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guest post: using confidence to improve relationships

confidence
Photo by D.Ames

 


Today's post was written by Diggy, creator of Flawless Confidence. As you've probably noticed, I haven't been featuring too many guest articles lately, but I couldn't pass up this one by Diggy. When it comes to living a positive and present life, confidence is a must -- and it's something a lot of people struggle with. We're all faced with pressures to be better, different, than we are, but true happiness lies in accepting ourselves and loving who we are. Check out Diggy's article (and site!) for more on how confidence can improve your relationships -- and, as a result, your life!


Increase Your Confidence to Improve Your Relationships

Relationships with other people are one of the most important things we can develop in our lives. They are one of the most time consuming, rewarding investments we can make. Yet many people don’t realize that in order to have optimal relationships with others, we must first have a strong relationship with ourselves. In order to give the most to those you care about, you must first care about, respect, and have confidence in yourself.

People with confidence are more comfortable with stating boundaries, communicating when they are bothered by something, and fighting for what they believe in. It is not uncommon for confident people to earn others’ respect by simply being themselves in difficult situations.

If you are someone who feels that others in your life don’t respect you, or that you fail at developing the kinds of relationships that you want with others, consider how improving your self-confidence and self-esteem might change your outlook, and your ability to impact your interpersonal relationships.


Business and Professional Relationships

People who are not confident can sometimes be taken advantage of, pushed around, or overlooked for life-changing opportunities. In a business setting, confidence can lead to more fully developed partnerships. It can mean promotions, more money, or a more efficient and pleasant work environment.

So, it can literally pay to have confidence in yourself at the workplace! In an impersonal relationship – say, a casual interaction with a store manager when you have a complaint, or a contractor from whom you are receiving an estimate for a job – imparting a strong, confident air can lead to a quick and professional interaction that is satisfying to everyone involved.

Because confident people are sometimes risk takers, they can be viewed as being innovative; and because they have a clear belief in their ability to get the job done, they can be perceived as people who can be trusted. Confident people are rarely disrespected or mistreated. Typically, when a person has confidence in themselves, others around can sense it, and tend to gravitate toward that person as a strong leader.

Think of the people who you consider to be good leaders, whether it’s a parent, friend, coworker, or celebrity. They are likely very confident in themselves and their potential to succeed. So take pride in what you know you do well, and make sure that you display this confident stance to others that you work with – your boss will notice, your coworkers will respect you for it, and you may open some doors for yourself to new friendships or business opportunities.


Friendships and Family Relationships

First and foremost, it can be hard to maintain a high level of self-confidence if you find the people you are closest to you disrespecting you or tearing you down. Evaluate your friends and those closest to you to see how they treat you – do they compliment you and say supportive and kind things, or do they disregard your achievements and belittle your goals?

Negativity is self-perpetuating, and if you want to be more confident in yourself, you will need to surround yourself with positive people. Let the people in your life know that it is important to you that they support your attempts to change your relationships, and show them the confidence you have in them as well. Remember: often people tear others down because they don’t feel good about themselves. You can counteract this by complimenting, supporting, loving, and accepting the people you care about. See if that can change their attitude and approach toward you.

Additionally, having confidence in yourself can attract new and interesting people into your life. People want to surround themselves with other people they see as positive, and if you give off an air of positivity and loving support, it may be easier for you to make new friends. When meeting someone for the first time, giving off an impression of insecurity can lead people to believe you are needy or won’t be able to support them as a friend when they need it, and the relationship may not blossom. However, being confident can instill in people the attitude that you will bring something valuable to the friendship, and you will be able to develop a relationship with them.


Intimate and Personal Relationships

Attracting new, interesting people into your life may start the two of you off as friends and then work its way into a business or personal relationship – depending on what you’re looking for. If you are trying to begin a new intimate relationship with someone, you will impress them by being confident in your abilities, your skills, and your knowledge. This doesn’t mean boasting about achievements or showing off talents (confidence is not the same as arrogance). But it does mean that if you can show the person you’re interested in that you believe in yourself, they will also believe in you.

