“Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed.” ~Channing Pollock
How is high self-esteem different from arrogance?
Submitted by a Reader:
I was a shy and insecure kid and teenager, but the older I get, the more self-confidence I have. It didn’t come easy, though. I worked hard to get here and I work hard to stay here. I work out and eat right, and I have a job I really love. I’m in a good relationship and I’m thinking of getting married and starting a family in the near future.
After years of feeling like I just wasn’t good enough, I feel great about myself finally, and I’m not afraid to let my confidence shine through. This is working great for me and I am mostly really happy with life.
But here’s the problem. My mom and my sister seem to think I’ve become “really full of myself.” They are always making snide comments about how I need to be humble and how I shouldn’t “brag:” so much. I don’t brag, I just tell them the good things that are happening in my life. I am trying to stay positive like you suggest because I want my life to keep getting better.
But these two are always saying I have to “face my issues,” which I have done already. I just don’t want to focus on them. They are just sooo negative and I don’t know how to make them stop acting that way. What can I do to change the way they treat me? Or do you think I am the one in the wrong here?
First, let me congratulate you on your emerging self-confidence! I know how hard it can be to overcome insecurity, and I applaud you for taking charge and making positive changes in your life.
Now, as far as your mom and your sister go, the first thing you need to recognize is that, most likely, the reason they can’t be happy for you and your newfound confidence is that they, themselves, are insecure for some reason. Your success most likely makes them more aware of their own failures or insecurities.
It’s also important to know that it’s not your responsibility to help them feel better about themselves. You can definitely offer support and compliments whenever possible, but unless they have the desire to make positive changes within themselves, your input will only go so far.
So, my suggestion to you is to focus on your own perceptions, both of them and of yourself. Continue to work on feeling good about yourself and your life, and don’t allow anyone else to define you. You get to decide who you are, and you do not have to accept negative perceptions from anyone else.
As I told another reader who was struggling with feelings of unworthiness, your mother and sister aren’t alone–approximately 85 percent of all people have felt like they weren’t good enough at one time or another. It’s a common and unfortunate phenomenon in our society, one that you dealt with yourself in the past.
Rather than let their feelings of inferiority affect you, try just acknowledging them and moving forward. So, the next time you hear a snide remark about yourself, just let it pass. You don’t need to defend yourself–this only adds fuel to their unhappy fire. Instead, just focus on something that makes you feel good.
It can be really tough to handle negativity from the people you love, especially when you’re on such a positive track yourself. It’s human nature to want to share your joy with the people around you, and it can be disheartening when they’re not willing to be happy for you.
Just remember that no one else can define you. Not only do you get to do that yourself, but you don’t have to accept anyone else’s definition either.
As writer Peter Murphy says, “Just because someone is concerned for your welfare does not mean that their advice or input has value.”
You can also change your expectations. Remember that we get what we expect–so if you expect your mother and sister to be negative, they’re sure to give it to you. Try changing the way you feel about them. While you can’t directly change another person, you can focus on the good things about them as much as possible, and you might notice a positive change in them too.
In the end, try to stop worrying so much about what other people think and focus instead on how you feel. That’s when you’ll truly find peace.
So, how about you? How do you handle negativity from the people you love?
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“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Enhance Your Relationship: 7 Strategies to Show Love for Your Partner
Are you feeling bored in a monogamous relationship? Is it that you really aren’t attracted to your partner, or is it that you’ve both stopped dating each other? How would you like to feel closer to your him?
When you open your mind to the idea of having a more meaningful love relationship, you can experience some amazing things together and build a love that’s strong and ever-lasting.
Imagine what it would mean to you to know you’re forging a solid base with the love of your life.
Follow these tips to show your love and strengthen your connection:
Listen well. When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you might tend toward occasionally tuning out your partner. So, staying focused and listening when your lover is sharing something is one of the best ways to enhance your closeness.
When your partner starts talking, stop what you’re doing, turn toward them, make eye contact, and listen.
Acknowledge. Show that you hear your partner by saying things like, “Uh-huh,” “yes,” “I didn’t know that,” or “I hear what you’re saying.”
Pay attention. From your partner’s facial expression, how do you think they might be feeling? Do their shoulders seem to be sagging a bit today? What things make your partner smile, or even laugh out loud? Simply by observing, you can learn a lot.
Plan special time together each day. Let your partner know you love them by designating time daily to do something together. Eating dinner at the table is likely a common occurrence, but you could also play some cards after dinner for an hour or so or do some other activity together that you enjoy.
Maybe you share a love of the outdoors. Taking a walk is a great way to spend a half-hour or more talking and holding hands each day.
During these shared times, make an effort to talk about things you want to do and your dreams for the future.
