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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

6 Books To Read If You’re Not Sure It’s Time To Go Your Separate Ways

6 Books To Read If You’re Not Sure It’s Time To Go Your Separate Ways
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Relationships are fun, and at the same time desperate, crazy, and frustrating, especially when it looks like it is going towards a dead-end. Most of us tend not to spend time analysing why we feel bliss in a relationship; rather we seek out deeper understanding only when something hurts. Sounds familiar? If you are on the verge of a breakup, here is a selection of 6 books to help you make a better decision before deciding whether or not it’s truly time to cut it off.

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships by John M. Gottman, Joan DeClaire

    These psychology experts offer 5-step follow-through advise to transform your troubled relationships into positive relationships and fostering understanding of emotions in yourself and others. Apart from elements leading to successful relationships, the authors also explain what makes relationships fail. Here is a tip for you when you are in conflict: It helps to find out what the greater goal each other really wants and come up with a solution that will work for both.

    Reading Duration: 4hrs 45mins

    Get The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships from Amazon at $11.99

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    I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum

      Is my relationship worth saving? Will the trust ever come back? How can things be good between us again? Couples therapist Mira Kirshenbaum helps you understand the stages of trust and how to strengthen trust with her therapy experience providing useful tools. The book is also filled with stories of couples who stomped across obstacles to complete trust with each other, take examples from these previous stories and deal with yours.

      Reading Duration: 4hrs 18mins

      Get I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship from Amazon at $11.99

      Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by John S. Hammond, Howard Raiffa, Ralph L. Keeney

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        Smart Choices offers user-friendly guide leading readers to find the deep-seated objectives, to create a comprehensive set of alternatives, determine likely consequences, make tradeoffs, and grapple with uncertainty. The book offers techniques for making the smartest decisions, it might not be the traditional read for relationship advice, but it is certainly the rational guide towards an emotional problem.

        Reading Duration: 3hrs 37mins

        Get Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions from Amazon at $19.24

        Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum

          Written by Mira Kirshenbaum, base on years of therapist counselling experience to lead readers through relationship ambivalence. The book contains 36 questions and self-analysis techniques to help readers get to the root problems of relationship and marriage. Do not expect quick fixes or fast advice from Kirshenbaum, in her perspective as a therapist, we should find out the answers, assess these problems and find ways out by ourselves. Even if you still feel confused after reading, you will at least feel normal about your situation and understand problems occur in every relationship.

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          Reading Duration: 4hrs 18mins

          Get Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship from Amazon at $12.16

          Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Bethany Marshall

            This book is for all the fellow ladies. It is about men, not all men, just emotionally unhealthy men. We often have questions in a relationship, “Am I making a big deal out of this?” or “Is it me that is overreacting?”.  Deal Breakers is a book to help reader getting out of the “relationship purgatory” – where the present is unfulfilling and the only thing to do is to hope for the future. Future has not magic, if you do not solve the problem now, the problem will continue to exist in the future.

            Reading Duration: 3hrs 10mins

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            Get Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away from Amazon at $10.78

            Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston

              Paul Tillich once said “The first duty of love is to listen”, listening is easier said than done. Everyone wants to feel “felt”, and understood, so we should stop trying to be interesting, and be interested instead. This book is not just for the ones on the edge of breaking up, but also people who are dealing with a harried colleague and a stressed-out client, basically anyone who needs comfort.

              Reading Duration: 3hrs 37mins

              Get Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone from Amazon at $7.96

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              Lifehack Reads is the curated collection of our favorite books, carefully categorized and sorted by our Editorial Team.

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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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