Setting boundaries, stating strong opinions, and being willing to listen and learn from others are all ways to show belief in yourself, and in your interest in growing as a person. By showing your romantic interest that you are secure in your individuality you will keep them interested in you. They may wonder what gives you your inner strength and how you use that strength to better others around you. Use any opportunity given to learn from your sweetheart. Rather than seeing your lack of knowledge as a “weakness” or “insecurity,” they will likely be impressed by your willingness to learn, trust in their expertise, and confidence in your own potential.

If you’re already in a relationship, you can use confidence to build up and strengthen it so it can be happier, healthier, and more intimate. Again, one of the best things you can do is give what you expect to get – so be loving, supporting, and complimentary to your significant other. Be communicative about what you want and ask what it is they want from you. When you tell your sweetheart that you believe in him or her, he or she will be able to support and believe in you as well.

Passion is bred by mutual respect and understanding, and confidence that you’re doing the right thing by investing time and emotion into a relationship with another person is a sure way to lead to invigorating passion. You can install that confidence in the other person by being confident in yourself.



About The Author: Diggy is a confident, successful young man who is his own boss, travels the world and has fantastic friends and relationships. He uses his own experience to teach others how to be confident and even has a special section with confidence tips for women. If you want to become more confident or even super confident, subscribe to Diggy's Flawless Confidence newsletter.


positively present picks: week of july 23, 2012

 


 

 

 

 

 

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"Progress is impossible without change,
and those who cannot change their minds
cannot change anything."


George Bernard Shaw 



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TED Books : short, electronic books (discovered via SwissMiss)

We Love Typography : the go-to site for all you type addicts

The Internet Flowchart : a perfect depiction of my daily routine

Tiny Wisdom Ebook Series : advice for everything. so awesome! 

Letters to My Younger Self : my letter was featured. yay! 

Best of Draw Something : such talented iPhone artists

Work Happy Now book : struggling at work? check this out. 

7 Lessons on Living Right from Stephen Covey : excellent advice

Summer swing : I'd like to spend my life sitting here


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube.


"October"  –  The Helio Sequence
"Cotton Flower"  –  Future Islands
"All of Me"  –  Tanlines
"Handwritten"  –  The Gaslight Anthem
"Unwanted"  –  The Strange Familiar
"Walk with Me"  –  Memoryhouse
"Octopus"  –  Bloc Party 
"Stars"  –  Grace Potter & the Noturnals 
"Fairytale"  –  Sara Bareilles
"Carried Away"  –  Passion Pit
"Hands in the Air"  –  Timbaland
"Storms"  –  Best Coast
"Can't Bring Me Down"  –  Megan Joy 



 

The Paris Wife: A Novel
Paula McLain

The Designer's Desktop Manual
Jason Simmons 

Ariel: The Restored Edition
Sylvia Plath 


how to have hope in a broken world

 

 

 

Over the weekend, one of the deadliest mass shootings took place at a "The Dark Knight Rises" movie showing. Though I live far from Aurora, Colorado, where the shooting took place, I was deeply moved by tragedy. Sadly, this wasn't the first mass shooting I'd heard about on the news -- I still can recall those broadcasts flashing images of Columbine, the DC Sniper, VA Tech -- but this one seemed different. Perhaps the nature of where it took place is what left me so stunned. A movie theatre is a place for enjoyment -- and, more importantly, for escape from the troubles of the real world -- and to have something so horrific happen in a place of imagination and escape just seems even more tragic. 

When seemingly senseless tragedies like this occur, it's hard to stay positive. Random acts of violence make seeing the good in the world increasingly difficult. In general, it's difficult to stay focused on what's going right when the news often focuses on what's going wrong. With all the negative stories being shown on the news -- all that heartache and loss and tragedy -- it's hard to have hope. It's hard to believe that, in spite of all the madness and chaos, there is goodness in the world.