Make quick contact, even when you’re busy. Although you both may work a lot, making quick contacts through the day can be great for your relationship. There are a myriad of ways to stay in touch.
You can make a quick phone call, send a funny or sexy text, or send an e-mail just to say, “Hi,” during your breaks. Take care to follow your company’s rules regarding personal use of phones and e-mails when contacting your partner during the work day.
Brag about your partner within earshot of them. Nothing enhances your connection more than hearing the love of your life telling others how you do something well. So, take the opportunity to share out loud your love’s strong points from time to time.
Talk about how they spiffed up your car or cooked your favorite meal. You can mention how your spouse has a knack for decorating your home or calming the kids, for example.
And don’t forget to tell your partner directly that he’s awesome, too–men love that (and so do women!).
Plan a secret get-away. What if you were to plan an overnight trip to take your art-loving partner to see that new art museum that’s a couple of hours away? Or to stay at a beach cottage for an extended weekend to celebrate their birthday?
Have fun with your undercover planning. You can place “clues” of what your plans are by leaving little hints and notes around the house or send texts that pique their interest in what you’re planning.
Your partner will love the thought that went in to your elaborate “scheme” to have some alone-time together.
Here’s the bottom line: You hold the keys to creating the most intense and loving relationship you’ve ever had. Put these strategies into action now to help build an everlasting bond with the one you love.
“Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.” ― Nicholas Sparks
How to Connect with Your Partner Even if You Feel Distant
The dynamics between distancers and pursuers can complicate any relationship. Both patterns are natural ways of dealing with stress, so it’s really a question of compatibility.
Distancers deal with stress by withdrawing and tend to be men. Pursuers deal with stress by seeking more attention and tend to be women. Ironically, if our partners have a different orientation, both approaches tend to produce the exact opposite results than what we want.
Once you understand that distancing and pursuit aggravate each other, you can make changes that will strengthen your relationship. Select the strategies that match your style.
Wait 3 months. We all tend to be on our best behavior when we start dating someone new. Consciously or unconsciously we may be downplaying the habits that undermined our previous relationships. It may take a few months to see how people usually respond to stressful events.
Empathize with differences. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Imagine how they’re feeling. Respect the choices they make.
Accept accountability. Our happiness depends more on our way of thinking than on any external events. Focus on your own behavior rather than trying to change your partner.
Avoid taking things personally. It’s easy to feel abandoned or put down if the one you love avoids spending time with you or nags you. Realize that it’s their way of coping rather than a statement about you.
Choose to feel connected. We can always decide to feel connected. View your partner with love and concern even in the midst of conflict.
Strategies for Pursuers
Make the first move. Pursuers are likely to feel the most dissatisfaction with a relationship. Take the initiative to change your way of interacting.
Curb your enthusiasm. Your partner may respond to your intensity by drawing away even more. Try talking less and turning down the volume.
Practice small talk. Take a break from heavy issues. Warm up by discussing funny cat videos first.
Spend time apart. Nurture your independence. Take up a hobby. Schedule a night out with friends.
Offer more praise.Nagging rarely produces the results you want. Remind yourself of what you love in your partner. Thank them for making breakfast or picking up the dry cleaning.
Strategies for Distancers
Recognize the risks. Relationships often break up when pursuers find the status quo intolerable. You may need to take action if you want to stay with your partner.
Explain yourself. It may be okay to go on doing the same things as long as you give a little advance notice. Let your partner know you plan to work late or want to watch a ball game Saturday afternoon.
Reach out more. Demonstrate your affection and suggest activities that you can enjoy together. Cook your favorite dinner side by side and watch a romantic movie. Hold hands and kiss each other goodbye.
Share household responsibilities. Take an honest look at how much you’re doing around the house. Clean your rain gutters before your spouse asks you about them. Surprise them by doing a load of laundry when it’s not your turn.
Communicate your needs. Speak to your partner directly and tactfully about what you need. They’ll be likely to regard anything you have to say as being better than getting the silent treatment.
We often have tendencies for both distancing and pursuing, and they emerge in different aspects of our lives. The important thing is to control your behavior and work towards healthier ways of dealing with stress. Your efforts will be rewarded with more loving relationships and greater peace of mind.
Editor’s Note: #SpeakOut is a new series in which we ask a group of people for their opinions on a specific QueenBeeing topic. What follows is an actual online discussion about beautiful women–who is beautiful, who has potential and what people think IS beautiful.
Q. Do you believe any woman can be beautiful if she makes an effort, or are there actually “lost causes” when it comes to appearances, as far as you’re concerned?
