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7 Things to Remember When Dating an INFJ

7 Things to Remember When Dating an INFJ
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INFJs are one of the rarest personality types out there. With our energy primarily focused internally, we are quiet, intuitive and idealistic dreamers with an empathy for everything and everyone. We live in another world – one entwined with hidden meanings, possibilities, and symbolism – this can make us quite odd at times for those who find themselves around us.

At first, other personality types might see us as mysterious, even intriguing, but this can also cause problems within our relationships, as these characteristics can quickly make us appear aloof and blasé.

There are a number of things one should know before jumping head first into a relationship with an INFJ – not all of them necessarily negative, but needed to know before you can move into a more serious phase and a deeper understanding of the relationship:

1. No hook ups

INFJs do not want something temporary that can dwindle away with the first indication of a strong, potentially stormy wind that blows in its direction. We seek soul mates, those with whom we can connect on a spiritual, emotional and intellectual level.

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We do not do casual or friends with benefits; it only frustrates us and makes us feel guilty for compromising our ideals and our value systems. This by no means make us judgmental towards others who prefer to explore and experiment; it is just not something we wish to pursue.

2. Trust does not always come easy

INFJs are keen observers of the world and all that goes on in it. We not only see the pain, we also feel it. This is one of the reasons behind us being so hesitant to just jump into a relationship before knowing if we really connect with a person.

If there is any indication that the person is not being honest or open with us we will immediately retreat. We are good readers of situations and people and if the dynamics of the relationship has changed or if the person fails to give his or her all, we will sense it.

3. We do not give up

INFJs do not easily give up on a relationship, it is thus that we need you to be honest. If we feel the dynamics – as mentioned above – has changed, we will slowly start disappearing mentally, emotionally and even physically. We do not like conflict—this also makes us (or perhaps only me personally) terrible verbal communicators when it does come to the point of conflict. We avoid the elephant in the room and will often wait for the other person to break things off first.

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4. We need time alone

We tend to give our all in a relationship and often neglect ourselves in the process, which most likely leads to us being exhausted and overstimulated. This, in turn, might cause us to lash out, saying or doing something we do not mean.

Therefore, we need time alone to center ourselves; we need our other half not to take it personally when we tell them we need a weekend alone without seeing, texting or phoning each other. Our loved ones need to be able to let us go for long enough to enable us to recharge and recuperate. It is the only way we will be able to function “normally” in the world we find ourselves in, as well as in our relationship again.

5. Snobs are a buzz kill

Look, we all love a good dose of confidence, style, and a positive body image. Great for the guy or girl who has it, but they should not dare use it as a weapon to bring others down. If they do, they will not see us hanging around for long, if at all.

This was a major pet peeve in one of my relationships and in the end contributed to some of my own insecurities. I never saw the flaws he pointed out in others, but it made me consciously look at myself through his eyes, wondering if he felt that way about me too. It was only after I did some soul searching and was able to recollect myself and my sense of worth and value that I knew this was not something I could stand for.

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You have to understand, INFJs are affected by the energy provided by the environment around us and we cannot stand for an energy of criticism, arrogance, and elitism – we despise it. We see people’s souls; we do not care about status, appearances, and accessories. We hope to find someone who appreciates the simplicity and makes room for what matters.

6. We are the peculiar children

INFJs are beautifully complex – so much so that it is often frustratingly confusing not only to those around us but also for ourselves. We have a rich inner life and often get lost in idealistic dreams and fantasies about life and the world we wish to save. We know we might seem strange to others and because of this awareness we will often feel alone and misunderstood.

We rarely feel that anyone truly gets us and this can often cause tension in our relationships. However, bear with us; work with us when we feel this way. We might not admit it, but we do need you.

7. The deep pit of depression

INFJs tend to struggle with periods of depression. Whether it is because we feel helpless and hopeless in our pursuit of saving the world and all its inhabitants, or due to the fact that we are experiencing a crisis and blockage in our work, perhaps even because we feel lonely and misunderstood. This can play a role in our relationships and we might feel the need to creep back into our deep, dark and lonely pit.

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It is wise to know when to let us creep back in and to just let us be, allowing us to sort through our thoughts and emotions, but it is also wise to know when we need that helping hand to pull us back into the light. Please, please do not abandon us completely.

This is us. Take it or leave it. But one thing we can guarantee the guy or girl if they do decide to take it is loyalty, support, absolute love, acceptance and someone that will always be ready to go on new adventures with you. All we need is your trust, your openness and your ability to stay with us through the sticky and rough patches in our lives – we will not forget it, and we will be devoted to you until the end.

If you are an INFJ, let us know how you find your relationship to be like and if you were lucky enough to find the one that dances with you through the rain, the one whose love roars louder than your demons; the one who knows how to make you feel both secure and wild.

Featured photo credit: Junebug Weddings via junebugweddings.com

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Bianca Gouws

Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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