After hearing of the horrific incident that took place at "The Dark Knight Rises," I found my own hope waning. How could I be hopeful about my own future when there was so much darkness in the world? How could I see the light when constantly barraged with images of negativity and hate? And, perhaps more importantly, how could I share my message of positivity when I was failing to feel hopeful myself? 

The other night I found myself in bed, alone in the dark, imagining the terror those people in the movie theater must have experienced. I felt a rush of fear, tainted with immense sadness. I opened my eyes and noticed light from a streetlamp slipping through the slants in the blinds, painting a faint yellow light across the wall. It wasn't a lot of light, but it was enough to brighten the room. In that moment, I realized: even in the darkness, light can shine unexpectedly. Even in this broken world, hope can light up our lives. 

The key is to let hope in. Even when things are tough -- even when they seem terrible -- we have to have hope. Without it, it's much too easy to be overtaken by negativity. Without hope, we'll live forever in the darkness, never noticing that light slanting across even the darkest of times. The world is undoubtedly broken -- mass shootings, war, heartbreak, and pain -- but, as John Green said, hope is not crazy. It is necessary. 

 

How to Have Hope (Even in a Broken World)

 

Notice kindness in others. With all the negativity in the media, it's can be hard to believe people are actually good. But they are. Look around and identify the kind acts you see. Pay attention to the doors being held, the favors being done, the smiles being shared. Make a list if you can. In every day, there is kindness, goodness -- you just have to look for it. Choosing to notice the good will make you feel hopeful and will remind you that, in spite of the darkness, there are little glimpses of light. 


Be grateful for this life.
Cliche as it is, the old "every day is a gift" saying rings with truth. Tragedies like the one that took place over the weekend remind us of life's uncertainty. We really don't know what day will be our last. Now, before you let that idea bum you out, make the choice to see it in a positive light. The unexpectedness of life should not cause you fear; instead, it should inspire you to be thankful for every day, every moment, you're alive. Each moment is a opportunity and to realize that is to have hope.


Avoid negative-only news.
Most news sources focus primarily on the negative things that have happened over a course of a day. It's important to stay well-informed, but it's just as important not to let the news suck all the hope from your life. If you must watch/read the news, supplement it with some positive news (like Happy News or Daily Good). Seeking out positive news stories and focusing on them will encourage a sense of hopefulness, a belief that goodness really is out there (even if we have to look a little harder for it). 


Be enthusiastic about life.
The more you love about your life, the more hope you'll have. If you enjoy what you do, who you're around, and how you feel about yourself, you'll be much more hopeful when faced with negativity. Make an effort to be enthusiastic about life. Spend time doing what you love. Spend time with people you love. The things that matter most to you are the things that will help you embrace hope when times are tough; these are the things that will inspire you to believe in the good. 

 

Even days later, I struggle to shake the sadness and fear I felt when I first heard about the shooting at "The Dark Knight Rises." Perhaps I will never shake the feelings completely. But I know now that I have hope -- and that's not something to take lightly. Hope shines its light in even the darkest corners. Hope is essential to living a positive life, to believing that, in spite of all this chaos and pain, there is goodness. Hope is not always easy to hang on to; like light slanting through a window, it's not something we can easily grasp. But we must do what we can to hold on to it -- to believe it in. As Tyler Knott Gregson said: "Please hold on to your hope. It is in such limited supply around the world these days. Hold on to it and be proud that you are one of the ones that does." 


positively present picks: week of july 16, 2012

feelings

 

 

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“The very things that held you down
are gonna carry you up and up and up!”
 

Timothy Q. Mouse
in Dumbo



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Typewich : type + sandwiches -- love it!

Poketo : a great shop with great design-y products (especially these!)

Pink Olive : my new favorite online find (would love this + this + this ...)

