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How To Be A Good Kisser

How To Be A Good Kisser

When you stop for a moment to ponder it, kissing is on a short list of things we’re never actually taught. In fact, no one besides the people we choose to “practice” with can teach us diddly squat about kissing. This is why I will give you a short list of mental tips to try that’ll hopefully help you give smoother smooches.

Fun fact before we begin: kissing is not only really fun, but really important too!

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According to The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips are Telling Us, 66 percent of women and 59 percent of men reported ending a relationship as a result of poor pecking. If that’s not enough pressure, ladies and gentleman, Butler University psychologist John Bohannon found that the majority of us can remember nearly 90 percent of the details involved in our first romantic kiss.

Alright, no more lallygagging. Here’s a short list for each sex that will make out of mediocre makeouts magnificent ones.

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For the ladies:

  1. Open your mouth more: I’m not talking about the Marianas Trench here, but give us dudes something to work with. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to use your tongue like a car jack to pry those jaws open. Open up so you may explore the inner works of each others mouth.
  2. Be aggressive: This is all encompassing. Be more aggressive initiating the kiss. Be more aggressive in the kiss with your tongue and lips. Be more aggressive with your hands. Rubbing. Grabbing. Groping. Don’t be afraid of anything at any moment during a kiss. Be fearless within reason, because dude’s dig that. Don’t hold back.
  3. Alternate lips: You have two of them, so don’t be afraid to focus on one or the other and alternate. There’s actually well over 100 times more nerve endings in your lips than on your fingertips. Apart from that, alternating lip focus with a partner is not only extremely sexy, but it also makes you feel like you’re in a movie! Don’t believe me? Try it.
  4. Mindful mouth: This isn’t what it sounds like, but it’s extremely important for both men and women. Be very aware of what you’ve recently eaten, or, for the ladies, what you put on your lips. Lip balm, gloss, stick, whatever. All of that stuff does something you might not be aware of. It activates sweetness receptors in your partners mouth sending yet another sense into overdrive. If you do this, also be mindful of the clothes you chose to wear that night or day. He may get a bit too passionate.
  5. Do the A-Frame: This, according to Cosmopolitan Magazine, which I’m told is a monthly women’s almanac, is when you and your lover are kissing with your hips apart thus creating an “A” figure from a side view. Do you see it there? Doing this is a safe and secure way to “feel him out” and invite him in with the hips later in the kiss.

For the gentleman:

***I listed the ladies first because, well, you should always do that. But heed the information up there, boys, because we have the most learning to do in this department. Besides the lip gloss/stick recommendation. Only try that if you’re really into that sort of thing.

  1. Your tongue + her esophagus = you’re doing it wrong: There’s no easier, or more creative, or catchier way to say that. Just don’t do it. Your tongue is not Mike Tyson’s right arm throwing quick, energetic jabs. At the same time, your tongue is also not a dead, dank fish, either. Give it some life, but be aware of what she’s doing with hers as well. I’ll be surprised if this shocks anyone, but this is always the first complaint women have about bad kissers. You’re kissing her, for goodness sake, not performing a tonsillectomy.
  2. Timing is key: Especially with that (somewhat) startling statistic above about first kiss impressions, this is important to remember. Don’t kiss her at that all you can eat fish fry. Instead, wait until you drop her off at her place when you walk her to the door. Have mints on deck and at the ready. The same goes for subsequent kisses after the first. Always be aware of the setting and her comfort levels with PDA (if applicable).
  3. Use your hands: HOLD ON. Hold on just a second. There’s two very essential and important ways to do this, and I don’t recommend deterring much from either, especially if it’s among the first couple kisses. First, when initiating the kiss, pick her chin up lightly with your hand. When you begin to kiss, lightly place your hands on her cheeks. Run your fingers through her hair. Lightly. Second, lightly place your hands on her lower back (not her butt, perv) and draw her hips lightly towards you. Much like the “A-Frame” technique mentioned above, bringing the hips together will increase desire and drive dramatically.
  4.  Go 90% of the way: Any Will Smith fans out there? Hitch said it best, but I’ll give it a try. Often guys are far too aggressive when kissing a women. This is exclusively true for the first couple kisses. Why? Because dudes get nervous. No offense ladies, but it’s often the man in the equation that is responsible with initiating the kiss. It can be intimidating. So, as Hitch encourages, do 90% of the work and let her come the other 10%. If she truly wants you, that’s very little effort to give. And if she doesn’t:
  5. Listen to her: Not only the words she speaks, but also listen to her body. Listen to her breathing. Listen to her cooing. Try to find some subtle hints that what you’re doing is right, or something she’s enjoying. If you’re unsure, sincerely ask her when you’re not in the middle of getting down to business. Does it sound lame? Maybe. But both men and women are brilliantly wrapped enigmas that are more or less uncrackable. Listen. Also, kiss her on the neck. Rumor on the street is women love that.

Kissing can be overwhelming, but don’t let it overcome you. Kissing can make you nervous, but don’t lose your cool. Kissing can be scary, but not as scary as the idea of doing it completely wrong and disappointing your lover. Don’t let it get you down. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t hold back (within reason).

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Because we all want to be loved, we all want to be held, and we all, so desperately, want that fireworks kiss.

Go get yours.

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Featured photo credit: Kissing / Huffington Post via i.huffpost.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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