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10 Toxic Marriage Habits Wedded Couples Need To Stop Now

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10 Toxic Marriage Habits Wedded Couples Need To Stop Now

Toxic marriage habits can create the illusion for some that their current partner isn’t the right person for them. In some cases, this might be the truth. In other cases, however, the fact might be that eliminating these toxic habits could eliminate many relationship “issues,” thereby improving (or even saving) a flailing partnership.

Your relationship with your partner exists as an entity separate from each of you. Just like individuals have ups and downs, so do marriages. Just as with your body, whatever you “feed” your relationship will be reflected in its overall health. If you want to eliminate dis-ease and negativity, purge your relationship of these 10 toxic marriage habits:

1. The failure to express appreciation for your partner.

We all crave validation and acknowledgment. Most of us want to hear it from the person we love the most: our husband or wife. Lack of positive expression in our partnerships makes people feel as though they are being taken for granted. After months or years of feeling unappreciated, it is not uncommon for someone to stop “trying” to please their partner or to look for appreciation elsewhere.

Say, “Thank you,” “I love you,” and, “I appreciate you,” regularly.

2. The failure to support the dreams of your partner.

People often have fond memories of their relationship’s infancy. During the dopamine-infused newness of a courtship, people talk about their dreams, all of which seem magical. Unfortunately, when the “hot and heavy” wears off, reality hits.

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People begin to see the world and their partners more critically. Individuals forget how dreams are precious and that they must be treated with care. Partners tear down the hopes and ideas of their beloved other.

This is painful, and it is damaging. Suppression of a person’s dreams could be evidenced by lack of expression in the relationship. Coincidentally, that is the next toxic marriage habit on this list.

3. Lack of expression in and about the relationship.

It should go without saying that communication is a must in every marriage. Without being able to articulate fears, injuries, hopes, and desires with one another, partners become disconnected. Individuals should allow one another the freedom to express themselves without constant fear of judgment, drama or conflict. The free flow of ideas and communication is the circulation that gives your relationship life.

4. The absence of self-confidence and self-love.

The healthiest relationships are borne of two secure, confident and aware individuals. When one or both people in a marriage suffer from a lack of self-love, jealousy and insecurities often manifest in the relationship. These two things are marriage habits that are potentially deadly for any union. If you want to eliminate jealousy and insecurity, focus on loving and accepting every part of who you are first.

You are perfect.

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5. Complacency in your self-care and behavior.

As time passes in a relationship, people get more relaxed and let things go. This can get discouraging for a husband who loves seeing his wife get gussied up for work every day. It can wreak havoc on a couple’s sex life when health issues crop up because of the failure to eat right and exercise.

Whether you have been married two years or twenty, keep on top of your game. Do this not just for your partner, but for you! It feels better to do, act and be the best person you can be. It will do wonders for your marriage, too.

6. Wanting tit-for-tat.

At different points during every marriage, one partner will have to pick up the slack for the other one. This is why they call marriage “a partnership.” Understand that if your husband or wife is not giving as much as you would like, there will come a point when he or she will be picking up your slack. Don’t always insist on receiving tit-for-tat when you think you have gone above and beyond in the relationship.

Let your partner ride a little bit. Look forward to the day when the favor will be returned.

7. Forgetting to let your partner in on your plans.

Nothing can make a relationship go sideways faster than forgetting to get your husband or wife on board. By failing to clue your partner in on your dreams, goals or lunch dates, you could leave them feeling abandoned, excluded and caught off guard. All of these things lead to resentment, anger and disconnection.

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You don’t have to ask for your partner’s permission. You can ask for your partner’s support. You only need to let your partner in on what it is you want to do and where you want to go for lunch…and in life.

8. Making your partner your last priority.

Your kids are a top priority. So is your work. So are you. And…so is your partner.

How do you balance all of these things? That is the million dollar question, friends. Anyone who is in a marriage is negotiating that answer, especially if there are kids involved.

You won’t always balance everything perfectly. Acknowledge that fact. The most important thing to remember, however, is to not forget about your partner in this list.

Talk with your partner about how overwhelmed you feel. Come up with ideas on how you each can make the other feel like a “priority” with all these competing interests pulling at you. Express how much you mean to each other.

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9. Letting the physical intimacy in your relationship dwindle.

Life gets busy. People feel exhausted. They forget to look in their partner’s eyes, kiss passionately, hold each other and just touch. This lack of physical intimacy can lead to the feeling that a partner doesn’t love you.

Physical intimacy with someone you love is healing for the soul. It strengthens (and helps maintain) the bond between two individuals. Keep the intimacy alive in your relationship.

Practice touching one another. Read books to help keep the fire burning. See a counselor if you are out of touch or need help getting started again.

10. Failing to dig deep with your partner.

Without relationship evolution, your marriage will die. Remember that if you want to strike relationship gold, you have to be willing to dig deep with your partner. Issues and conflict are your opportunities to burrow into the soul of your beloved, plant new seeds and continue to grow together.

Approach change in your partner and relationship with the wondrous eyes of an explorer. By doing this, you will continue to discover new things every day. This will keep you out of a relationship rut and in something that is fresh, changing, and always exciting.

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These toxic marriage habits are subtle and are sometimes silent. Left unchecked for too long, they will kill your marriage. Make it a regular habit to look at yourself and how you could make yourself better for you and your partner. By doing this, you reduce the chances that the habits will take hold and cause havoc in your heart and home.

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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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