When you have low self-confidence, it creates a barrier that blocks your chances for success in relationships.
If this applies to you, how can you overcome it?
Here are 11 key tips for opening yourself up to relationships when you are self-conscious.
1) Understand the root of your insecurities
The first thing to do if you want to open yourself up to relationships is to understand the root of your insecurities.
The root of your insecurities may be coming from a past experience or relationship.
In order to change that, you need to understand the root of your insecurities.
Then, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to do in order to overcome them.
For example, if your ex cheated on you, it could have made you feel like men don’t stick around.
If this is the case and it’s continuing to affect your relationships now, then there are some things you can do about it.
You could start working on yourself and make some changes before meeting someone new.
Sometimes, working with a therapist on these issues can really help you identify these root causes and heal them much quicker.
There is a saying that goes something like this: “If you don’t heal your wounds, you will bleed on people who didn’t cut you.”
The same applies here. As long as you don’t heal those root causes for your insecurities, they will keep sabotaging your future relationships and keeping you from fully opening up!
Knowing what your insecurities are and how they are affecting you will help you understand how they are blocking your chances for success in relationships.
For example, if you have a fear of abandonment, this could be keeping you from connecting with people and making them feel like they will eventually leave you.
If this is the case, then understanding this insecurity will help you figure out the best way to handle it and get past it.
2) Identify your fear and bring it to the light
The first step to dealing with your self-consciousness is identifying your fear.
It could be a fear of rejection or a fear of being judged, but the important thing is that you identify it.
You will then be able to take steps to bring it into the light and tackle it head-on.
For example, let’s say you’re afraid of rejection.
You should work on figuring out how to speak with people so they can’t see how nervous you are.
Practice in front of a mirror and do some role-playing with close friends who will help you get through the hard parts of the conversation.
Also, try not to think too much about what other people are thinking or feeling when they talk to you–the best way is just to focus on yourself as much as possible.
You should also make sure that your self-esteem doesn’t depend on others.
If someone rejects you, don’t take it personally because it’s not about you–it’s about them.
They have their own issues that affect how they interact with people, so don’t take their rejection as a reflection of who you are as a person.
And remember that the more confident you feel about yourself, the less likely someone else rejecting you will affect your feelings of self-worth.
3) Work on yourself and find your purpose
Another great way to open yourself up to relationships is by finding your purpose.
You see, a person with purpose is confident and someone people want to be around.
And let’s be honest: who wouldn’t want to improve themselves?
I know I do.
The problem is that there are far too many fake gurus out there ready to sell you unrealistic and ineffective solutions for improving your life by becoming a “better version” of yourself.
They want you to meditate, radiate “positive vibrations” and visualize the life of your dreams. They say this will make it come true.
Here’s the crazy thing:
Visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backward into time-wasting, idle fantasy, and frustration.
But it’s hard to open yourself up to relationships when you’re being hit with so many Instagram influencers telling you how a special kind of yoga, diet, or incense will transform your life.
You can end up trying so hard and not finding the answers you need that your life and dreams begin to feel hopeless.
You want solutions, but all you’re being told is to create a perfect utopia inside your own mind. It doesn’t work.
I want you to turn off all the noise for a second and get back to absolute basics.
What are you here for?
Before you can experience a real change, you need to really know your purpose.
I learned about the power of purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.
Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus, who sold him on visualization and positive thinking. It left him lost and confused.
That’s why he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, who taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life and everything around you.
After watching the video, I discovered my purpose in life and it completely busted through the issues I was having with loneliness and feeling useless.
This new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to open myself up to relationships!
4) Be mindful of your body language
Your body language is a big part of your self-confidence and can affect how you are perceived by those around you.
If you slouch, cross your arms, look down, or try to put up a shield by hiding behind something, people will perceive this as a lack of confidence.
One way to overcome this is to make sure that when you walk into a room, you have an open stance to project your strengths instead of trying to hide them.
When sitting, sit up straight and think about standing tall with your shoulders back. This will help make you seem more confident.
Body language will not only project confidence to other people, but it will also actually make you feel better, too!
That’s a classic case of fake it till you make it.
Maybe you’ve heard about the fact that when you smile, your brain releases feel-good hormones, so smiling makes you want to smile more.
It’s similar here. The more confident your body language, the more confident you will actually feel!
Some other ways to be mindful of your body language are:
- don’t close yourself off from other people when talking to them
- face them squarely
- look them in the eyes
These things can be practiced at home in your mirror to help you out!
5) Stop comparing yourself
Comparing yourself to others is a good way to make you feel less confident.
It’s human nature, but that doesn’t mean you should engage in it.
Comparing yourself to someone else can lead to negative thoughts about your appearance, intelligence, and so on.
So, stop comparing yourself to others and focus on building up your own self-confidence instead.
How can you stop comparing yourself?
Well, I just mentioned comparison is human nature, so there is no way not to compare yourself to people around you.
The key part here is to keep your thoughts in check.
Whenever you have a comparing thought, try to make it positive.
