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To Regain The Control Over My Life, I Can Only Choose To Leave You

To Regain The Control Over My Life, I Can Only Choose To Leave You

There are two things I just ever couldn’t get on the same page; my heart and my head. Do you know how hard it is to love you, and know I need to leave you at the same time? No part of me wanted to leave you.

My life was consumed by thoughts of you from the second I woke up until I went to sleep at night. Loving you had essentially become like a drug. Being high off you was the most euphoric experience I have ever had, but crashing off of you was like hearing every goodbye I’ve ever heard said to me all at once, which is cliche to say, I suppose.

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I have made my fair share of mistakes — I can be selfish — but I certainly didn’t deserve to be treated the way you so wrongly treated me. I started to believe that I was the problem. I tried harder. Man, I did try. I wanted you, I wanted us, and you threw it away like it was yesterday’s news. I often wondered what I had done to you that was so horrible that could warrant being treated this way. You took and took from me and didn’t once even bother to say thank you.

I spent so much time defending you to my friends and my family because I thought that you would change. I would justify your ignorance towards me, and I chalked it up to you having a bad day, but it seemed like everyday was a bad day. But I stayed because I loved you more than anything.

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My friends told me what my head already knew. “You deserve better.” But at the time all I could think was, “Who are they to tell me what I do and do not deserve?” It’s crazy how my mind tried to protect me from feeling sad and hurt.

I always thought it was supposed to be you and me, together, for the rest of our lives. Isn’t life funny in the sense that time reveals truth? Why was everything so one-sided with you? Why couldn’t you just reciprocate the love and effort that I was giving to you? Did I really mean that little to you?

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I can’t say that I’m angry because some of my favorite memories are the ones I made with you. You could make me feel so alive. As we started getting older, I think you realized our aspirations and desires weren’t lining up. I understand that people grow and sometimes, they grow in separate directions.

I don’t think either one of us was really at fault. I mean, we were young, and we thought we knew everything there was to know about love. We really had no idea. Life and you have taught me something very important: people aren’t permanent, but the memories stay with you for a lifetime — good and bad.

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Many years have passed since you and I, and I would be lying if I said my mind didn’t drift off to thoughts of you from time to time. But I know now that us ending was for the better. It was hard for me to leave you considering the amount of love and passion I had for you, but eventually enough was enough. I could no longer sacrifice my sanity and happiness to try to make us work.

I could never blame you for anything because you were one of the best lessons that I could ever have, and I appreciate that. Without you, I’m not sure I would know exactly what I don’t deserve.

Thank you for teaching me that my most valuable relationship is the one that I have with myself.

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Erica Wagner

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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