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Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

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Long Distance Relationship Is No Issue If You Have Great Answers to These Questions!

Longing can be such a sweet sorrow. But sometimes the sorrow can outweigh the sweet, and then you just have heartache. This is among the many reasons that long distance relationship falls into the top 3 most unwanted relationships.

Everyone says they would never entertain the idea of a long distance relationship. That is, until they meet the one person that they’re willing to wait for. Love can happen at any time, and in most cases, it happens at the worst time. But some individuals refuse to let timing get in the way and pursue this flourishing love regardless of the risks. It may seem romantic; but it’s really very draining, frustrating, and lonely.

Unfortunately, love is not enough to make a relationship work. Before committing to a long distance commitment, you and your partner really need to iron out the details to see if you are capable of maintaining your bond.

Instead of Romanticizing, Start Realizing.

I’m not hating on long distance relationships. In fact, I always find myself in these situations where I meet the right person at the wrong time. So trust me, I speak from experience. And I’ve personally watched a beautiful functional relationship get torn down to tattered bits until we both finally let go. We knew it would be hard, but we just didn’t know how much.

We met as travelers, backpacking the Australian terrain. We didn’t start dating right away, and maintained a budding relationship as we explored opposite ends of the country. Since we were used to the lifestyle and had spent so much time apart already, we thought that it would actually be ideal. He being from England, and I being from America, there was an entire ocean between us. Blinded by love and naivety, we went for it.

There’s no way to really prepare yourself for the issues and emotions that will arise during your time apart. But whether or not you’ve already decided to commit, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your true nature and your partners to see if your love can withstand the distance.

These Questions Give a Hint on How Your Coming Long Distance Relationship Goes

It may be hard to imagine while you’re still in the idealistic honeymoon phase where nothing can go wrong, but eventually something will. Then you will realize just how fragile your relationship really is. Distance creates that fragility, and issues that would quickly get snuffed out in a normal relationship will cause your entire relationship to hang in the balance. You’ll find yourself asking, “is this all even worth it?”

Ask yourself and your partner these very important questions to determine whether your relationship can survive the distance:

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1. Are you BOTH willing to commit?

What does this matter?

It takes two to make this thing work. If only one of you is on the fence, then this thing isn’t going to happen. One-sided relationships are crippling, and open-relationships are confusing. You need to be on the same page.

What consequences might arise?

One of the partners is going to get fed up with making all of the effort. If they are constantly questioning your intentions and commitment to them, it’s going to cause a mess of insecurity and inevitably destroy the relationship.

2. Do both of you have enough trust?

What does this matter?

In today’s hook-up culture of side pieces and main squeezes, infidelity is glorified. You truly have to trust your partner and yourself to be completely honest about intentions and mistakes. And most of all, be honest about insecurity. Jealousy is toxic.

What consequences might arise?

If the trust is already flimsy, then your partner is going to constantly question where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and if you’re telling the truth when you provide the answers to these questions. If they feel you cannot be trusted, then they may do something regrettable out of spite or insecurity.

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3. Do you both communicate well?

What does this matter?

This isn’t just a matter of whether you can maintain an interesting conversation. You must be able to speak openly and freely to your partner, unafraid of their negative reactions to your concerns. You’re going to experience many negative emotions during your time apart, and it’s important to be able to talk about it.

What consequences might arise?

The conversation will dry out very quickly if you can’t find things to talk about. Going through the motions of your days is not very riveting. Or sometimes you may feel that your partner can’t relate to your situation, so you don’t talk to them about it; unintentionally creating distance. And if you can’t fully communicate your feelings, then you’re going to internalize them where they will convert into resentment, jealousy, insecurity, and a slew of awful emotions that no one wants to feel.

4. Are you willing to give extra security support to your partner?

What does this matter?

Your once strong and impenetrable partner will become extremely vulnerable to you during these trying times. They’re going to need extra reassurance and surprise pick-me-ups from you to know that you still care.

What consequences might arise?

More likely than not, the reason that you are dating long distance is because you have obligations elsewhere that you need to attend to. So, you’re probably very busy and can’t be bothered by neediness. You may get turned off by the vulnerability and constant need for attention and may not be willing to give them all of that extra reassurance that they need. This will make your partner feel that you don’t care.

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5. Is it OK to have less physical attachment?

What does this matter?

One of the main issues with long distance, is that the relationship is no longer tangible. You can’t touch, kiss, or cuddle your partner. Yes, sex isn’t everything but it is absolutely a component in a healthy relationship. And sometimes, it’s not even about sex. It’s just about intimacy, and having someone next to you (which has proven to have therapeutic effects [1]).

What consequences might arise?

Even for people who don’t consider themselves sexual, this will get taxing after awhile. You’re living out a virtual relationship, where you can only see digital projections of your lover, and hear their voice over a landline. Many people need something tangible; and a simple Skype call can’t fill that void. For some, this is where the prospect of cheating may arise. Not because their distant partner isn’t enough, but because they feel that they need that physical connection.

6. Do you each have an independent life outside your love life? Can you live alone?

What does this matter?

This is so incredibly crucial. Whether your relationship is distant or not, it’s very important to have an independent life outside of your relationship. Or else you will cling to them, monopolizing all of their time. This is still possible in a long-distance relationship; and you can drive your partner crazy no matter how far away you are. Independence is not only an important quality to have, but it is also very, very sexy.

You don’t necessarily have to live alone while they are away. Roommates can make the distance a lot less lonely as long as you can live in harmony. What’s more important is whether you can swing sleeping in an empty bed every night.

What consequences might arise?

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Without your own life, job, friends, or hobbies keeping you occupied, you’re going to drive your partner insane with the constant need for entertainment from them. They’ll feel that you don’t respect their busy life and goals that they are trying to reach, and may think less of you for being so helpless and needy.

If you have issues with being alone, then you will have serious struggles with infidelity. There’s nothing wrong with needing companionship, some of us need it more than others. But you need to be honest with yourself and your partner so that no one gets hurt when you reach out for attachment.

7. Do you guys have an end plan?

What does this matter?

Without an end plan or goal to work towards, you’re just floating in a lovers limbo with no way out. You need goals such as moving closer to one another, marriage, or planning a trip to see one another.

What consequences might arise?

As with anything, you need a reward to make the effort worth it. Without these goals to work towards, your relationship will start to feel like it isn’t worth the hassle. At this point you’re basically pen-pals tied up in a melodramatic, failing love. The relationship will inevitably fizzle out, leaving the two of you feeling jilted and angry that they didn’t try any harder. But the truth is, long distance relationships are their own breed, and it takes a very specific kind of couple to tame that kind of beast.

Featured photo credit: Love My Britt via google.com

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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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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