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8 Similes Summing Up What Marriage Is Actually Like

8 Similes Summing Up What Marriage Is Actually Like

At one point in our lives, we thought marriage was the happy ending. We all watched the movies, read the books and believed that once we found out one true love, that was it. Eventually we realized that we are living real life and there isn’t a storybook ending that solves all your problems. Marriage is just the beginning of two people’s lives together.

1. “Marriage is like fine wine, if tended to properly, it gets better with age.”

Plain and simple, you can have a good marriage but it will take time and effort to make it better with age. Either the two of you can grow together and stronger as a couple or further apart. Just look at the process of how wine is made. It is quite a bit of effort to even get it to the form that flows freely from the bottle into your cup of happiness, and a little more patience and time to get fine wine.

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2. “A marriage is like a house. When a light bulb burns out, you don’t just go and buy another house. You change the light bulb”

You all know someone like this, don’t lie. They have had twenty seven marriages and sign prenups like they sign a receipt for a purchase over twenty five dollars. Some people really don’t understand the sanctity of marriage. It is something that you two are promising to each other for an eternity. Sure, not everyone is good for each other but that doesn’t mean you have to just leave the first sign of trouble. Figure out which type of light bulb needs to be replaced (or which problem needs to be fixed) and take time to search for the solution to make that part of the house light up again.

3. “Marriage is like music. Both are playing different instruments and different parts, but as long as you’re playing from the same sheet music, you can create something beautiful.”

Everyone is different and unique in their own way. That is what is so beautiful about marriage, you both can bring so much to the table and use it. As a couple, you learn each other’s hobby (and if you’re competitive, you get good at it), see solutions to problems from a different view, and learn that though you two are individuals, your hearts and minds are in sync… most of the time.

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4. “Marriage without friendship is like a bird without wings.”

When you are married, your spouse is your best friend. It may sound cliche to say, and I know it’s very cheesy, but it is completely true. In order to have a marriage work, you need to trust them with your life. That means your secrets, your heartaches, your anxiety and your joy. Your spouse is the first person you call when you need to share some good news, when you need a shoulder to cry on, and a person that will make food runs with you at three in the morning just for fun (although that last option may change with age).

5. “Being married is like having a best friend that doesn’t remember anything you say.”

In addition to the friendship thing, you will have someone that you can tell your stories to over and over again because most likely, they forget some details, or are pretending to. You have done it before, be honest. You have all have responded, “Oh no, you didn’t tell me that story,” because you know your spouse loves telling it.

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6. “Marriage is like a garden, it takes time to grow but the harvest is rich unto those who patiently and tenderly care for the ground.”

This plays again into putting work into it. You need to have adventures together and put effort into creating the story of your lives together. What else are you going to be talking about on your front porch drinking iced tea when you’re old? As a married couple, vacations, last minute weekend trips, or simply getting lost is what builds your vault of stories and lessons for you to pass down.

7. “Marriage without struggle is like an unfired clay pot. It is easily made, but it will not stand the test of time.”

Every marriage is going to have their bumps and dead ends. You both need to find out how to turn yourselves back around and keep going. The problems that come with marriage are there to make sure you two are able to work together as a couple through it so when you eventually do decide to create little minions, you have something to let them know you have been through it. Don’t think they won’t be calling you either. Everyone calls their parents for help, no matter what age.

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8. “Marriage is like a game of chess, except the board is flowing water, the pieces are made of smoke and no move you make will have any effect on the outcome.”

With all that being said, no matter how many tips and tricks you are given to make your marriage work, it really is different for every couple. There is not a set of rules or a right way of creating the perfect marriage because it doesn’t exist. Tips for you may not work like they did for your mom. The best you can do is just take in the knowledge and keep it in your vault. Live your lives together, take the punches as they come, and stop to enjoy the sunshine.

Featured photo credit: Bride and Groom with pink pastel bouquet/ Faith via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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