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7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

7 Naked Truths About Relationships Everyone In Love Should Know

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.

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 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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