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10 Sentences An Upset Person Doesn’t Want To Hear

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10 Sentences An Upset Person Doesn’t Want To Hear

In a world divided by so many differences, the truth is that we’re all very much the same. We all want to be happy and to live meaningful lives. We all struggle with similar challenges and insecurities. We all need someone to be there at one time or another.

When a person is feeling upset, angry, sad, disappointed, anxious, or any other negative emotion, this is the opportunity for you to be there for them. To help them feel less alone. It’s a time where you can reflect back on when you’ve felt a similar way and what you wished someone had said to you.

It’s not always easy to say the right thing, but it’s important that we think twice about our words. To someone going through an upsetting time, inappropriate comments can make a lot of difference – but not in a way that benefits them.

Here are 10 sentences an upset person doesn’t want to hear.

1. “You’re overreacting.”

We all have our own temperaments, personalities and life experiences. We all respond differently to different events. What may upset one person, may not upset another. There is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way to feel.

Telling someone that they’re overreacting isn’t empathizing with how they feel. It’s telling them, “You’re not allowed to feel that way.” It’s making them feel that what they’re actually feeling doesn’t matter.

What you want is to acknowledge how they’re feeling – without insulting or criticising them. If they are struggling to think rationally, it’s best to be kind and compassionate in your approach.

Listen to what the person has to say and try putting yourself in the person’s shoes. Try saying, “I can see how you’d feel upset…” and nod along to show you’re actually listening.

2. “Get over it.”

Everyone responds differently to stressful and upsetting events. Everyone grieves at their own pace. Everyone has their own way with dealing with things.

It’s not kind nor helpful to tell someone to “just get on with things” or to “harden up”. It’s not showing them that their sadness matters to you. It’s a very hurtful thing to say to someone already in pain.

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We need to let them express how they’re feeling – it’s vital for maintaining their emotional and mental health. If we continue to push them away, they might withdraw and stop talking about their feelings completely.

My grandfather passed away when I was 11 years old. I didn’t know him all that well, but I saw his life fade away slowly with multiple strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. I recall my mother taking on the role of his full-time carer. She showered him, dressed him and fed him for the last five years of his life.

I recall walking by his room every morning before school and thinking, “This could be the last time I see my grandpa.”

I am now 26 years old, yet when I think of him, I still feel incredibly sad. I’ve been told in the past to “get over it”. But grief and pain doesn’t have a time limit. You’re allowed to be sad.

Instead of saying, “get over it”, try saying, “I know things are really hard for you at the moment. Let me know when you want to talk about it.”

3. “You’re such a cry baby.”

Crying is a very effective way of letting your feelings out. A way of releasing all the emotions you’ve been keeping locked inside. People who cry are often labelled as ‘weak’. But they’re not. In fact, they’re strong for having the courage to be honest about how they’re feeling.

I’m a very sensitive person and up until I was in my early 20’s, I thought it was something to be ashamed about. I hated that part of myself. I was repeatedly told that I was a “cry baby” and that crying in front of people was embarrassing.

But I know now that it’s not. Crying is normal. And I’ve realised that my sensitivity means I am more empathetic. I’m more aware of how other people might be feeling. I can relate better with others and have more honest and fulfilling relationships.

Instead of rushing to put a stop on someone’s tears, let them cry it out. Put a hand on their shoulder and let them take their time. Get them a tissue. Remind yourself that what you’re doing – just being there – is enough.

4. “Your life isn’t that bad.”

Just because a person generally has a ‘happy’ life, doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to feel unhappy. Telling someone, “Your life isn’t that bad” can make someone feel that they’re ‘complaining about nothing’ and their problems are trivial.

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When you tell someone all the things they should be grateful for, it can shine a light on the positive but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem at hand.

Try a kinder and gentler approach. For example, if someone has lost their job but they’re quite wealthy, you could say, “I know it sucks that you’ve lost your job, you’re probably worried you won’t find one soon. Do you want to look at job vacancies together?”

5. “You don’t look good.”

When someone is going through a difficult time, the last thing on their mind is how they look. They may be struggling to get a good night’s sleep, not eating as well as they should be, and already feeling low and insecure about themselves.

Three years ago, I was going through possibly one of the hardest times in my life. I wasn’t sleeping well and it was quite evident on my face. And a friend of mine saw me and immediately said, “You look really tired.”

There was no “Hello”. No, “Are you okay? You look really tired.” Although I’m sure the person didn’t mean to be hurtful, the comment left me feeling worse than I already was feeling.

If you’re concerned that your loved one is behaving or acting differently, simply say, “I’m worried about you. Try to eat well and get enough sleep. If you need anything at all, just let me know.”

6. “Just tell me what’s wrong!”

For some people, it’s not easy to open up and express their emotions and feelings. It’s not easy to put into words how they feel. Don’t rush them into opening up. Instead, make it clear that you’re there for them, but you will give them the time and privacy that they need.

Try saying, “When you’re ready to talk about it, I’ll be here for you.”

7. “You’re always angry.”

Sometimes it’s so easy to label someone ‘angry’, than it is to look beneath the surface. Why do you think they are ‘always angry’? Is there something going on in their life that they’re too afraid to talk about?

Is their ‘angry’ attitude a result of negative experiences in the past? Is it possible that depression, or some other illness, might be the cause?

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Rather than criticizing your loved one, seek to understand their behaviors. Think about what may have happened to them recently or what may be happening to them now. Show them kindness and compassion.

Try saying instead, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been really upset lately. Do you want to talk about it?”

8. “You’ll be fine.”

Reassuring a loved one that they will be okay is great – unless it’s done in a patronizing and condescending way. Don’t dismiss how they’re feeling and brush off what they’re trying to say.

People don’t always want solutions. They want someone to listen, to remind them that their pain is valid.

Instead, try, “I know everything is hard at the moment, but try to hang in there. Let me know if you need anything.”

9. “You’re bringing me down.”

Nobody likes to feel that they’re a burden, that they’re bothering someone with their problems. But when you say, “you’re bringing me down”, it can have a much deeper impact than you realize.

The person going through a difficult time might feel even more lonely, more helpless. They might wonder whether things will ever get better. They might even want to give up.

Try not to say this at all. Instead, just remind yourself that life is filled with ups and downs. And your loved one just needs a hand in being lifted back up.

10. “I’m too busy to talk.”

When I was 18 years old, I saved someone from ending their life simply through talking. I’d only known the person for two weeks, yet I sat with him in his car for two hours. He was a friend of my now-husband’s and the second I looked at him, I knew he needed to talk.

He told me why he was living off of chocolate bars for dinners. He told me why he had a broken relationship with his mother. He cried and I listened.

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The defining moment came when he looked me in the eyes and said, “I was going to end my life tonight. I had it planned and everything. But you stopped me. I didn’t do it, all because of you.”

I will never ever forget those words. Because I had reached out to someone, because I had taken time out of my day to help someone, I had saved their life.

Sometimes we forget how much of a difference we can make to someone else’s life. How much our kindness, our compassion, our smile, our hug – can completely change someone else’s life.

We’re all busy. We all have responsibilities.

But we all have similar problems too.

And sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are important. That our feelings matter.

Rather than saying to someone, “I’m too busy to talk,” think to yourself, “HOW can I make time for this person?”

Sometimes just 15 minutes is enough to remind them that they’re really not alone.

Sometimes just 15 minutes can save a life.

Featured photo credit: goodinteractive via pixabay.com

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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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