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How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

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How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

The definition of loyal is faithful allegiance. So, what does that mean in relationship?

Knowing you have loyalty in a relationship is knowing that your partner always has your back, and that you can count on them through thick and thin. This provides stability and a strong foundation that’s imperative for any relationship to go the distance.

A great example in how this shows up in a relationship is when after a hectic day at work, your partner provides a sounding board to vent your feelings and emotions from the roller coaster you experienced. This not only enhances interpersonal communication, but provides another crucial layer of vulnerability in your relationship.

Some foundational characteristics of loyalty are respect, communication, affection, intimacy, vulnerability, and compassion.

Loyalty is being dedicated to not only your partner, but to the relationship and each other. To know that you are fully committed to one another, and to realize how any individual decision must be considered in how it impacts your partner and your relationship.

In my relationship, this shows up by not just the ‘big things’ we do for each other every now and again, but in the ‘little things’ we do for each other on a daily basis that adds to our emotional Love Bank Account.

One idea for filling the emotional bank account is to create a jar of things you love about your partner. You can give this to them as a gift and have them draw one item out each day, so they are reminded of why you love them. Reading it out loud will remind you as well.

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Loyalty is a beautiful alchemy of respect and reliability. It’s the maturity in knowing that all relationships have their ebb and flows, the good and not so good times. Are you going to just throw in the towel when things get rough? Or do you roll up your sleeves and figure out how to improve your relationship and truly be there for your partner? The key in reliability is knowing unequivocally that you can always count on having each other’s backs no matter what.

Loyalty is making your partner your best friend. You are 100% committed to them and on their side. You may not always agree, but you don’t hold each other’s hostage by making the other person wrong. This is the person you want to spend most of your time with. While it’s okay to have separate hobbies and interest, your partner is the first person you want to call when you have good news. They are also the first person you want to call when you need help.

Loyalty is the desire to see your partner and your relationship succeed. Everything you do, everything you say, and all that you are is invested in your relationship with your partner. You’re determined to be a successful couple living your fairy tale love story together.

You are your partner’s staunchest advocate and your desire is for them to be the best version of themselves in order to push you to be your very best that ultimately makes you the happiest couple you know!

The Keys to Loyalty in a Relationship

Being Authentic to Yourself and Your Partner

In the beginning of a relationship, if you try to be who your partner wants you to be, they may later feel like there was bait and switch.

My marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. For many of those years, I felt betrayed by my ex who showed up initially in the relationship to woo and court me.  After we were married, those romantic gestures became fewer and farther between. In the end, I felt deceived, as the man I thought I married, was actually very different than the man he was at his core.

So be sure to be true to yourself and your partner.

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Being Monogamous

In romantic relationships, the first thing that comes to mind is fidelity. If you and your partner are loyal in your relationship, you will be monogamous. Sometimes disloyalty comes in the form of an emotional affair which is just as dangerous. Having an emotional bond or connection with someone else is a form of being unfaithful.

How do you know if it’s a relationship to avoid? Some signs are if you have a physical attraction to your friend, whenyou share intimate thoughts or details about your romantic partnership with them. Other signs include If your mate is unaware of your relationship; and if you behave differently around your friend if your mate were present. These are all warning signs that you are involved in an emotional affair or are on the slippery slope of one.

Never Having to Hide Anything From Your Partner

Standing by your partner in both good and bad times even when you may not agree with their actions. It’s standing by them and supporting them even when the going gets tough.

How to Build Loyalty in Your Relationship

While we have gone over some of the common ways to show loyalty in relationship, people are different and have different beliefs and values.

Before you can build trust and loyalty, you need to understand what it means to your partner and be on the same page to build a long-lasting relationship.

1. Keep Promises and Secrets

Be sure to keep your promises and don’t keep secrets from one another.

2. Leave Your Judgement out of It

Be sure to respect each other and your differences without judgement. Although you may not understand why certain things are important to your partner, what is important is that it matters to your partner.

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Communicate, communicate, communicate: How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable

Honesty and vulnerability are keys to building loyalty and trust in relationship. In fact, there’re plenty of benefits for being vulnerable: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

When you live your truth, your partner will be more comfortable living theirs.

4. Be Forgiving

Forgiveness is essential in building and maintaining loyalty. We all make mistakes, and being quick to forgive is important. Don’t hold grudges about past transgressions as this will only erode the relationship.

Letting go of the hurt, accepting the apology, and moving on builds a trust based on truth and love. Knowing that we are human, that we make mistakes and our partner will accept us as we are is key to building trust and loyalty.

5. Be Committed to Working on Yourself

Personal growth and development not only make you a better person, but significantly improve your relationship. It’s important to grow as individuals and to grow together as a couple.

Like they say on the airplanes, place your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, we certainly can’t be there fully and completely for our partner. This ultimately creates a deeper bond and significantly adds to the Love Bank Account.

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Always remember, you’re either ripe and rotting or green and growing.

Here’re some tips to help you: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Final Thoughts

The importance of loyalty and continuing to build upon it are crucial in allowing a relationship to not just survive, but to ultimately thrive.

We all desire the safety and security of a loyal relationship that brings out our best qualities individually as well as those as a couple. It’s this warmth, comfort and deep knowing that our bond and commitment can survive any adversity that comes our way.

More Tips to Enhance Your Relationship

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

More by this author

Dana Lam

Dana is a busy mom of two boys, author and co-founder of the Surprise Date Challenge.

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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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