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If You Want A Long-Lasting Relationship, You Should Keep Doing These 10 Things

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If You Want A Long-Lasting Relationship, You Should Keep Doing These 10 Things

Whether you’re at the point in your life where you would like to focus on pursuing a long-term relationship, or are in a relationship with long-term potential, it’s important to understand the key points that will help you get the long-lasting relationship you desire. Wanting it is nice, however, anything long-term requires work to keep it great.

So here are some essential points to help you along the way, and keep you blanketed in that happy, loving, long-lasting buzz!

1. Pursue solo activities

Doing those things you enjoyed, or enjoy, doing on your own will not only allow you to get back in touch with you (something you should be doing even if you are coupled up) but will also give you and your partner some important time apart. This is essential in maintaining that beautiful balance a long-lasting relationship needs; quality time apart equates to quality time together! Not only will you feel recharged, but it will also give you a chance to miss them, and the relationship, allowing you to return to each other, renewed, refreshed, and ready to go.

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2. Maintain those key relationships

We get it, you’re loved up, but don’t neglect those other important relationships in your life. These other relationships, be it friendships or family, are vital to your overall well-being and happiness as they provide a supportive and loving network in your life. So often in long-term relationships, we find ourselves wrapped in all that romantic love that we forget to nurture the relationships already present in our lives. A long-lasting relationship requires that you have an invaluable support system outside of the two of you. Now is the perfect time to spend time watering and feeding those beautiful and equally important unions.

3. Keep Dating

No, not other people! Each other. Make a deal with your partner to date like you used to. Leave little to no room for complacency. Getting too comfortable to the point you forget to spend quality one-on-one time together is a sure fire way to start taking for granted your beautiful union, and unfortunately, that does not bode well for the long-term. Don’t let that happen! Book into a hotel, go go-kart racing, stay in and have a steamy night… whatever works. Make the effort to date again, and your relationship will thank you for it!

4. Listen

One of the things that will ensure a harmonious long-lasting relationship is the ability to listen to your love. Really hearing what they have to say and what is going on in their lives demonstrates the love and care you have for them, and your interest in their well-being. It can often be difficult to not want to jump in and help (read: fix) whatever it is that is bothering them. But now is not the time to go into Fix It mode. What they may need right now is just a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, so let it happen. They’ll appreciate it!

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5. Keep talking

When a disagreement arises, and it will, make sure you talk it out. There’s nothing like leaving old issues to fester, eventually infecting and poisoning your relationship. Harbouring any kind of ill towards your partner will only lead to more anger, and resentment. So when things have calmed down, make sure to discuss it. Keep the lines of communication open. It will not only help to resolve issues quicker, but prevent the smaller ones from becoming bigger ones further down the road.

6. Pick your battles wisely

Talking things out, is great, but be aware of the pitfalls of starting and getting into arguments that could, and probably should, be avoided. If you feel the ensuing disagreement is needless, and will only aim to hurt one or both of you, perhaps it’s time to lay it down and walk away. Be honest, is it really that important to you that you are right? Do you really care whether you win this round? Probably not. It’s okay to walk away. There’s truly no place for ego in a long-lasting relationship.

7. Quit with the “Me Too’s”

Truth? You don’t really enjoy heading to the gym with your love at 5 a.m., do you? So why do it? The “me too” game is so high school and serves no purpose but to make you resent yourself and the relationship as you try to fake your way through a long-term coupling, hoping it will keep them around. Want something long-lasting? Be upfront about how you actually hate cats, or despise wine. It’s okay. These are admittedly small things, but if this relationship is going to last, they have to know who they’re shacking up with. And chances are, by now, they’ve probably guessed you hate going to the gym… at any time!

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8. Discuss the big things

If you’re still unsure where you stand on matters of life (kids, money, etc), it’s imperative you discuss these. Be real, and honest about what you want. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to keep reflecting on who you are and what you require from a relationship, and not settling on important matters. This will ensure you and your partner are on the same page, and are able to continuously move forward. Pretending you’re “totally fine” with everything will only lead to bitterness as you try to falsely keep the peace by suppressing your true requirements. So do your love a solid, and be honest with yourself, and each other.

9. Stop the games

Trying to make them jealous, or going AWOL to get a reaction out of them is not a good idea if you want something long-lasting. Usually people use these games to stoke the fires in relationships and test boundaries, but these actions are almost always guaranteed to make the relationship short-lived, resulting in the downfall of something that could’ve been great! Ultimate destroyers of anything long-term, any sort of games in a relationship will inevitably lead to mixed messages, insecurities and mistrust. So if you truly want a long-lasting relationship, stop with the games.

10. Keep laughing!

Laughter is great! It’s therapeutic. It allows you to get silly and makes you happy. There’s nothing like laughter with your partner to cement those long-term bonds. At the very least, it shows you can still have fun together, and at the very most, it demonstrates your coupled ability to laugh through the difficult and trying times that being in a long-lasting relationship may bring. Being able to laugh together, at yourself and at each other will make you a stronger and more unified couple. Laughter is intimate, can be extremely sensual and comforting, and is a force against adversity, so have fun, and get laughing!

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Featured photo credit: Pool Fighters/Leafar via imcreator.com

More by this author

Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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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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