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15 Bitters and Sweets Only People Living Alone Will Understand

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15 Bitters and Sweets Only People Living Alone Will Understand

Living alone may no longer be such a great aberration. As a woman in her forties who lives alone, I was ecstatic to discover this good news. There are delightful upsides to living alone, although there can be downsides, as well. But what relationship doesn’t have its ups and downs? The difference for singles is that ‘we’ have no one but ourselves to blame when something goes wrong!

1. You can leave the toilet lid down (or up)

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    Ladies will especially love this one. No more stumbling to the toilet in the middle of the night only to dip your cheeks into toilet water. Or get that unearthly feeling of falling into the toilet! This fear completely disappears when living alone.

    For guys, now you have the convenience of putting that lid down only when you need to!

    2. You have to pay for everything yourself

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      Certainly, it is better to have two incomes to pay for the bills, rather than one. And those of us who choose to be single are indeed responsible for the entirety of the bills. On the upside, for the ladies there may be a break when or if a gentleman takes you out. It’s always polite to pay halfsies at least, of course, but a true gentleman is always prepared to foot the bill (sorry guys).

      But all the rest of the bills that come down the pike are yours and yours alone.

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      3. You only have yourself to argue with

      There’s just no one else to blame if the dishes go undone, or the laundry, or anything else for that matter. Most singles would argue that this is on the plus side of living alone. You get to be as messy or as neat as you choose to be and there is no one around to tell you otherwise.

      4. You have to carry in your own groceries

      When living alone there’s no one else to carry out the shopping duties but you. In so doing, you are inherently responsible for carrying in said groceries. That could mean trudging back and forth all on your lonesome. It also means you get to choose exactly the menu for the coming week. And there is the upside that there’s no one else around to decide what or when to eat. The downside is that fresh veggies sometimes do go to waste as there is only one of you to go around.

      5. No one else has to put up with your morning breath

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        As a single only you are required to wake up to that foul, sticky taste in your mouth. You get to arise and take a good, long stretch, and there is no reason to go rushing into the bathroom to brush your teeth (unless of course, you have invited over some company). You are also not required to grin and bear through a hangover or headache for anyone the morning after partying. If you don’t want breakfast, skip it! After all you’re the only one to blame for a lack of getting breakfast.

        6. You can do what you want, when you want

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          Have an itch in a private place? For that matter, need to fart? Burp? Just need a quiet moment to blow your nose (or pick it)? Go ahead, you live alone and no one’s there to bother you about it. Now the downside here could be that you’re sick (as in physically ill). In that case, there’s no one around to take care of you but you. And well, yeah, that does kinda suck. Otherwise, when in the company of yourself, be as gross or as disgusting as you’d like!

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          7. You can leave the bed unmade or made

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            In other words, the decision is yours and yours alone to make. As a single, your bed can stay unmade for days, even weeks. Fitted sheet come undone? That’s OK, a single can sleep on the bare mattress … this single thing is all about you. Some call this insufferably selfish. ‘We’ singles say it is unconscionable freedom … and singles like it that way.

             8. You get to choose how you want to relax

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              Sick of watching TV? Turn it off and go read a book. Take a nice, long walk. There’s no one to stop you. Want to stay out all night? Go ahead, no one’s waiting up for you, remember? Want to go out and eat? See a flick? The choices are virtually endless. Except maybe when it comes to going out with friends … after all, they might have someone they need permission from before heading out on the town!

              9. You never have to worry about asking your roommate if it’s OK for someone to come over
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                You live alone. The only excuse you might have for not wanting someone to come over is the condition of the place. You may not be the world’s best housekeeper, so you find yourself querying your date. Does he or she mind the mess? Are you willing for him or her to wade through the mess to the bedroom? The choice, as per usual, is yours and only yours to make.

                10. You know that living alone does not exclude you from great relationships

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                  Yeah, everything really is up to you. The difference being your significant other has their own place. So, what’s not to like? You get to tell even him or her that time’s up and it’s time to go. No more clingy relationships for you. Just sheer freedom and attachments only when you want them.

                   11. You never have to come home to a drunk roommate

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                    No more helping anyone else but yourself to bed. No more listening to those unfathomable sounds from the bathroom either.The only drunk person you have to deal with is yourself. Maybe you’re the type who feels the need to comfort someone else while they sick up a night’s worth of beer and heaven knows what else. None of that is for the person who has decided to live alone.

                    12. You don’t have to leave an “Occupied” sign on the doorknob

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                      In other words, you can just let a romance bloom any way you want. Want to bring that super nice guy to your apartment? Or some nice chick? You are under no obligation to call or leave a secret sign to anyone else that you need your time with someone else.

                      13. You can leave your laundry where you dropped it

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                        Sure, the fact remains that you’ll have to wash your laundry eventually. But what’s the hurry? Shrug it off wherever you are in the apartment and simply leave it lying around. After all, there’s no one else who has to look at it or even acknowledge it exists. Cleaning day does eventually come. But singles know that ‘eventually’ doesn’t come until they’re good and ready to conquer it.

                        14. The bathroom’s all yours

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                          No more waiting until the roommate gets out of the bathroom. Or dancing on one foot trying to patiently wait to pee. The shower is always open. You don’t have to rush putting on makeup or drying your hair. The bathroom’s yours and yours alone.

                          15. The stuff you buy is all yours

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                            Ever felt peckish around midnight only to find a roommate had eaten your last yogurt? No more sharing food, or anything else for that matter. What you buy is yours, completely your responsibility. You can arrange and rearrange as you please.

                            Featured photo credit: Wikipedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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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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