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When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

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When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

Being a member of the singles’ squad is one difficult thing to give up on. People who are fabulously single often fall in love with their independence and they replace that need to be with someone by casually dating several people, each for a month or two tops. This dynamic lifestyle rarely gets boring or dull – each day seems to be another mini adventure you can’t wait to share with the rest of your squad.

Giving this up can be rather difficult, but if you’re thinking about it, this probably means that you have found a person who has the potential to make your “sacrifice” worthy. Chances are that you forgot how to communicate with someone you actually wish to see more of, which is why you should try to switch from a fling to a relationship. No one said serious commitment; you don’t have to become a magician who pulls off an outstanding disappearance act just yet.

Stop Playing Games

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    People who date for fun play all sorts of games – how far you decide to go with this depends on what kind of person you are. The furthest extreme that can serve as an example for what I’m trying to say is Barney from How I Met Your Mother and his Playbook, where he invents some rather creative scenarios to get girls to sleep with him.

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    Personally, I don’t know a person who puts in this much effort, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a real-life version of Barney out there. Well, in case you want to even consider being in a relationship, all those games need to stop and you need to be your real self when you go on dates.

    Make Peace with Vulnerability

    Which brings me to my next point – I know that it’s a lot easier to pretend you’re someone else because, if your date doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not the real you. This is the point when you need to cut the crap and expose yourself. You’ll have to risk not being liked.

    There’s a lot for you to gain, which makes that risk worthy; finding the right person to be in a relationship with is difficult and sure, you can get hurt, but on the other hand, you can find a partner to share your life with.

    Look for a Partner

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      When I say partner, I mean exactly that; you shouldn’t be searching for a protector to take care of you, nor should you do the opposite and look for a project, a person who you will work on. Neither of those scenarios has a happy ending.

      When considering a relationship, you should make sure that your potential special someone is a mature person who shares your vision of what it means to be a couple. That would be enough, for starters, because you shouldn’t think long-term right away.

      The Talk

      This can be a bit awkward for some people, but it’s a matter of your health and it needs to be done. The talk about previous experiences with STDs, if there were any, about their previous partners and similar talks can be done without you sounding like a controlling maniac and looking like you’re crazy with jealousy.

      Just ask them to be honest with you. Let them share their experiences so that you know where you stand and if there’s a reason for you to be worried. There’s no need to go into unnecessary details, like numbers and specifics, if one of you feels that it’s too early for something like that.

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      Slow Pace

      Beginnings of relationships are the most wonderful and the most exciting thing in the world. I love being blinded by a newfound respect for love and feeling like I’m walking on clouds – there’s nothing like the honeymoon period.

      However, this is also the time when boundaries should be set, which is why you need to steer clear from neediness and unnecessary pressure. You need to give your partner some breathing space. I know it’s difficult not to smother and shower with affection, and you should do that, but in controlled conditions and in reasonable amounts.

      One more thing – you’re probably very excited to share your new special someone with your friends and family, but this isn’t something you should force because it builds unnecessary pressure. If things work out, there will be plenty of time for them to get to know your partner and the other way around, so be patient. In the meantime, enjoy the time you spend with your new partner.

      Avoid Compensating

      It’s impossible for you to be completely objective. Sure, you’ll search for a little piece of your previous love in a new partner, or perhaps you’ll go with the exact opposite and look for someone who has nothing in common with your previous partners. If you truly want to enter a loving relationship, you need to leave the past behind.

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      Therefore, if your previous relationship ended due to a lack of ambition, you’ll probably look for someone who has a successful career. However, this might be a bit of a problem in the future, because people who are obsessed with their work don’t have a lot of free time.

      You should look at a person for what they are, as opposed to what they are not, because that’s exactly what you’ll get.

      Don’t Expect Anything

      Having expectations can really ruin things for you. When you first meet a person, it’s in your human nature to award them with a set of characteristics, based on an impression which may or may not be true. You need to do your best to distance yourself from this because that’s how unrealistic expectations are born.

      Instead of imagining a version of your new partner by idealizing them, you should make an effort to get to know that new person in your life and discover who they really are. Learn about their past. It’s a healthier way to start a relationship than daydreaming, although it’s not too bad to let your imagination go wild from time to time.

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      The bottom line is that you never know until you try, but it’s not just a matter of whether you’ll dare to make an actual attempt, but it’s also a matter of how. Healthy relations between people, not just lovers, require consideration and understanding. So, you should do your best to let it grow in a healthy atmosphere, without being concerned about the possible outcome.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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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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