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Remember These 9 Things When Life Gets Rough

Remember These 9 Things When Life Gets Rough

John Lennon once famously said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” in his song “Beautiful Boy” And indeed, a lot of times, life doesn’t exactly turn the way we foresee it to. It seems like everything is going fine, and all of a sudden the panic button strikes. You find everything tumbling around you. Life and the idea of it being a beautiful journey, don’t click together. For many of us, life becomes a daunting task and with every breath, it appears we’re trying to evade the never-ending sequence of melancholies.

But is life really all about dealing with every new problem flung upon us? Can’t we escape the pain and suffering, popping in front of us, in different forms? The answer is no. You may have to face hurdles frequently in life. But it’s totally upon you to let those hurdles make your life rough or go on living life as a beautiful journey. How? Well, you have to remember the following nine things when life gets rough.

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1. If you believe and work for it, everything is possible.

You may think of it as a cliché, but if you keep the faith and work hard for your cause, you are destined to achieve. Your dreams may be pretty big and you may feel you’ll never make it. But what’s the point in always whining and fearing things won’t go well, before you’ve even started? If you work hard, you’ll surely move ahead. If things don’t seem to go well, remember what Christopher Reeve told us: “Once you choose hope, anything is possible”.

2. Life is very short.

Stevie Wonder said “Time is long and life is short”. This is exactly how life is. It is very short for us to achieve all the things we’d ever wanted to. Remembering this thing will help us in many ways in our life. Since life is short, you don’t have to achieve each and everything you look around. You may not be able to achieve a certain few things and that’s fine, you were not supposed to do everything. And, there’s no point in worrying too much about this short life, feeling miserable even when the slightest of problems appear. Constantly worrying about and over-analyzing things in this short life won’t help you much.

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3. Failures are the pillar of success.

Keep this thing in mind that Michael Jordan said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” You don’t have to succeed in whatever you pursue all at once. More often than not, you’re bound to fail in your first attempt. Don’t be heartbroken and quit. Although you didn’t succeed, you certainly learned a thing or few in the attempts you made towards getting the job done. So work hard and with more determination next time. You’ll surely get to the finish line.

4. When one door closes, another opens.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” This is what Alexander Graham Bell said, and it portrays how most of us think when something has gone wrong. Remembering this thing will certainly help most of us if things aren’t working well. We’ll never achieve all the things we wanted in life and sometimes, something that has gone, is gone for once and forever. There’s no point in making own life miserable, remembering the same thing over and over. It’s better to have a keen look over what positives we can find in life and embrace the beauty of life with the newly opened door.

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5. There’s no short-cut to success.

One of the common things that makes our life rough is that we want to achieve so many things in a very limited time. But believe me, it won’t work out that way. You may have learned about or even read the books like “Learn to play guitar in a week” or “master Spanish in three days”. But, you may have already experienced it, such things will never work out. The fact that help us to attain some skills or provide some knowledge can’t be denied but what they sell you, claiming to make you an expert in such a limited time, just will not work out. Same is the thing with life. Your biggest dreams will take a long time to be fulfilled, sometimes even all your life. So forget about building Rome in a day.

6. Avoid constant comparison with others.

You may find your salary far less than others. Your friend always scores better grades than you. Your sister is more beautiful than you. We are always making such comparisons. Sometimes, we make the comparison with people at the top of the trade, like comparing our guitar skills with Eric Clapton. It’s one thing to be motivated by the success of others and set a mark for ourselves to reach. But always comparing with others and feeling worthless is not just good at all. What you need to remember is that everyone has got strengths and weaknesses, and you may not make it to the top or you’ll take a little more time. There’s lot of competition out there, so it’s better to take a realistic approach to life, improving gradually with every stride.

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7. Life is a journey, not a destination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And, it is a very important quote to remember if we want a happy and prosperous life for ourselves. A lot of times, we imagine ourselves at the end of the road, when we have achieved everything. But when we are trying to walk along the path, we don’t have much motivation for it. We are constantly thinking about the glory and the prize. But what you should remember is that honors are just what others offered to you, experience is what you really garnered for yourself. This way, we’ll enjoy life at every step and even the most arduous tasks seem easier to complete.

8. Don’t worry about what others think.

It’s a common problem for most of us that we are always conscious of what others think of us. This is a big hurdle for us, preventing us from fulfilling our dreams and enjoying the life. We want to do a new thing, but the thoughts occurs to us “What if I am not successful?”, “How shall others react when they know about it?” and “Will it really make them happy?” You don’t have to live your life pleasing others all the while. What others think about you just doesn’t matter. If you’re always held back by such things, you’ll never be able to get through a task and fulfill your dreams.

9. Nothing lasts forever.

Life is full of ups and downs. It doesn’t always work out how you had planned. What to do when such cases arise? Remember “Nothing lasts forever.” Not even your worries and troubles. This may not exactly help you solve the problem, but it will most certainly help you move along in the darkest of times. If you just can’t get things happen how hard you try, what’s the point worrying? And if, you can do something about it, why to worry after all?

Featured photo credit: Thumbs up for 4 day weekends via flickr via flickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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