Instead of thinking “Oh my god, she’s so fit, I feel so fat in comparison.” think “Wow, she is so fit, she must have worked hard, maybe I can achieve that, too!”
Or instead of “He has so much money, I’m a loser.”, think “He is so successful, that means it might be possible, for me, too.”
You see, we often think someone else’s success is our failure, but that’s not the case at all! It’s quite the contrary, actually.
If someone else is successful, it means that you have a lot of opportunities for success, too!
So try to look at other people’s success as a way for you to achieve your own success.
And remember, you are not the only person in the world.
There are a lot of other people who feel exactly how you feel, so don’t be ashamed of feeling insecure. It happens to everyone!
6) Accept compliments graciously
One of the first things you can do to open yourself up to relationships is learning how to accept a compliment.
This may sound simple, but when you have low self-confidence, it’s difficult not to deflect the compliment and make excuses.
Learning how to receive a compliment graciously will set the tone for your interactions with others and allow you to build rapport more easily.
If someone tells you that you are beautiful and you feel like shrinking away from that person, it may be helpful to say: “Thank you! You look great too.”
This response shows them that they are being acknowledged as well as allowing you not to have an awkward moment.
The way people react to compliments actually says a lot about their confidence level.
If someone’s self-esteem is very low, they will:
- laugh off compliments
- deny compliments
- deflect compliments (not as beautiful as you, though!)
Accepting a compliment with a simple “Thank you, that is so sweet of you to say” will make you seem confident almost instantly.
7) Be a good listener
Being a good listener is a great way to make connections with people.
People are far more likely to want to get to know you if they feel like they’re being listened to.
When someone is speaking, try your best to give them your full attention and really listen.
Pay close attention to what they say and how they say it. This can be hard when you’re self-conscious, but it’s worth the effort!
If you really listen and show that you care about what they have to say, the other person will be much more inclined to open up to you in return.
Plus, this is often an easier step for self-conscious people, as it allows them to observe more than to speak, which can be helpful at times.
8) Don’t be too needy
One of the best ways to open yourself up to relationships is by not being too needy.
This means you need to find a balance between being independent and relying on the other person for things.
For example, if you’re going out with your partner and they want to spend a night with their friends, let them.
If you want to be with them, say: “I would love to spend the night with you, but I understand that you want to hang out with your friends. Why don’t we get together tomorrow?”
This way, they know that you’re not upset that they want to be with their friends (which is a great thing!) and they can go have fun without having to worry about how it’ll make you feel.
You see, people will still want to spend some time alone from time to time, and that says nothing about how this person feels about you.
When you let them have their freedom, you will actually draw them closer.
Funnily enough, clinging to someone only pushes them away.
The point is that neither one of you should be wholly dependent on the other person. Doing this allows both people to feel more comfortable and less pressured.
9) Realize that you’re worthy
One of the first things to do when you’re struggling with self-confidence is to realize that you deserve love.
The more time you spend on yourself, the more you will appreciate your own worth.
You are worthy of happiness and you deserve to be loved.
So give this gift to yourself by taking care of yourself, pursuing your dreams, and investing in what you desire.
Treat yourself as a priority and show up for life as your best every day.
Spend time caring for your body, mind, and spirit.
This will help you feel confident in who you are and love the life that’s been given to you. It starts with looking after yourself first!
When you don’t put any effort into yourself, you are basically showing the world how to treat you, which is poorly.
However, if you know your own worth enough to take great care of your body and mind, you won’t accept any less from future partners, which immediately makes you more attractive.
10) Know that dating is a process
First and foremost, make sure you know that dating is a process.
You’re (probably) not going to find someone who’s perfect for you in your first 10 minutes of searching.
It can take weeks or even months for people to find the right person for them, so set aside some time to date and be patient.
Dating is not necessarily always about meeting your future husband or wife.
Although that might be your ultimate goal, try to shift your mindset and start seeing every single date, good or bad, as an experience that is teaching you more about life.
Dating is about meeting people who you can learn from and who will teach you to be a better person.
Remember that every single person you meet has something to offer you.
You’re not just out there to meet someone, but also to meet yourself.
So, even if the date is going badly, try not to judge it as a failure at that moment.
Instead, use it as an opportunity to grow as a person and gain some valuable life experience!
11) Give people time to get to know you
One way to help open yourself up is to give people time to get to know you.
It can be hard for people when they don’t feel like they have enough time to get to know you.
Give them the chance to get comfortable with you and show them who you really are.
Especially self-conscious people tend to go into dating with an all-or-nothing mentality and if the other person doesn’t reciprocate their feelings after 2 dates, they feel horrible and end things.
Give them some time!
In my own experience, I didn’t properly fall in love with my partner until 3 months into dating!
Sure, I really liked him but I didn’t know I wanted to commit.
Well, now we’ve been together many years, so in the end, it was worth it!
So don’t stress yourself too much if on the first few dates they don’t profess their love to you just yet.
You got this!
I know dating can be hard, especially when you’re self-conscious, but you got this!
Just remember that you’re not alone and the sooner you start to get out there, the better!
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
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