Advertising

Emotionally Distant Relationship, It’s Not Over Yet!

Advertising
Emotionally Distant Relationship, It’s Not Over Yet!

Are You In An Emotionally Distant Relationship?

Many of us have been there, wondering where we went wrong, wondering if your partner has fallen for someone else, and wondering if they’ve become bored. Feelings of paranoia have raced in, pounding you with self-doubt, and endless questions, asking yourself, “Are they distant, or am I misinterpreting?”

You know it wasn’t always like this, and there was a time when the furthest thought from your mind was second guessing your partner. Now you’re searching for an answer to repair your emotionally distant relationship. You may be wondering how this happened, and wish you had a crystal ball to see into the future.

Should you stay and work through it?

The answer will always depend on how deep the distance runs and the amount of effort you are willing to put into your relationship. But before throwing in the towel, consider the actions causing your doubt.

Advertising

Lack of Physical Touch

When you’re sitting together on the sofa memories come flooding back of when the two of you were entwined together, his head on your lap, or your feet resting on the ottoman wrapped under his. Yet recently you’ve noticed his lack of physical touch. His arms are now crossed, and you can’t remember the last time you felt the warmth from his hand on your leg.

Feelings of comfort while listening to his excitement over a latest project. Your conversations once felt intimately connected as he faced you on the sofa, not staring straight ahead, talking to an imaginary figure on the wall.

According to the UC San Diego News Center physical touch promotes the release of Oxytocin, the same chemical that is released during sex.  This love chemical is responsible for increasing emotional attachment and an intimate connection.

Advertising

Regular touch in a romantic relationship, even an emotionally distant relationship can chemically change your relationship for the better. Regular touch alters your brain pathways affecting facial recognition and affection. Losing touch is a slippery slope toward a non-intimate relationship.

Solution: If he isn’t touching you… then put your hand on his thigh next time you talk to him, or while casually relaxing on the sofa, rub the back of his head. Chances are good that he will soak that in, and inch his way a little closer to you.

Lack of Communication and Understanding

Another sign of an emotionally distant relationship is lack of communication and understanding. You’re no longer on the same page, you may be sitting next to one another, but your thoughts are elsewhere. And the longer this continues, the further those thoughts will wander.

Advertising

Solution: Confide in your partner. Casually bring up a topic that perhaps you’re sensitive of, a childhood event or insecurities and fears. Sharing secrets increases intimacy in your relationship.

A Psychology Today article states that one of the most important aspects of intimacy in a relationship is “compassion, trust, and empathy”. The key to repair an emotionally distant relationship with your partner is communication and offering understanding and sincere listening skills. Be ready for when he does open up. Everyone wants to feel connected to another person, but for some it’s difficult to show vulnerability.

Emotionally Distant Relationships and Stress

Men show stress differently than women, they tend to feel helpless when they can’t find a solution to a problem, even if it’s your problem. This shows vulnerability, and for some, it’s a very difficult emotion to accept. If stress is a factor, then space and understanding can go a long way. Let him know that you wish there was something you could do to help. Everyone manages stress differently. Being there for them when they want to talk would be the best way of helping.

Advertising

Lastly, keeping yourself busy with your own hobbies and interests is an attractive trait in anyone. According to the Huffington Post it is important to nurture those interests and hobbies. A good partner will see you in a different light, they will admire your independence and hopefully support you.

And in return, don’t forget to support his separate interests as well.  After all, if you do everything together, then what would you have to share at the end of the day? Don’t lose yourself in your relationship, because in doing so, they may feel they’ve lost what first sparked their interest in you to begin with. Remember the old saying, you have to love yourself before others can.

An emotionally distant relationship, as trying as it may be, does not have to equal doom. If you love your partner, then it’s worth trying to get to the root of the problem. Try these steps, because his distance can be a result of several factors. And one thing to remember is that their distance may not be about you at all. Give your relationship time, and give it patience, and in this process you may find your relationship growing closer than ever before.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Portishead1/istock via vix.com

More by this author

Kathleen Lum

Freelance Writer

Hoarding: A Classified Mental Health Disorder, Do You Need Help? Emotionally Distant Relationship Emotionally Distant Relationship, It’s Not Over Yet! Healthcare Phobia, and 3 Ways to Overcome it 9 Ways to Truly Find Happiness Within Yourself

Trending in 20-Something

1 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 2 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head 3 How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets 4 5 Effective Ways to Increase your Instagram Followers 5 5 Ways to Enjoy Festivals With Pets

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Advertising
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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next