In today’s society, its hard to tell whether or not you and your significant are in the right relationship. With 6 billion people walking the face of this earth, its not too uncommon to wonder if he/she is the one for you. Lets take a look at some of the signs to tell if they are the right one for you!
1. You Have a Mutual Understanding
If you, and your partner are both on the same page in your relationship, this is a good sign that they are the right one for you.
What I mean by this is that if you and your partner both have the same goals in the relationship (i.e. marriage, kids, living together, etc.) and there is no confusion about it, you are in a really good place! There is nothing worse than going into a relationship thinking that things are serious between you two, but your partner doesn’t feel the same way just yet.
2. You Don’t Play Games
If you and your partner naturally avoid playing games with each other (and no, I am not talking about monopoly), then you are probably in the right relationship. If your partner makes a habit out of trying to make you jealous, or to lead you on for nothing, they are probably not the one for you. That just means that their heart isn’t in the relationship, and that they are probably just looking for a way out, without having to be the one to end it.
3. You Communicate
I can not stress this one enough! If there is a lack of constant honest, clear communication then you are probably not in the right relationship. You cannot start a relationship off of lies, and secrets, especially if they are secrets that you are worried about your partner learning about. If they don’t like what they have to hear in the beginning, then at least you know beforehand. If you are honest in the beginning, it can instill a sense of trustworthiness between the two of you, and that can create a stronger bond between you two.
4. You Don’t Expect Perfection
If you expect your partner to be god-sent, you are probably not in the right relationship. You have to remember that they are a human being and humans are hard wired to mess up every now, and again. If you learn to love, and cherish the flaws that make your partner who they are, then you can be rest assured that you are in the right relationship. Just remember this, “Pobodys Nerfect”.
5. You Give Each Other Space
If you and your partner understand the value of personal time away from each other, then you are probably in the right relationship. As much as you thought you guys would just love to spend every waking moment with each other when you were first together, you know that it’s probably not true now, if you are more long term. Give yourself and your partner time to miss each other.
6. You Work Things Out
If you are like any normal couple, you have probably gotten into a fight or two by now. If you guys have been able to work them out pretty easily, you are probably in the right relationship. It’s important not to hold grudges over these fights, because chances are they aren’t that big of a deal. If you or your partner are the ones to always threaten to leave, and storm out during a fight, it’s probably not the right relationship for you.
7. You Support Each Other’s Goals
If your partner allows you to follow your goals, and dreams, and supports you no matter what, you are in the perfect relationship. You have to understand, that it’s not about always making them happy, especially if you have to sacrifice your happiness. You should be able to achieve your goals, without it affecting your relationship.
8. You Don’t Let Others Affect You Negatively
If you and your partner can function normally in your relationship without letting other people’s opinions affecting either of you, then you’re probably in the right relationship. With people oversharing their lives and opinions on social media, having a common positive outlook on your relationship, without allowing anyone else’s two-cents to be come an issue, is a really good sign that you were meant to be.
9. You Respect Each Others Feelings
As you would hope your partner would respect your feelings, you should also do the same, and if you both do this, you are probably in the right relationship. I’m not saying you always have to agree, but there has to be a mutual respect on how you both feel, even if you don’t agree.
10. You Compromise
If you and your partner can compromise on disagreements, then you are probably in the right relationship. If every time there is a disagreement about anything, and you end up arguing over who is right, and who is wrong, then it might be something you should work on or a telltale sign that you might not be a match.
11. You Get Along With Each Other’s Families
If you and your partner’s families can accept one another, that is almost a sure sign you are in the right relationship. If your parents have a bad feeling about your partner, it’s usually not because they want you to be unhappy, it’s for a good reason, and you should probably listen to them.
12. You Don’t Let The Spark Die Out
Every new relationship has this magical, special feeling when you first start out. If you and your partner still make it a habit to try and surprise each other, and make each other feel special, then you are most certainly in the right relationship. You are going to go through a lot in the course of your relationship together, and you should make sure you guys remind one another as much as possible how much you love and cherish each other!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: