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7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know
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How do you imagine the perfect relationship?

I am pretty sure you think about harmonious conversations, long walks in the park, and romantic evenings with delicious candlelight dinners. When you think about your perfect relationship you probably feel all kinds of positive emotions. You think about respect, security, support, passion, and unconditional love that lasts forever.

While all those emotions can (and should) be an essential part of every relationship, it would be naive to assume that a relationship consists of nothing other than looking into each other’s eyes and smiling as if you are on the most addictive drug that this planet has to offer.

A relationship is much more complex than what Hollywood shows you. Every romantic movie that I can think of ends either with a big wedding or with a scene in which two people kiss and embrace each other in the middle of the street.

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The reason why we love those movies is because they show us an ideal image that we would love to see in our own lives. The danger, however, is that it is impossible to fulfill this ideal image. Yes, you heard right. I said that it is impossible to live in the ideal relationship that the movies portrait. The romance genre sells fantasy just as much as The Lord of the Rings movies do.

You might not want to hear it, but the truth is that there are a lot of things that can happen after the director screams “cut!”. Real life provides you with a lot of unforeseen events that have the power to make you question your ideal picture of the perfect relationship. That’s why it is better to wake up and accept the naked truth about relationships, before the false image that you have created in your mind destroys your relationships in the real world.

1. The perfect relationship doesn’t exist

Nobody is perfect – and relationships aren’t perfect either. Everybody who claims the opposite is either a helpless optimist who ignores reality or somebody who has never been in a relationship and only knows the concept from movies and songs.

I’m not saying that you should stop dreaming about ending up in a relationship with the partner of your dreams. I’m also not saying that you should stop trying to find a partner who makes you happy. All I’m saying is that you have to accept that no relationship can be happy and harmonious 100% of the time. There will always be the tiny 1% that isn’t perfect.

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And you know what? That’s absolutely okay. You and your partner are only human. Expecting that you don’t have any flaws would be completely unrealistic. Just make sure that you don’t allow your false image of the perfect relationship to sabotage your current or future relationship.

2. Love can last if you work on it

You clicked on this article because you wanted to know the naked truths about relationships, so I assume that you are also ready for the naked truth about love. The idea that most people have about love is even more unrealistic than the idea they have about relationships.

According to my experience, most people believe that all they have to do in order to reach a state of lifelong happiness is to meet the love of their life and the love will just magically last forever. Well, if it would be that easy everyone who has ever married the love of their life would still be together with this person.

Unfortunately, the high divorce rate is proof that it is not that easy. What most people forget is that love can fade away, especially when you don’t work on it. On the other hand, love can last and it can get stronger if you are willing to work on it. It is your decision if you work on it or if you allow it to fade away.

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3. Support is a two-way street

There is this famous saying that there is a strong and supportive woman behind every successful man. While this may be true, there should also be a strong and supportive man behind every successful woman.

Support is a two-way street. One of the most common mistakes that both men and women make is that they take the support from their partner for granted. Don’t ever assume that your partner has to support you, just because you are in a relationship. I’ll say it again: support is a two-way street. If you don’t support your partner, you can’t expect to receive a lot of support in return.

4. Your partner is not the only attractive person

In case you are in a relationship, I am sure that you are attracted to you partner. They might even be the person you are attracted to the most. However, just because you desire your partner doesn’t mean that you don’t desire other people. One popular lie that a lot of people believe in is that being attracted to another person who isn’t your partner is the same as cheating and that it is wrong to have those feelings.

Are you ready for the truth? It is neither wrong to have those feelings, nor is it the same as cheating. You are a human being; therefore, it is absolutely natural for you to be attracted to other people. There is a big difference between desiring other people and acting upon this desire.

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5. Your sex life will change

In case you think that your sex life will stay the way it is during the first couple of weeks, you still need to learn a lot about relationships. You sex life will change. That’s an inevitable fact. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that the sex in a relationship gets worse over the years.

A married couple who is willing to try new things, to experiment, and to learn everything about each other’s fantasies can have a far more exciting sex life than a couple who is together for two weeks and doesn’t know anything about each other’s fantasies and desires.

6. Hard times lead to a strong bond

I already told you that the perfect relationship doesn’t exist. As a result, you probably agree with me when I say that there are good times and bad times in every relationship. The only thing that separates happy from unhappy relationships is how both partners deal with those bad times.

You only have two opinions. On the one hand, you can quit whenever it gets tough and end an amazing relationship because it wasn’t as perfect as your favorite movie promised. On the other hand, you can support and love your partner during hard times and enjoy the strong bond and deep connection that you eventually have once you have survived the hard times.

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7. Your past leads to your future

A lot of people who sabotage every single one of their relationships do this for only one reason. They are afraid that this relationship will end like the last one. They are terrified that their past will repeat itself.

I hope I don’t have to tell you that this fear works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only way to break through this vicious cycle is by realizing that it is your past that leads you to your future, but your future doesn’t have to look like your past. If you regard your frustrating past as the road that will lead you to a bright future, you will be able to embrace the idea of landing in a relationship.

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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)
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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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