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12 Moments You Feel Grateful For Having A Close Female Friendship

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12 Moments You Feel Grateful For Having A Close Female Friendship

Friendships are hard. They require unconditional love and a lot of devotion, but each emotional investment you make in this relationship has a way of coming back to you when you need it the most. Although all friendships are different and unique, we can all agree that there are certain characteristics that distinguish female from male friendships, right?

Somehow, the whole world came to realize that female friendships are insincere and superficial, but I’d have to strongly disagree. Unlike boys, girls tend to get more emotionally involved and I believe that that’s what makes female friendships more turbulent. Fights and makeups are generally louder and with more tears, which is where this stereotype comes from.

All of you out there who are lucky to have a BFF will most definitely recognize precious moments I found to be the core of female friendship, and I’m sure you’ll have more than a couple of things of your own to add here.

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1. A Secret Language

People say twins can be weird because they sort of create a world of their own, but they are no stranger than BFFs. The fact is that most girls talk a lot – and I mean a lot – but sometimes just a look is enough. However, you’d be foolish to think that’s an everyday ordinary look girls are exchanging. Years and years of practice led us to the moment when a minor difference in a facial expression can add a whole new meaning to the situation.

But that’s far from all – I’m sure that every female friendship is programmed to react on at least one keyword, no matter if it’s the notorious nickname of an ex-boyfriend or a euphemism for “save me now”. It’s like constantly reading between the lines, and most of those lines aren’t simple to decode.

2. Confessions

There’s probably isn’t a situation that makes a person feel more accepted than the moment when you make a confession without being judged or having that awful guilt feeling. Girls do this all the time, and they do so elaborately. This is like therapy, because it helps you deal with your conscience, for me at least.

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3. Breakups

Well, this one is not a particularly positive moment, but it’s inevitable, really – relationships end and that’s a fact. However, having to go through a breakup is somewhat easier when you know that there will be someone who will pick up the broken pieces and put them back together. It doesn’t really matter if you and your BFF decide to go with ice-cream and wine or clubbing, the point is quite the same.

4. Trash Talking

Speaking of breakups – that bitter aftertaste is only natural and it’s important to get it out. That’s what friends are for; I don’t believe there’s a person other than your best friend who’d know what things to say and which exact words to use in order to make you feel better by… well basically, by making your ex look worse. Trash talking isn’t something any of us are proud of, but it’s kind of an essential part of getting over someone. We know men do it, too, just not quite the same way.

5. Shopping

Being friends for that long usually results in you knowing each other’s bodies well and understanding what flatters them. Combining that with detailed knowledge of current trends makes shopping a whole lot easier – it’s like you’re a fashion duo that has a doctor’s degree in finding perfect outfits for any occasion. A quite practical side of having a BFF, isn’t it?

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6. Texting

The thing with female friendships is that they are codependent, at least most of them. But a bit of mental instability is nothing compared to sharing every minute you want to with your BFF by texting. Everyday things and huge events in our lives become real the moment we tell them to our friend, and that’s when they gain their true significance. No matter what’s going on, texting throughout the entire day simply makes it better. It’s like never being alone.

7. Inside Jokes

Having a sense of humor that another person in this world fully understands is priceless. It’s a whole new level of feeling appreciated and like you belong with someone. Whether they are practical, intellectual, petty or sarcastic, inside jokes are one of those small things that really make life worth living. It’s a way for two people to express themselves simultaneously, and it’s pretty awesome.

8. Moving

Getting a new place is usually overwhelming and time-consuming, and it’s a cause of stress that seems to be never-ending. Having your bestie at your side at that moment is very reassuring – there’s some thorough cleaning that needs to be done, additional shopping for all sorts of products and pieces of furniture, and so on. Besides, asking someone else for help may just creating more work for you – considering the fact that your two minds think alike, your BFF and you will be a lot more productive.

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9. Sincere Advice

The truth may sometimes hurt, but it’s not like it will become any less of a fact if you decide to ignore it. Some of them may go unspoken, but recognized, while others simply must be told out loud, so you can go through a healthy reality check, and that’s when your bestie comes in. It’s usually not pleasant nor easy, but admit it – you love your BFF and her moments of sincerity.

10. The “No Matter What” Vow

Whether you two decided to go with a magical ritual or if it goes without saying, the “no matter what” vow is a big part of every female friendship. It’s a safety net, and no matter what you do or where life takes you, you know that you’ll always have a home wherever your BFF is.

It’s a short list of what makes us feel grateful for having a bestie, I know, but I believe it’s universal. This is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and cherished, but it’s eternally worth it. What would you add to my list?

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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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