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I Once Resisted My Mom’s Way Of Loving, Now I Thank Her For That

I Once Resisted My Mom’s Way Of Loving, Now I Thank Her For That

My mother was always very quirky and different. Growing up quirky and different meant fun and carefree – each day was filled with exciting activities or adventurous journeys. I learnt how to knit and make my own clothes, I learnt how to meditate and be at one with myself, I could name every species of butterfly or tree. I was encouraged to be creative and express myself through drawing, playing the guitar and listening to old records – these were just an everyday occurrence. We didn’t have much money, I was an only child and my dad had never really been around – I was influenced fully by my mother’s love and personality and we spent so much time together that I became an little extension of her.

When I started high school, fitting in was the number one aim of every kid. Being different meant you were a target and that mindset was enforced in a quick and rapid way. It was around this time that I started to realise that I didn’t really have the same interests as the other kids. I was a lot more withdrawn – I like to think I was more of an observer and listener than a talker – but all the kids around me seemed outgoing, more worldly and therefore intimidating to me.

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As a shy child, I missed the company of my mother when I was at school. I didn’t really feel like I fitted in and my mother was the only person I could truly relate to. I wore bright colourful clothes that didn’t look like anything the others were wearing mainly because my mother had lovingly and painstakingly made them for me. I suddenly didn’t like feeling so different, the comments from others seemed strange but turned into hurt, causing me to question myself and my identity. As I slowly started to make friends, I slowly started to conform to how the other kids behaved and dressed to make sure I didn’t stand out in any way – it was a form of survival and that survival meant rejecting all that my mother had made me.

The rebellion started soon after. I started to resent my mother for creating such a quirky, strange child. Suddenly my creativeness was a negative aspect of me and I was consumed by my idea of fitting in. The relationship with my mother started to break down – I could see the hurt in her eyes as she watched her child dismiss who she was and what she had raised her to be. I was embarrassed to be seen with her for fear people would judge me and label me as eccentric because of the clothes she wore and words she used.

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All the way through this period, my mother didn’t once scold me for changing, she kept on loving me despite my sometimes hurtful actions and words, she stepped back and allowed me to be who I wanted to be.

Now I look back on those days with true realisation and understanding of the extent of a mother’s love. I don’t regret conforming and rebelling against who I truly was because I feel going through that only allowed me to find myself again and know for sure what makes me happy. But I do regret hurting my mother in a way I’m not sure she would have expected when she had me all those years ago. Her creativity and adding colour into life, immersing herself in the world around her is something that will never leave me.

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As I sit here with my own newborn daughter, wrapped in the blanket I knitted for her, I have every intention of teaching her the things that make me happy – no matter how unconventional they may be. My mother taught me to be unique, creative, kind and see the world in a different way. I will always appreciate the things my mother taught me because they made me the person and mother I am today – a person who is quirky, a person who is different and a person who is proud of that fact.

Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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