Advertising

10 Relationship Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Themselves

Advertising
10 Relationship Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Themselves

Every now and then, it’s a good idea to do a ‘health check’ on your relationship. When we neglect our relationships, problems can arise and before long you may realize that you aren’t getting along as well as before. In order to nurture closeness and be sure that you are in the right relationship, rather than just going through the motions, ask yourselves the following questions to gauge whether or not you are still on the right track.

1) Do you and your partner fight or argue with increasing frequency?

If you are arguing more than usual, ask yourself what the source if the conflict is. Nip it in the bud and deal with it before it becomes a bigger problem. Letting problems stick around can lead to resentment and a loss of loving feelings towards one another.

Advertising

2) Do you feel that your emotional needs are not being met?

This question is very important. If either of you feel your emotional needs are not being met, now is the time to change things. When emotional needs are not being met, it has a destructive effect on the relationship. We start assuming that the other person doesn’t care, and we begin to do less for our partners with an attitude of, “they don’t do it for me, so why should I do it for them?” This inevitably will lead to bigger problems. Sit down with your partner and make a list of three to five things that they can do to meet your emotional needs. Make an effort to incorporate those actions listed as often as possible to restore goodwill in the relationship.

3) Are you physically frustrated in your relationship?

Affection is part of the whole package. A complete lack of touch and affection leads to a disconnection whether you realize it or not. If all tactile behavior has ceased, make an effort to give one another a foot rub or shoulder rub. Tap them on the shoulder as you walk by–focus on touch to reconnect and feel closer. If sex is non-existent, talk about it and re-introduce touch slowly. Begin with baby steps–be sure not to pressure you partner.

Advertising

4) Do you think that your partner places their job or other priorities ahead of you?

When we don’t feel important in a relationship, our thinking begins to change and we find ways to feel important in other ways. Often these ways can be non-productive and lead to more problems. Discuss your feelings with your partner–they may not even realize how you feel. Try to compromise and find ways to work around the circumstances so that you may feel important again. Everyone likes an attentive partner. Consider too, whether this situation is temporary and calls for a little patience in the short term.

5) Do you feel that you are being used?

If you feel used on some level, this suggests a trust issue. Trust your instincts. If your partner ignores your needs and always puts themselves first, it’s not a good sign. Every relationship requires give and take in order to survive.

Advertising

6) Do you feel there is more to life than that which you are living in this relationship?

Are you feeling restless? Do you look around at other people and fantasize about being in another relationship? Sometimes we do this when we are angry with our partner, but if this is developing into a regular behavioral pattern, it suggests that there are underlying issues. Ask yourself whether there are things you could be doing together as a couple. Make the effort to do something fun at least once a month to keep the fire alive

7) Have you had to stop being yourself in order to keep the peace in the relationship?

When you stop being yourself, you start living a lie. When a partner tries to change you consistently, they are sending you a message that you are not good enough as you are. Trying to be someone you’re not is a losing game–you need to be loved for who you essentially are. That is what we all wish for. You can’t change your character, but you can compromise and change some behaviors–know the difference.

Advertising

8) Is guilt a major factor in your relationship?

Do you stay in your relationship out of guilt? Do you feel a duty to stay for some reason? If you aren’t staying out of love and friendship it might be time to question your motives. Guilt is never a good reason to continue a relationship and the long term prospects of a relationship based on guilt are not good.

9) Do you feel that you give while your partner takes?

Who makes all the effort in the relationship? Every relationship, without exception needs to be nurtured. I like to think of relationships like gardens. If you don’t tend to them, ‘weeds’ start to grow. If you feel that you are the only one that legitimately works on the relationship, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Often, there could just be a miscommunication and once the topic has been discussed, you can both find ways to feel that equal effort is being rendered.

Advertising

10) Are you in this relationship today simply because it feels safe and allows you to stay in your comfort zone?

I have come across many people who stay in relationships, not because they are happy, but because it is all they know. They stay out of fear of the unknown. Don’t allow self limiting beliefs to stop you from leading a full life. Be brave. Get out there and make sure that you are living the best possible life for you.

Relationships take work. Two unique individuals with their different personalities, backgrounds and preferences always makes for an interesting mix. Compromise, communication and consideration go a long way to keeping a relationship healthy. Develop your own interests and you’ll have more to bring to the relationship. Above all, have fun and communicate regularly. All too often we make assumptions about what our other half is thinking, and this is often wrong. We get annoyed, assume and then become angry. Speak openly, express your feelings and above all make time for lighthearted activities. Too many chores and too much monotony and routine are never good for a relationship. Go out and have some fun together!

More by this author

Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a Psychologist/CBT therapist who believes getting through life is easier with a robust sense of humour.

40 Ways to Find Peace of Mind and Inner Calm 15 Simple (And Practical) Ways to Overcome Depression Life Truths: 17 Universal Truths We All Share 7 Ways To Stop Yourself From Being A Slave to Your Emotions good partner 20 Ways To Recognize A Good Partner

Trending in Communication

1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

Advertising
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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next