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10 Things To Remember If You Are In Love With An Only Child

10 Things To Remember If You Are In Love With An Only Child

Being an only child myself, and having been in love, I know that we can be quite difficult to be in a relationship in. But there’s a good reason for this, when we were growing up, we spent a lot of time by ourselves and so we’ve had lesser interactions than those who have had siblings. It is probably one of the main reasons why we developed our social skills much later on in life.

But saying that, we do have some unique characteristic traits which can only be found in those who have no siblings. And to help you unravel these gems so you can see our true selves, here are 10 things that you need to remember if you are in love with an only child.

1. We want to be appreciated and adored

When we were growing up, our parents made us the centre of their attention. So we were well loved and admired during our childhood years and we carried this weight of expectation in our  relationships. This can be burden to many people who are in a relationship with an only child. But you should not let this put you off. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolved around us. It will take a while for us to get used to this notion, but we’ll get the hang of it.

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2. We want to be part of a big family

As you’d expect, when we were growing up, it was just me, mum and my dad. We envied our friends who had brothers and sisters and we always imagined what our lives would have been liked if we did have brothers and sisters. So when we do seek a relationship, we would like to be with someone who is part of a big family. It’s our own natural way of making up for growing up in a tight knit family and having less interaction.

3. We see our parents as our best friends

We don’t see our parents as just a parent. We see them as our friends and we also have very strong bond with them. There are no barriers or restrictions to what we can talk about and we always frequently keep in touch with them. My parents know all about my previous girlfriends and what happened during my day. Although, I won’t say absolutely everything (if you know what I mean).

We do tend to be quite attached to our parents, because we know we can trust them. And by keeping in touch with them, it is our way of saying thank you for giving us all the love they gave us when we were growing up. But take this as a good sign, because if we can look after our folks, we can look after your folks.

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4. We don’t usually ask for help

I may not speak for every only child, but I certainly knew that when I was growing up, I certainly had a hard time asking people for help. Just recently, I was trying to clean the gutter and my friendly neighbour asked me if I needed help. I said no, but the extra help would have been nice.

Since we never had any siblings, we didn’t have anyone to ask for help. We’ve never had a bigger brother to stand by our sides, never had someone to talk to at home who was from my generation, so we just had ourselves to rely on. But the plus side to this is that we became very self-reliant, so we don’t usually need to ask people for help.

5. We crave closeness

This probably stems back to being centre of attention. Since we’ve never had many opportunities to share experiences with someone other than our parents, we do crave intimacy and creating a strong bond with different people. And here’s another thing, we tend to be quite touchy and feely too. So if you are sleeping in the same bed with an only child, be prepared to be the little spoon.

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6. We don’t like being called spoilt

A lot of people assume that an only child is spoilt. On behalf of every only child this is a yes and no. Yes we were the centre of attention to our parents and they did fully support us in whatever we wanted to do in our lives. But we were really grateful of their support. We never take our parents support for granted and we always made sure that we can make them happy for what we do. So when someone calls us a spoilt brat, we do tend to take it to heart. We never take anything for granted.

7. We spend a lot of time with our thoughts.

Since we spent quite a lot of time by ourselves, we spend a lot of time inside our head. This can be a good and bad thing. It is good because we come up with loads of crazy and wacky ideas, but it can be bad because some of these thoughts can lead on to some unnecessary worries. But in time, we learn to spend less time in our head and more on what is happening in the present moment.

8. We don’t want to have just one kid

After going through motions as an only child, we definitely don’t want to be a parent to just one child. We will know what they will go through based on our personal experiences. We want to give them the things we never had.

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9. We are extremely loyal

We value our best friends. They are like the brothers or sisters that we’ve never had (literally). And because we are extremely loyal, our friendships tend to be long lasting. At the age of 28, I am still in contact with my best friends from school and university.

10. We need time to ourselves

Like most people who are an only child, we tend to be introverts. We like to read and like to spend some alone time. We are so used to spending time with ourselves that we are hardwired to use our alone time to recharge our batteries. We don’t need that long, but it will benefit us in the long term by keeping our energy levels in check.

Featured photo credit: Pascal via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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