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10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

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10 Things Your Older Sister Never Told You

When you are the younger child in a family you have to listen not only to your parents, but to older siblings as well. A younger sister will often complain about being treated like a baby, or being bossed around by her much older sister when they were younger, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for big sis either. There are a bunch of things that your older sister never really complained about or feel the need to tell you about, knowing that you will come to understand such things when you get older.

1. She spent years as a single child and lived under stricter rules

When your parents had her they didn’t really know what they were doing and they felt incredibly protective, so your sister ended up living under very strict rules. By the time you came along, they had already learned to be a bit more lenient. Your sister essentially paved the way for you, and there were times when she wished you appreciated that fact a bit more.

2. She was put up to higher standards because she was the older one

Not only did she have to take the full brunt of your parents’ attention before you came along, but she was actually held accountable later on, because she was the older one who needs to know better. She’d take a bullet for you from time to time, and while it was frustrating it helped her become a more mature and responsible person, and having a successful older sibling can be beneficial for you as well.

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3. More often than not, she’d find herself trying to be a good role model

Since your older sister was forced to act a lot more mature than other kids her age, she’d end up thinking about her choices and actions, because she knew full well that you looked up to her. Although she might have wanted to be a bit irresponsible and have fun, at times she had to use self-control and try to set a good example.

4. She made things easier for you by giving you her hard-earned bits of wisdom

When she went through rough times, got in fights with mom and dad, had trouble in school – she had to figure it all out for herself. She had to take a few hard falls in order to get back up stronger, but she was more than happy to give you all the little tips, tricks and gems of wisdom that she learned the hard way. The advice might have seemed as nagging at times, but she just didn’t want you to go through all the troubled that she did.  

5. She knew you’d have to make some of the same mistakes, but couldn’t talk you out of it

While she did her best to give you some pointers and guidelines, some things you just have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate. There were times when she watched you make mistakes, and she knew that you wouldn’t listen, but she was still there to comfort you afterwards.

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6. She also gave your parents tips and helped them deal with you

Of course, it is inevitable to have a few stern talks with your parents and get punished, but what you didn’t appreciate when you were younger was the fact that your older sister gave parents some insight into how you felt and helped them find the best way to approach you in that situation. She took up the role of mediator when it was necessary, and even sided with you when you were clearly in the wrong.

7. It both excited and frightened her when you became old enough to start dating

When you have a much older sister you are always the baby in the family, but as you grow older there comes a point where you can speak to each other as friends as well. It’s usually about the time you start dating. She gives you tips on how to deal with the confusing mess that is the teenage girl’s psyche, and you can also learn some useful tips on makeup and what to expect from boys.

Talking with your parents about sex is a weird experience, but your older sister can provide some much-needed guidance without you feel too uncomfortable. On one hand your sister was glad that she will be able to share such things with you, but on the other hand she was worried that you might get your heart broken.

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8. When she critiqued you or teased you, it was so that you would become a better person

Sometimes your older sister would seem mean, like she didn’t care about your problems or like she just wanted to tease you for the fun of it. However, a lot of the time it was used as a means of motivating you to do better or to toughen up – wanting to prove someone wrong or “show them” is the best source of motivation. If things go a little too far, it’s easy to make a sincere apology and make up, so this tough love tends to become a common strategy.

9. She had to act as teacher, caretaker and bodyguard, and she didn’t always know what she was doing

An older sister will stand up for you, help you out with bullies, feed you, help you out with homework and teach you valuable skills. The thing is, she didn’t receive any formal training and she didn’t really know what she was doing a lot of the time. However, that didn’t stop her from trying her best to keep you safe and help you out with anything you needed. An older sister’s boyfriend is also a great influence and can have “the talk” with your new boyfriend.

10. She knew that she’d be the first one you call in an emergency and was ready for anything

An older sister has to be ready for literally anything. Driving you home wasted from a party, helping you sober up and cleaning up the mess so the parents don’t find out? Check. Taking you shopping? Check. Borrowing you cash so you can go to a concert you’ve been waiting for? Check. Your sister used to get into all kinds of trouble herself and understand that she has to be ready to help you out with similar problems, and perhaps even some unique ones that she never came across. It’s not a big surprise to her when you come to her in a panic, but she will make sure that you know how big of a favor she is doing for you.

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These are just some of the things that a much older sister went through, but never really wanted to mention. At the end of the day, she loves you like no one else in the whole world, and while she did help make you into the person you are today, she is aware that you, in turn, had a big positive effect on her life as well.

More by this author

Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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