9.a) How to set boundaries
Took my best friend of 8 years to reveal himself to be a total asshole (rather, he was always an asshole but I kept making excuses for him). I realised that I let him do all of these things and trample all over me before I decided that it was enough. I genuinely think this is something that I always understood but never had the confidence to stand up to. It really came down to the realisation that its okay to put myself first and that I don't owe anything to anyone. I learned that I have the power to control my universe and I should never be ashamed of that.
b) How to talk to the opposite sex
This was more about becoming comfortable with the opposite sex rather than specifically learning how to do this. If you've ever had a fun conversation with anyone, you're capable of doing it with someone you're attracted to. Its just about not getting in your head and being comfortable because the truth is, all of these superficial things won't stop someone who's attracted to you from talking to you. You have to focus on being the most attractive version of yourself and being comfortable expressing interest in someone.
This isn't easy and takes a lot of time. Don't rush things and focus on making it fun and becoming more and more comfortable with these kinds of situations. The journey is more important than the destination when it comes to this, especially when you figure out how to make it fun and how to make it work for you. I'm 26 but I feel like I'm discovering girls for the first time and having so much fun (and heartbreak!) with it.
c) How to take care of my appearance and personal hygiene
This was about taking pride in my appearance and wanting to be the best possible version of myself. I learned how to buy clothes that fit in a flattering way mostly by just watching what other people were dressed in and taking mental notes of what I like and don't like. I learned basic colour matching based on combinations of colours and skin tone. This is pretty basic to understand and actually comes quite intuitively to most people once you know what to look for as certain colour combinations are aesthetically pleasing.
I also learned the importance of appearance and impression at my job as it will significantly affect how people treat you. I want to be respected so I will portray myself how I think someone respectful should. That's why even the little things matter to me now.
Finally, personal hygiene should be a no-brainer to anyone that has spent time with someone that has really bad BO, smelly breath.
d) How to eat healthily
I became pretty deeply depressed 3 summers ago and gained 30 pounds. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself because I had no control over my life anymore (that's how it felt at the time) and take back control of whatever I could. At the time, all I was doing was eating and sleeping then so I decided to focus on controlling what I eat. This began with educating myself and the biggest thing that helped me was reframing the exercise from a "diet" to a mindset adjustment. I researched nutrition and educated myself on what I was putting in my body which helped me re-adjust my relationship with food as I became more mindful.
I then also decided to re-learn what foods I really like and what foods I eat because its just there. I discovered I don't have a sweet tooth (thank god!) and prefer more savoury stuff. Then I realised I didn't really miss milk and cereal anymore. I wasn't really bothered by not having fizzy drinks. Its all about slowly experimenting with your diet and figuring out what you can do without and what you really enjoy.
I did all of this while logging all my calories and drinking lots of water and managed to lose quite a bit of weight (I've lost another 35 pounds since then). I also learned how to be okay with being hungry. Its really not complicated, the difficulty comes with sticking with it every day and also forgiving yourself for when you slip up.
e) How to socialise
I have my hobby and my old shitty job to thank for that. Put yourself in the position to meet lots of people and try to speak to as many as you can, every time pushing out of your comfort zone a little further. Find people that share your passion so its easy to talk to them but then try to get to know them as people. Learn how to be comfortable around others and never be embarrassed for being who you are.
Learn from observing others and try to understand what about them that you like and try to emulate it. Watch stand up comedians or funny presenters on how to tell a good story. I think what really helped me was the mentality of "I'll probably never see this person again so what does it matter what they think". As a rough guideline, I think its always a good idea to try to match other peoples level of enthusiasm as a guideline and always try to be fun and positive.
I think the overarching principles here are that you pride and confidence in yourself, really get to know yourself, have fun whatever you do and learn from your mistakes. Its not an easy path if this isn't something that got taught to you already but the nice thing is that if you take it step by step, eventually it'll start snowballing and the rest comes a lot easier.
Phew... this was a lot longer than I thought it would be, I hope it helps.
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