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13 Simple Relationship Truths You Need To Know

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13 Simple Relationship Truths You Need To Know

We all seek relationship advice at one point or another. Whether we are entering a new relationship or trying to salvage an old one, it’s a safe bet that we basically have no idea what we’re doing. Love is not something that is planned, so most of the time, we just have to go along with it and figure things out for ourselves. Every relationship is different, and every problem calls for a different solution. That being said, there are a bunch of relationship truths that are universal.

1. Relationships aren’t simple.

They take work, time, and effort. They involve a heavy amount of compromise. You need to be like a doctor and have patience.

That was a joke. You also need to have a sense of humor.

2. There is no use “fixing” what isn’t broken.

Just because something isn’t simple doesn’t mean it’s not good. In order to succeed in life and in the business world, you must work hard and persevere. You aren’t going to quit your job just because you actually need to try. Similarly, you shouldn’t quit on a relationship just because it’s not all flowers and rainbows.

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Also, there is nothing wrong with being content. Allow yourself to be happy and don’t be afraid of being comfortable. If there isn’t a problem with the relationship, then don’t go looking for problems.

3. You have to love yourself before you can love another person.

How can you expect to genuinely love another person’s qualities if you have trouble accepting your own? Once you are confident in yourself, others will notice you more. When you accept yourself for who you are, you will be able to fully appreciate and understand the best qualities of other people.

4. You can’t love somebody if you like nobody.

Keep an open mind when meeting new people. Don’t shut everybody out right away. The world has so much to offer, and you’ll never experience any of it if you refuse to venture outside of your comfort zone. Feeling uncomfortable is good sometimes. Like love, people will surprise you.

5. There needs to be a balance of intimacy and space.

Show interest in your significant other’s hobbies and work, but don’t intrude. Also, invite him/her into your own world. Spend time together, but don’t make it seem like you always need to be together in order to be happy. Share information about yourself that you wouldn’t normally share: your stories, your aspirations, your fears. Make yourself vulnerable. Encourage your partner to do the same. Listen.

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Support your significant other and give honest feedback. Let your partner know that you might not be there during the climb but that you’ll be right behind, ready to catch him/her if he/she falls.

6. Communication is paramount.

Be on the same page as your partner, or at least be on the same chapter. I was in a relationship in which my girlfriend and I were in completely different books. As corny as it sounds, honesty actually is the best policy. Be honest with yourself and be honest with your partner.

7. Arguing is healthy.

You and your partner are not going to agree about everything, and that’s perfectly normal. The essence of healthy arguing is that you both know how to discuss these topics and understand each other’s opinions. Be mature and admit when you’re wrong, and accept the fact that not everybody shares your opinions.

8. People change.

This is something you cannot control. It is important to accept these types of things and worry instead about what you can control, which is the progress you make.

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9. Relationships are not projects.

People might change, but you shouldn’t go into a relationship wanting to change somebody. It never works out the way you plan, and it means that you don’t truly love your partner for who he/she is.

10. Once a cheater, always a cheater.

If he cheated on his ex-girlfriend with you, what makes you think he won’t cheat on you with somebody else? Sure, people change, but morals don’t just appear out of thin air. When you embark on a relationship with somebody, you should have an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

11. You shouldn’t “stay friends.”

This is a mistake many couples make when a relationship ends. Everybody knows what it means: one person doesn’t want to cut the other out of his/her life completely, and the other person is thinking: “Awesome. We’ll be friendly for a while and then be back together within a month.” This is usually a bad idea for everyone, and it often leads to hatred. A way to avoid this is communication.

12. Hate leaves bruises, but love leaves scars.

Feelings of hatred and scorn are usually temporary. However, the damage that love can do to a person is often much more permanent. Lost love becomes a part of us; a mark we wear every day that reminds us of our past and all of the lessons we have learned. On the flip side, that “damage” can be a positive type of permanent. My parents have been in a loving marriage for over thirty years, and they certainly have the scars to prove it.

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13. Relationships are like shoes.

Some look stylish on the outside, but only the person wearing them knows the pain they bear inside. Walking in a new pair is like being with a new person—unfamiliar at first, but as you break them in, you develop a sense of security. You reach that comfort zone in which you rarely need to untie the laces.

Some shoes, you outgrow. Some get worn out. Some cause you pain or leave you exposed. Some shoes you wear anywhere. Some shoes get dirty, and when you wear them, you can’t forget where they’ve been. Some shoes you hesitate to throw away. Some people wear shoes until they’re soulless.

Learn from these relationship truths

Of course, we all wish there was just one simple truth about relationships. Well, there isn’t one. Every relationship we participate in will teach us something new about ourselves, as well as other people. It is this experience that will ultimately lead us in the right direction—hopefully to someone who understands, accepts, and supports us.

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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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