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5 Little Things To Do To Elevate Your Relationship

5 Little Things To Do To Elevate Your Relationship
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Romance is about the little things but honestly, it is actually pretty involving because it requires emotional awareness, good listening skills, sustained attention and planning capabilities. All in all, being romantic isn’t just about displaying a quick mental capability but is also about making and committing to a long lasting investment.

There are numerous reasons why some husbands cringe and panic when the subject of romance is broached. Some of which is due to the pressure of meeting expectations and not disappointing their spouses.

However, let me clarify who I had in mind when I wrote this article –

  1. This is for those who constantly hear how unromantic they are or have become
  2. This is for those who are tired of going with the usual gifts such as flowers, card, and perfumes
  3. This is for those who want to cultivate a steady and continuous romantic lifestyle
  4. Honestly, it is for everyone believe it or not

So dear husbands, you can become a master in romance and here’s why you should.

  • First, you should know that “little things mean the world to women”. These little things have a supernatural effect on women that leads to many, amazing benefits in the home.
  • Secondly, you should know that catching your wife off guard every now and then adds sizzle, spark, and drama to marriage. Catching a woman off guard disarms her totally.
  • Thirdly, you should know that women desperately crave and yearn for romance in relationships. It is like oxygen to a woman’s soul and a lubricant to the joints of any relationship.

5 Little Things To Take Your Relationship To A Different Level

1. Leave a provocative voice mail message

This is a classic. Call your spouse when you know he or she is unavailable such that you have access to the voicemail to drop your ‘dangerous message’. In no small terms explain how naughty she has been and how you intend to curb her naughtiness. In ‘stern’ terms and using a deep voice for effect let her know she is in for a ‘treat’. The use of ‘I will do…” this and that — is highly recommended.

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You must back up your words with some serious actions because it is true that ‘actions’ speak louder than ‘words’.

2. Send a provocative message via text

This is similar to the first idea, and should be used as a counter-intuitive attacking measure. If you want to be romantic, you must have ‘game’. Your words must be unique and expressive.

Relax as you compose your text message and please make it situational. Don’t just copy a few lines from the internet or from a track, that’s lame. Make it about you and your words…

If there are pressing situations at home, perhaps when your wife has been complaining or stressed lately, then adapt accordingly. Listen, if she has been distracted lately, let her know your thoughts. If she has been acting silly, let her know you care. If she has been suspecting you of taking her for granted, let her know she is special and you will not in a million years take her for granted.

Polish up your vocabulary, refresh your ‘lines’.

The proof of your affection are buried within those words, make it count.

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3. Call her during the day just to tell her you to love her and that you have been thinking about her.

Absolutely, nothing melts the heart of a woman more than letting her know she is on your mind. This singular act alone validates her well being. This is where the element of surprise is very important and you must make sure this is done intentionally and honestly. When she knows her King is thinking about her, even the heavens know as she will float in the sky based on that thought alone.

When you call, resist the urge to say anything about yourself, the children, family issues, work issues and simply make this call all about her alone.

  • Let her know that you simply wanted her to know that you are calling to see how she is doing.
  • Ask her, how your day has been so far?
  • Ask her, is everything okay?
  • And then listen to her speak to you.

If you haven’t done this in a while, give the process time as she will attempt to verify your true intentions and not simply a means to an end.

Let her know her thoughts and persuade her otherwise as your intentions are truly for her well-being. If you play your cards right, my man… you will be thanking me later profusely.

4. Tape a note to the bathroom scale or mirror that says “Just Right”

Often times, men complain about their wives’ body without realizing how hurtful those remarks could be especially after a few children. That’s life…

The woman you married has changed and will continue to change as she ages. Lest you forget, you have changed as well. It shocks me during counseling when I hear men complain about their spouse’s body and unknowingly damage their wives’ psyche by saying the wrong, mean and hurtful words.

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This is not about getting your wives back to the gym…No, sir!

This is simply staying in the moment. This is about enjoying what and who you both are. This is about appreciation.

Get a note card and please not ruled paper, preferably something colorful (make an effort) and it must be in your own handwriting (do not type it out or send via email)

Write “Just right!” or go crazy, include her pet name, add today’s date and let her know she is simply “Just Right”.

Then tape it on the bathroom mirror.

5. Pray for her concerns

Most women worry and that’s sometimes because they have so many things on their minds considering all the roles played by them. So when she least expects it, pull her aside and lay your hand on her head or her chest and pray with her over her concerns.

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  • Make it genuine
  • It should come from your heart
  • Make it short, sweet and to the point

A woman knowing that her King is praying for her will make her safe. There is no better ‘human’ protection like a praying husband. I know she will thank you for being there and what joy she must feel when she knows you care about her worries and perhaps, more importantly, know what to do with that worry.

In conclusion, remember that the firm foundations of a romantic relationship are built upon the delights of surprise. Your actions, words, and intentions must be deliberate. They must be properly executed as well for full effect.

I wish you and yours an amazingly rich and romantic relationship and do not forget the flowers, boxes of chocolates, and gift bags.

Featured photo credit: Wonderful Spring Blooms BY VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Dr. Flo

Executive Director, Hybrid Leadership Institute

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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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