Plenty of Colour : check this out if you're color-obsessed like I am

Autumn Obsession : it's time for me to get inappropriately obsessed with fall! 

Shark Bite Cupcakes : so cute for upcoming Shark Week

Jane McGonigal's TED Talk : really made me think! thanks, Liz, for sharing this! 

CD Sea by Bruce Munro : amazing art installation 

Wevther : I've seriously been waiting for this my whole life!

 


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube.


"Settle Down"  –  No Doubt
(YAY! They're back!)


"Runaways"  –  The Killers
"Set Me on Fire"  –  Missy Higgins
"Now Is the Start"  –  A Fine Frenzy
"1957"  –  Milo Greene
"Waste"  –  Foster the People
"Palomino"  –  Mates of State
"Live Your Life"  –  Yuna
"The Same Tattoos"  –  Fences
"Flowers in Your Hair"  –  The Lumineers
"Gravity"  –  Barnaby Bright
"Sun Hands"  –  Local Natives


 

Hope: A Tragedy
Shalom Auslander

The Great Perhaps
Joe Meno 


how to keep the main thing, the main thing

the main thing



Stephen Covey's words of wisdom -- "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." -- are certainly poignant, but it's not always so simple to identify the main thing -- or keep it the main thing. With so many aspects of life to balance -- work, relationships, the pursuit of personal passions -- it's no wonder that that main thing often gets lost amidst the lengthy to-do lists and the impromptu must-do's. 

But Covey has a point. For each of us, there should be a main thing -- the thing that fuels us, that motivates us, that keeps us engaged and interested in life. The main thing could be a hobby, a career, even a relationship (though I wouldn't advise making another person your main thing...). Your main thing could be a state of mind, a life-long dream, a career path. No matter what your main thing is, we should all strive to keep the main thing, the main thing. Easier said than done, right? Below are some ideas for identifying the main thing -- and keeping it the main thing -- in your life. 

 

3 Methods for Maintaining the Main Thing 

 

1. Evaluate your current situation. 

Think about how you spend your time. Think about the people in your life. Are these things exciting you? Motivating you? Are they in tune with the path you want to be on? If not, what does excite you? What makes you want to get up in the morning with a big smile on your face? If that's not what you're doing every single day, then you're missing out on the main thing and it's time to make some changes. Remember: no one is going to make the main thing your priority for you. It's up to you to identify what makes you thrilled to be alive -- your main thing -- and it's up to you to make sure you prioritize it in your life. 

 

2. Make it part of your daily routine. 

If you want your main thing to stay in focus, you've got to put it where you can see it. Don't put it off until someday -- or even until the weekends. Make sure you do what you feel passionate about every single day. Pencil it in on your calendar. Schedule it as a meeting. Do whatever you need to do to make time for the main thing in your life. If you don't actively find a way to incorporate the main thing into your life on a regular basis, it will become out of focus, blurry, and it will become less and less of a priority for you. If you want the main thing to be the main thing, you have to keep it in the forefront. Zoom in on it daily. 

 

3. Create a to-don't list. 

Make a list of things that do (or could) get in the way of the main thing. Are any of the things on the list currently part of your life? If they are, stop doing/seeing/being them -- or minimize them if you can't cut them out altogether. Anything standing n the way of your main thing is essentially standing in the way of you. While I’d recommend directing your attention to how to incorporate more of your main thing into your life (positive over negative!), knowing what will stand in the way of the main thing is also important when it comes to keeping the main thing, the main thing.

 

Of course, keeping the main thing -- whatever that might be -- the main thing is difficult with all of life's distractions and detours. It will take effort, perseverance, and determination to keep the main thing in focus. But life's short. Don't you want what matters most to you to be what you spend most of your time and energy on? I certainly do. Don't waste any more time on the sideshows, on the things that don't really mean that much to you. Life is short. Keep the main thing, the main thing.