If you find yourself apologizing/throwing a pity party for yourself, STOP. Let the past go, and start fresh.

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4.The cleanliness of your car/home/work space

You offer to drive somewhere and when everyone gets in the car, you realize your Starbucks and Chik-Fil-A bag are still on the floor. Perhaps you have people over unexpectedly and the kids’ clothes are on the floor; there are dishes in the sink, and you haven’t dusted in weeks. So what?

Think about it this way: everyone has a “messy” aspect of their life. Maybe their home is spotless, but the relationship with their spouse is messy. Someone’s car gets washed once a week, but his/her work life could use some help. No one on Earth lives a perfectly “clean” life in every aspect.

We don’t apologize to others about our personal pitfalls (relationships, jobs, friendships, etc.), so why must we apologize for our homes or cars being a little dirty? By being outwardly embarrassed, it only brings more attention to the fact!

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5. Putting yourself first

Sometimes we feel pressured to say “yes” to every social outing, trip, or commitment to feel a part of the group or because we don’t want to let others down. Oftentimes, we only commit because we don’t want to feel left out. In some cases, we tend to think, “No one else will do it as successfully as I will, so I am the only one for the job.” This could be as simple as a night out, or something more time consuming like a higher position in your company.

When you get in to this situation, ask yourself, “What are the pros and cons? What else do I have on my plate that requires undivided attention? What will I gain from this commitment?” If you can honestly answer these questions and the outcome is positive, share these answers with the person who asked you to commit. If you find yourself saying no to something or making up lies to get out of it, tell them the truth, and don’t apologize.

You will feel much better in the long run if you are honest with them and yourself. If you’re not up to a voluntary obligation, you don’t have to be. You can politely deny the person’s request, whether it is a night out on the town or being team mom, without feeling badly about it. It is okay to be selfish from time to time. Put yourself first.

Featured photo credit: Young man wearing a fox mask sitting on sofa in front of a window. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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