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How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

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How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

Have you ever wondered if your partner was lying to you about where they were going? Maybe Facebook crept your spouse’s ex? Or ruined a perfectly good evening by accusing your partner of something you’re pretty sure they didn’t even do?

If so, welcome to the jealousy club.

The bottom line is that there is nothing fun about jealousy. It ruins relationships, makes you feel crazy, and gives birth to a hurtful bulb of suspicion that lives inside your heart.[1]

But trying to overcome jealousy can sometimes feel like you’re trying to control a tidal wave. You don’t mean to break the dam, but you can’t help your jealous water from gushing forth.

Nobody wants to be jealous. Jealousy can ruin an otherwise great relationship. It feeds mistrust, damages self-esteem, and rarely does any good. Yet, so many of us are powerless to stop it from overwhelming our thoughts, actions, and speech.

So, what can we do about it? How can you overcome jealousy?

Here are 8 tips for overcoming jealousy in your relationship.

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1. Count to Ten

There is nothing fun about catching your partner sending a flirty winky text to someone else or listening to them crush over some hot celeb, but are these things really worth getting upset about?

Whenever your jealousy starts to make you feel angry, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and count to ten. After ten seconds is over, ask yourself if what you’re upset about is really worth ruining your day over.

If you must bring it up, do so calmly. Instead of yelling at your partner or belittling them, simply say, “It makes me a little uncomfortable when you do ___.”

2. Trust Your Instincts

The above tip was designed for people who are dealing with unnecessary jealousy, not for those who have legitimate reasons for being suspicious of their spouse (like partners openly flirting with others, having secret friendships, or lying to you).

How do you know if your partner is being faithful? The bottom line is this: trust your instincts.

Odds are you know if you are overreacting to something silly, but if your gut is telling you that something feels off in your relationship, you’re probably right!

Talk to your partner about how you feel in a way that is calm and respectful, and get to the bottom of what’s eating your relationship.

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3. Work on Building Trust

Trust is an essential aspect of a healthy, happy, satisfying relationship. Overcoming jealousy involves having a healthy level of trust.[2]

You build trust as a couple when you:

  • Don’t lie to each other
  • Are accountable for your actions
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Express your feelings
  • Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your spouse to do
  • Show that you are reliable

By doing these things, you and your spouse will build healthy trust that will make you feel safe and loved in your relationship.

Just remember that nobody is perfect, and there will be times when you and your spouse unintentionally hurt each other – so it won’t hurt either of you to let some things slide every now and again.

4. Boost Self-Love

Jealousy often stems from self-esteem issues. You may not feel worthy of having someone’s unconditional affection or perhaps someone has betrayed your trust in the past and it has left you feeling uncomfortable giving your heart away.

Whatever the case, a healthy relationship stems from healthy levels of self-love. Boosting self-love also helps in overcoming jealousy. You can practice boosting the love and respect you have for yourself by spending time alone and learning to appreciate your own company, treating your body well, and working on self-expansion.

5. Communicate Your Feelings

What you and your partner deem appropriate relationship behavior may be completely different, which is why it’s so important to communicate your feelings openly.

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Communicating your feelings well is an important step in overcoming jealousy. Being aware of what actions and behaviors will hurt your partner and vice versa will help you and your spouse build a healthy relationship based on respect.

6. Consider Counseling

Is your jealousy getting the better of your relationship?

Most times jealousy stems from something that happened to you in the past. Perhaps you had a traumatic childhood or someone you trusted emotionally, verbally, or physically hurt you. Whatever the case, therapy can help: What Is Marriage Counseling and How It Helps Relationships

Talking to a professional in-person, via Zoom/Skype, or in a chatroom can help you get to the root of what’s causing you to act out in jealousy.

A therapist can also give you coping mechanisms to deal with anger or jealousy in the future – or they may even validate your feelings and let you know that you may have a legitimate reason for being jealous.[3]

If your partner has done something to make you suspicious of their motives, perhaps having been unfaithful in the past, it may be worth checking out some couples counseling or an online marriage course.

7. Adjust Your Relationship Expectations

One tip for overcoming jealousy is to readjust your expectations for your relationship. Find out here some unrealistic expectations people often have for relationships.

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Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you’ve lost your ability to find someone else attractive. Noticing someone outside of your current romance doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your relationship or that you’re not committed to your partner.

So long as your partner is not acting on their attraction to someone else, this is nothing to worry about.

Note that adjusting your expectations does not mean lowering your standards. You should not be with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

8. Express Jealousy in a Healthy Way

It’s important to remember that, when expressed in the right away, jealousy doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Jealousy can actually help couples to:

  • Show more appreciation for one another / not take each other for granted
  • Increase love and affection
  • Promote self-improvement
  • Work hard to make each other happy
  • Act as a messenger when things don’t seem right

But again, how you express jealousy is going to be the determining factor in how well it helps in your life. If you lash out and yell at your partner, odds are this is not going to improve your relationship. But if you respectfully express your concerns, you and your partner can use jealousy as an opportunity to learn and grow as a couple.

Final Thoughts

Jealousy doesn’t always have to be a bad thing – but if it is, you need to reign it in! You can overcome jealousy in a relationship by working on self-love, communicating respectfully with your spouse, and adjusting your expectations. These will contribute to a happy, healthy relationship.

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More Tips on Improving Relationships

Featured photo credit: Chermiti Mohamed via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other How to Leave a Toxic Relationship When You Still Love Your Partner How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

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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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