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The Whole World Thinks I’m Alone, What If I Never Felt That Way

The Whole World Thinks I’m Alone, What If I Never Felt That Way

Every year as Valentine’s Day approaches, I dread the infamous question “Do you have a date for Valentine’s?” I don’t dread the question because I don’t have a date, which is supposed to make me sad. I dread the question because people are convinced that I will spend the day crying over my unfair fortune, and that single equals miserable. Well, guess what – I’m single and I love it!

Don’t get me wrong – I am still looking for a fulfilling romantic relationship. But I learned that I can be perfectly happy on my own. Whoever says you need to be with someone to be happy – has some deep insecurities to work on.

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Nobody can truly love you if you don’t love yourself

I’ve learned so much from the last time I had a relationship, a long-term “serious” relationship. What I mean by serious, is that we were constantly asked “When are you going to get married?” or “When are you going to have kids?” And I was smiling and politely responding to the questions, eagerly waiting for those things to come. I thought it was supposed to be that way, and that I will miss out on happiness if I don’t perfectly follow the timeline: meet – start relationship – get married – have children. Why? Because that’s what my surroundings led me to believe – do it as soon as you can, or you’ll be miserable for the rest of your life. You are worth nothing if you are not in a relationship.

We were perfectly happy (or so I thought). But one thought came to my mind and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I started feeling like I was in somebody else’s shoes. Is this really me? Do I know what I want and what I like, it has just aligned, over time, with what my partner wants or likes? Is this happiness, or I’m just too afraid to be alone? Am I really satisfied with myself? Do I really love myself?

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Am I going forwards or backwards?

I realized I’m lost in all the expectations I didn’t create myself. I’ve lost myself in the process. I felt so alone. I realized that deep down, I’m not happy. I needed to find myself.

The unavoidable conversation came. “But I love you!” “How can you love me if I don’t love myself?”

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After the breakup, people were walking on eggshells around me, constantly asking “Are you OK?” Of course, I felt sad, but I was excited at the same time, because for the first time in years, I didn’t know what the future holds, and I could build it the way I wanted to, not the way people expect me to. The word “single” stopped having the negative meaning. It now meant that I can take the time to really get to know and love myself. I started doing everything that came to my mind – learned a new language, read a whole load of books (epic fantasy is what I like the most, if you want to know), tried new foods,  and took up new hobbies (I’ll stay away from volleyball in the future, thank you very much, but at least now I know). I came to realize who I truly am.

I can truly appreciate the meaning of love now, since romantic love is not the only kind of love. I found that the love I have for myself is the most important part of happiness. I now love myself and only now I can find my significant other who will love me for who I really am. I also found out that the love I have for my dearest friends and family can warm my heart and make me a better person. That’s the kind of love that gives you strength. So, me being single was the best time of my life, because I learned so many things. Now, I’m ready to find my significant other. My truly significant other. And I will wait. I won’t settle for less. Because being single is not that bad after all.

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Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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