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10 Reasons Why Middle Children Are The Strongest

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10 Reasons Why Middle Children Are The Strongest

Being the middle child is no walk in the park. You may never notice because they don’t get nearly as much attention, that’s for sure. But that’s okay because this sets them apart from society as stronger individuals. A middle child becomes more independent and appreciative of the little things that life has to offer. Here are some reasons why the middle child is the strongest of them all.

1. They know how to solve problems efficiently

Siblings always argue, sometimes even fist fight! However, middle children are always caught in between the reoccurring drama. They’re often the “go to” expert on the subject that’s being debated. The reason why is because it’s usually the youngest and the oldest fighting. They come to the middle child in hopes for backup but the middle one knows better.

They take in both sides of the argument and construct a statement that’s so powerful, emotionally, and logically, that it usually ends the argument right there and then. The other siblings have no choice but to say “wow, that makes a lot of sense, you’re right.” The world needs problem solvers which means the world needs middle children.

2. They are risk takers

The other siblings are so used to getting all the attention that they can’t get anything done without it. This is advantageous to the middle child because they usually come out ahead. They go on to become courageous risk takers. They don’t feel the need to seek out approval from their teachers or parents. They just go out and do things at a level so high, others can’t help but be impressed.

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3. They are kind and intimidating

Growing up, the middle child had no choice but to stand up to their older sibling and be kind to the younger. The oldest child always lets the power get to them. The idea that they have to play “big brother” to not just one, but two younger children, can make anyone’s head big. But the middle child recognizes when power is left unchecked because they too, have to play “big brother” to the youngest. Knowing this, the middle child would often have to intimidate the oldest to back off when they were acting out of line.

But they only use intimidation when they have to. Deep down, they’re very nice people. The reason why is because they get to practice being nice too! The youngest is usually weaker and the middle child understands what it’s like because they have an older sibling too. With this knowledge, they treat the youngest as they would want to be treated by the oldest. They truly live the “treat others how you would like to be treated” lifestyle. But never take their kindness for weakness, they have practice on both sides of the spectrum.

4. They are better with money

As a child, the youngest and the oldest are usually the spoiled ones. They get to spend mommy and daddy’s money in virtually limitless amounts. The middle.. they take what they can get but they’re smarter when spending. They don’t have the luxury of splurging because they know it’ll be a while before their parents reward them again. Knowing this, they learn to save and spend money on things that matter.

They judge items based on the quality, not quantity. They aren’t interested in trends because they know they’re usually bad investments. They’re not used to overspending so they know how to budget, they understand that less is more. This behavior may land them on the higher end of their credit score. It also means they may go on to become wealthy investors and savvy entrepreneurs.

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5. They are usually smarter

Middle children have the luxury of learning from the oldest sibling. But they are also stuck with teaching the youngest. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Being taught something is an effective form of learning but according to psychologists, so is teaching! The youngest is usually only being taught while the oldest is usually only teaching. But the middle child usually does both! So they work their brain out much more.

This first hand experience gives them an edge on life. They see things from both perspectives and use these skills to excel in their school, job, sports or business!

6. They are the decision maker

While their younger and older siblings are usually arguing about which path is the shortest way home, the middle child is usually analyzing the logical route. Since the youngest and the oldest can’t come to an agreement, the middle child usually ends up having the final say. The direction they take as a group usually lies in the hands of the middle sibling, their vote is the one that matters.

Knowing this, they never participate in the emotional attacks on one another. They already expect to be the decision maker so instead they back away from the noise and make a logical decision.

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7. They have no limits

Since the middle child is often neglected, they have no choice but to rely on their self when making decisions of their own. They become codependent and take lots of risks. With all this risk taking comes a greater sense of reality. They understand that life isn’t as scary as most people make it out to be. This is because they get to see life from the other side of most peoples fears.

They weren’t trained on needing attention or approval because they often went unnoticed anyway. This made them more subject to venturing off into the depths of the unknown on their own. Only they realize that the unknown isn’t as scary as it seems. They live life believing that limitations are merely artificial boundaries.

8. They have a stronger influence

Middle children had to learn how to deal with their other siblings. They’re often subject to being the decision maker so they need to come up with ways to keep both sides happy. This gives them practice at negotiating and getting along with people. They often go on to use these skills in other social situations.

 9. They are confident, not cocky

While the oldest always feels the need to be “right”, the youngest always feels the need to be submissive. The middle child sees the fault in being too confident, which is essentially cockiness. But they also see the weakness in being too submissive. This allows them to create a perfect balance of the two. They know when to say they’re right and they know when to say they’re wrong. But no matter what they say, they say it with the utmost confidence.

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10. They are the most productive

For some reason, the oldest feels inclined to order their younger siblings around. Getting them to do things they can do on their own. This enables the oldest to slip up and get lazy. However, the youngest child usually gets their parents to do everything for them. So they also get the benefit of laying back. So guess who gets stuck with the daily tasks? The middle child.

Eventually the middle child doesn’t see this as a bad thing though. This enables them to see work as a means of growing mentally and physically. They end up becoming more productive individuals while their siblings lag behind. While it may seem painful at first, it pays off in the end.

Featured photo credit: Antoine K 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)

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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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