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12 Ways To Identify A Shopaholic

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12 Ways To Identify A Shopaholic

There are many different kinds of people with their own views on happiness and wealth. Many are happy to see their money on the computer screen with several commas and in the shade of green when they pull up their bank statement… and then there are those that like their money where they can see it: in their closet hanging so perfectly on a hanger. Shopaholics are an example of the latter.  Are you questioning if you are a shopaholic because you just went on a pay day shopping spree or trying to prove your girlfriend that she might be a shopaholic and therapy might actually be cheaper? Whatever the reason you are reading this article, here are twelve things only shopaholics understand.

1. They have price tags in their closet

If you have ever been in their closet (and I say in because there is no way you are not walking into it,) you have seen more price tags or size stickers than you should in someone’s house. It isn’t because they plan on returning it or that they just bought it, it is simply because it has not been used yet. Don’t try to guess how long it’s been there either… just don’t.

2. They can sort their closet by every color of the rainbow… and every color in between

As you are trying to comprehend the reasoning for buying something and not wearing it, a thought pops in your head. Why does it look like a claustrophobic rainbow stumbled into their closet and threw up everywhere? There are more colors in this room than there are paint swatches at Home Depot!

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3. They buy more than they need

If you have a friend that is a shopaholic, then you understand this completely. The first warning sign should have been that they still had tags on some articles of clothing in their sacred closet. They buy more than they need. They will go down every aisle, especially on a down day, and check and see what looks cute, cool, comfy, etc. Do they need it? Yes, they need it like we all needed that Geometry class in high school.

4. They are firm believers in retail therapy

Retail therapy may be the more expensive option oppose to actual therapy. Let me show you by example the different stages of a shopoholic’s need for retail therapy. Great day? Lets grab some food or ice cream… or maybe a shirt! “Meh” day? Maybe a quick coffee with my best friend at little place in the mall will help. Let’s look around and just check it out. Crappy/Worst day ever! It’s time to change who I am so I am happier. I need to make myself better! I just got paid like last week and if that still doesn’t cover the bill, I have my credit cards!

5. They have to leave their credit cards at home to stay out of trouble

Shopaholics can get out of control sometimes. The lucky ones catch the issue early on and only spend all the money in their back account after bills are paid. Others may have a giant credit card bill that is never going to shrink down because they can’t afford or give up their sense of style.

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6. They shop for more than themselves

Shopaholics don’t only shop for themselves. Usually if they purchase something for someone else, it is because they are out shopping for themselves but that doesn’t mean that they won’t buy things for their loved ones and friends if they know they will like it. Sometimes, they won’t even end up buying for themselves, the entire contents of the cart will be clothes for their significant other, their BFF, their boss or their parents. They are very thoughtful people, and often have a very big heart. Now don’t quote me on that, I don’t mean all of them. Don’t go befriending someone in high hopes they’ll start buying you Michael Kor Purses because they are your “favorite”kind of purse.

7. They think black Friday is the best day of the year

If you have a shopaholic as a friend, then you know that this a huge day for shopping and it doesn’t start at five in the morning anymore. Good thing Starbucks is open all night in order to keep everyone awake for the glorious amounts of fun you are going to be dragged into for the entire day. Bring cash that day so you can tell them no when they run out of money and ask for you to spot them.

8. They need someone to tell them to stop shopping

More often than not, shopaholics will bring a friend a long to keep them in check. To someone who loves shopping to a point that it is considered an addiction, they will swipe their card until it declines and they need someone to stop them when enough is enough. If you are that friend that they are bringing along, I am sorry. Also, take the last pointer I just gave, only bring cash!

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9. They cannot turn down a good deal

Sales, Semi-Annual Sales and big summer blowouts are their kryptonite. Nothing burns a hole in their pocket faster than a 50% off sign. Beware.

10. Their closet will have a variety of styles to match who they want to be for the day

They can dress like whoever they want to be or however they feel (lazy, sporty, cute, etc.)  like because the amount of things that fill up their closet. They are more than likely to have something than not when asked if they do. Make sense? Make friends with one that is the same size as you and make sure you are really good friends.

11. They wear only about 35% of their closet but will not give the rest away

Whenever they say, “I am going to clean out my closet and get rid of the stuff that I don’t wear”, don’t believe it for a second! They will sit there in the kingdom of retail store victories and come up with dozens of scenarios of when they will need everything in their closet. Everything. It doesn’t matter how many tips they take from Pinterest, it is no match compared to, “this shirt goes great with like fifty of my things… I need to keep it just in case.”

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12. Their shoe selection will put most people’s to shame

Their shoe collection could probably walk circles around your shoes and then march off to the shoe store to bring in some more shoes so they can come back and turn those circles into a Mickey Mouse design.

Featured photo credit: Alexa shopping mall Berlin- Reinhard Krull via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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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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