Karin O: “Never a lost cause. Beauty comes from within and is deeply imbedded in attitude and confidence. Broken spirits need healing and then the beauty is able to be seen. Outward appearances can be deceiving. You may look beautiful by what ever standard someone is judging you but if the spirit is not well then…”
Bridget:I believe everyone woman is beautiful in their own personal way. No one should ever be considered a lost cause due to her appearance. The true beauty lies inside the mind, body & spirit of each woman. Some woman come by that naturally & know their inner beauty, some take longer to “blossom”. The outside is only a facade, a shell, if you will, of what lies beneath.
Kristopher:Everyone is attractive for different reasons, and everyone is attracted to different people for different reasons. Anyone can alter their appearance to look attractive. Beauty, however, in my opinion is the ability to make the outward person more attractive by letting the true nature of the inner person shine through. Unfortunately, there are some people who just aren’t comfortable with their inner person, or their inner person is a horrible person. Those people, regardless of physical augmentation, are ugly to the core and changing them is hopeless.
Karin O:Kristopher, while I agree with most of what you said, I do believe that everyone is capable of changing that inner person. Many chose not to and are seemingly hopeless, but I believe that if they desire to find a way to be better then there is hope.
Karin J.: I have seen some women with truly unfortunate looks, but that disappears when their faces are lit with joy. I’ve seen truly beautiful women whose looks are marred by the selfishness and entitlement that exudes from every pore. Pretty is as pretty does is not just a cliche!
Bridget:Kristopher, good insight on your comment… up to the point of the last sentence. It’s boils down to a matter of opinion, I suppose. If the topic where murderers, rapists, psychopaths, etc. I’d strongly agree on the word hopeless. However, with regards to this specific issue, of the normal, everyday person and beauty, I’d have to adamantly disagree. The standard person(s), I believe, are capable of change. That’s what we humans do for the most part, adapt (or change) accordingly. With that being said, I do understand your point but also believe beauty lies within every being, in some shape or form.
Now it’s your turn! Can any woman be beautiful if she tries? Share your thoughts in the comments, below, or on your Facebook page.
“Every relationship needs an argument every now and then. Just to prove that it is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.” ~Melchor Lim
All relationships, whether romantic or not, have their fair share of disagreement and conflict. But it’s especially true of familial relationships. It’s challenging to resolve the disagreement and effectively relieve the associated tension. However, resolving conflict is critical to the health of any relationship.
How successful have you been at coming to a mutual agreement when there’s been disagreement?
Try the following ideas the next time conflict arises:
1. Adopt an attitude of seeking a solution – not trying to win. It’s important to keep the goal in mind, and the goal is not to prove that you’re ‘right.’ The goal is to understand the other’s point of view, communicate your own, and then search for a solution that meets both of your needs.
* If the goal is to win, the relationship suffers. In a great relationship, both of you should feel safe expressing your discontent and trust that resolving the issue will make the relationship better.
2. Speak up before something becomes a major issue. If he’s driving you crazy by not replacing the cap on the toothpaste, bring up before it’s happened for the 50th time and you’re on the verge of screaming. We all wish others could read our minds at times, but to date, no one has been proven to have that ability.
* Avoid saving all of your hurts as ammunition to be fired during the next fight. Doing so only makes it more challenging to find middle ground. Bring up the issues as they occur.
3. Be clear about what’s bothering you. Be specific and address the behavior. Saying, “I get upset when you leave your dirty clothes all over the floor. I would be happier if you put them in the hamper.” will go over better than, “Why can’t you pick up your clothes?”
* Address the behavior. Avoid attacking the person. When you attack the person, they will attempt to justify and defend themselves. Little will be resolved this way. Remember that you’re upset by what they are actually doing, so limit your complaint to that.
* What’s the real issue? Exaggerations, generalizations, and half-truths simply create more issues. For example, if your spouse claims to be upset about your traveling for work, maybe they’re really upset about the stagnant status of their own career.
4. Listen to the response. Often times, the person that’s upset isn’t in the mood to listen. If you want to solve your dilemma, you must listen to make progress. Remind the other person to address the behavior and not let it become personal.
5. Now it’s time to seek a solution. After you’ve both had a chance to present your perspective, brainstorm a solution together. Be willing to compromise, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in. Giving in just postpones the fight to another day. Be ready to forgive and move on when a solution is reached.
* Avoid involving others that are part of the disagreement. It really doesn’t matter what your mother thinks or her best friend believes. It’s between the two of you. Strive to keep it that way.
Fighting fair isn’t just the loving thing to do. It’s also the best way to reach an agreement and diffuse the situation. You’ll know that that a good solution has been reached when both parties are satisfied and the issue doesn’t come up again in the future. Make an effort to fight fair and you’ll enjoy stronger, more loving relationships.
What are your best tips for “fighting fairly” in a relationship? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.