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5 Types Of “Toxic” Persons You Should Actually Admire

5 Types Of “Toxic” Persons You Should Actually Admire

Throughout history, man has always felt the need to label people and define things. In a sense, it is how we learn to understand the world around us. From childhood to adulthood, we are taught how to separate people into two groups: good or bad. Labels are based on the filters and perceptions we have, which are often wrong. There are two sides to every behavior, so don’t be too quick to judge.

It is in itself toxic to define someone else as toxic. Every situation presents a learning opportunity and how you interpret a person’s actions towards you, will depend on your own sensitivities. You will either see the glass half full or think it half empty. If you are ready to keep an open mind, this list of five types of toxic persons you should actually admire will prove just that.

1. People who don’t believe in your dreams.

“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar.

Those who don’t believe in your dreams are the haters and doubters. They are the ones who belittle your dreams and make you feel like a failure before you have even started. Common sense might say to completely avoid these people, but here is why you shouldn’t

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Those who have dreams and goals to achieve, know how long the road and the process can be. It is for this very reason that you need those who don’t believe in your dreams. If you are willing to see the glass half full, then you may start to see these people as your very own personal reverse-psychology cheer leading team.

You don’t have to pay them any money, and they provide the daily motivation to remind you to keep going and never give up. If everyone believed in your ability to achieve your goals, you may not have the urgency to act. You need people who remind you of realistic challenges and problems which you may face. And who make you want to succeed even more. Those who didn’t believe in your dreams truly deserve your admiration. Without them, you may not be where you are today.

2. People who bring stress into your life.

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well” – Unknown.

We all have these people in our lives. It can be a parent, a coworker, siblings or friends. They are people who will drive us crazy with their drama, negativity or irresponsibility. They can also be very demanding people to deal with. While you may cringe at the thought of spending time with them, here is why you should learn to deal with the stress.

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A lot of people spend a lot of time and money trying to avoid stress, stressful people or stressful situations. However, not all stress is bad for you. In some situations a person stressing you out is a good thing. They may in fact actually be motivating and pushing you to be better or to do better. Remember that our culture is filled with success stories of people who had a tough start in life and achieved stardom nevertheless. Learn to tap into the energy of stress and value those who bring some type of stress into your life.

3. People who use you.

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

No one likes to be taken advantage of. Once you discover someone is using you, it can make you feel disposable. This feeling can be very toxic and may affect how you relate with and treat other people. While it is smart to avoid these types of toxic persons, here is how you can start to make the situation work in your favor.

To be fair, everyone uses everyone whether we mean to or not. So it is not so out of the norm for some people to befriend you just because of what you have to offer. In fact, you do it, too. The difference is you probably call those friends you use dependable. Those who use you are actually good for you in the sense that they provide an opportunity to batter. They have already put themselves out there. With a little communication, you can begin to make the relationship work in your favor.

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4. People who don’t care about you.

“We all matter – maybe less then a lot but always more than none.” ― John Green

We all have an innate desire to be liked even by complete strangers. Often we use how people respond to us as a measure of our own self-worth. So naturally we tend to not want people who don’t care about us around. While this is a good thing, it also means that you will have no diversity in your life. Here is one way to make this situation a positive one.

In the age of likes, follows and numerous friend adds on social media, don’t forget the importance of knowing your quality friends from your quantity of friends.
Apart from your inner circle, everyone else is an acquaintance who may not care about you. This is not a bad thing, in fact the world does move on without you. Friends who don’t care about you, do well by reminding you of the importance of family and true friendships

5. People who point out your flaws or criticize you

“There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” -Aristotle.

This kind of “toxic” people can be very hurtful. They seem to nit pick away at who you are and each comment can feel like a sledge hammer. While it is smart to guard you heart against such people, here is why you should develop an elephant’s skin, so that you can hear what they have to say without being hurt by it.

A lot of times the people who criticize you, truly have your best interest at heart. They see your potential and your flaws and are bold enough to call you out on both. If you would take your emotions and sentiments out of it, you just might learn something about yourself that could be crucial to your future achievements.

Depending on how you see the glass, a critic is someone to offer feedback when it may very well be needed. If your desire is to get better at your craft and be the best you can possibly be, then you must understand the importance of people who point out your flaws or criticize you.

There is beauty to be found in any situation, and people who have been labelled “toxic” can actually have benefits and add value to our lives. Like I said earlier, it is all in how you decide to look atit. With the right attitude, they can be admired, even appreciated. After all, it is in the face of adversity that we often become who we were meant to be.

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Featured photo credit: Shadow people via flickr.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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