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15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

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15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

With age, your BFF becomes your most trusted and treasured friend. You not only appreciate each others similarities, but also each others differences. You know way too much about each other but love each other even more, and time has done nothing to put a dampener on your friendship; you’re both just as crazy, as silly and have just as much fun as ever. You don’t know what your life would be without them. From lost loves to lost jobs, you’re there for each other, and nothing or no one will taint that wonderful bond!

So here’s to BFF’s, and here’s to what makes you guys so great!

1.  You don’t have to be perfect

You're Perfect

    The best friend who takes you as you are, no questions asked, is the greatest! You don’t have to have everything together, or even know where you’re going to nab that first class buddy. They respect your journey, whatever that may be, and will happily travel alongside you. Travel companion for life!

    2.  You don’t have to walk on eggshells

    Overreaction

      Respecting your friend and being considerate of their feelings shows great love and care, but if you’re always having to tread carefully, afraid of their [over]reaction, or mind what you say lest you anger the beast, then you won’t be able to build anything real. Not only is this boring, but means you can’t be honest with each other and that’s a sure fire way to lead to a superficial friendship.

      3.   You don’t have to be identical

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      Differences and Similarities

        You don’t have to always agree or you may not always see eye to eye, but that’s actually a great thing. You love each other’s differences just as much as your similarities! Plus it’s the differences that keep things fun and interesting.

        4.  You have each others back

        Got your back

          When someone has wronged your bestie in any way, you’re right there, prepared to kick-ass! You know how great your best friend is so are prepared to take down anyone who fails to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Not to worry, they’re sure to see the light soon! And when all has been, ahem… taken care of, you’re right there to comfort your friend and remind them how wonderful they are!

          5.  You lift each other up

          You Lift Me Up

            The beauty of a true friendship is that no matter what is going on in each others life, no one feels superior to, or better than, the other. Instead you go out of your way to lift each other up. Thinking you’re better or superior to your friend is a sure way to kill any friendship. Regardless of what is going on in their life, they are still the awesome person you met all those many moons ago.

            6.  You can laugh about things

            Laughing

              One of the best ingredients for a long-lasting friendship is laughter. Not only will it help to keep both of you young, but it works to unite you over things that would’ve otherwise broken you. Being able to laugh off things shows you don’t take yourselves too seriously, you’re relaxed and comfortable in each others company, and are able to enjoy and deal with the downright craziness in this topsy-turvy world; all while sporting Cheshire cat grins!

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              7.  You become stronger during adversity

              Here for you

                When the load gets too heavy for you to carry, your BFF is right there! Through the good, bad and downright unfair, they are there for you! There’s no greater test of friendship than when someone is faced with unfortunate circumstances, or events that are complete back breakers. However, coming out of anything tough, with your best friend at your side, you guys will be unbreakable!

                8. Your family loves them

                Family

                  They are practically part of the family! Your siblings treat them like one of their own, and you’re almost certain that your parents like them better than you! But that’s okay with you. You wouldn’t change that bond for the world. Especially since your family pretty much hates everyone else!

                  9. You get each others weirdness

                  Weirdness

                    You both do weird-weird so well, it’s the norm for you. Others don’t seem to get you, and people are just freaked out by how weird you both are, that you often have to suppress the weirdness. But when you two get together, it’s all good! There, in your safe and weird environment you two get it all out. And you know what, being weird has never felt so awesome!

                    10. You know when something’s up

                    Something's Up

                      You’re best friend has gotten quite good at telling when you’re all out of sorts. It’s almost scary! They’ve sussed it out, and all the lying and covering up in the world does nothing to hide the reality that you aren’t yourself. So quit faking!

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                      11. You are genuinely happy for each other

                      Happy

                        You are each others biggest fan, and the ultimate cheerleaders when something amazing happens for either of you. You’re right there celebrating when they succeed, and they’re proudly telling others of your achievements and successes. Simply put, you’ve got being happy for one another down to a fine art.

                        12. They push you to be more, and to be better

                        Believe

                          They’re like a personal trainer: they want the best from you and believe you can do it! They’ll urge you on, push and pull you to be the best version of you they know you can be. Their belief in you is infectious. How can you not believe in yourself the way they do?

                          13. You are comfortable with silence

                          Comfortable Silence

                            You can be with each other in total silence and be having the time of your lives. To everyone else, you may look as though you’ve had some kind of falling out, but you both know it’s just because you’re so comfortable around each other, you have no need to fill otherwise uncomfortable silences with noise. Plus, this a great episode so…

                            14. Your lips are sealed

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                            Sealed

                              You know you can trust your BFF with anything, and it will go no further. They are a volt when it comes to those things you’ve shared with them, and you, too, are a safe haven for their… unmentionables. No amount of prying, prodding or trickery will get you to reveal the things you two talk about in confidence, so everyone might as well just stop asking.

                              15. You make time for each other

                              Getting Together

                                Work, studies and family commitments are just some of the things that take away from time spent with your BFF, but you try and make it a point to schedule some time to see each other as much as possible. Sure, you may talk daily, even for a few minutes, just so you can catch up, but when you do get together, it’s simply the best! You talk and laugh for hours, getting silly and reminiscing about the good times, whilst having the time of your lives.

                                And when you part, you’re reminded why they are, your BFF!

                                Featured photo credit: Grace and Frankie/Melissa Moseley for Netflix via blogs.indiewire.com

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                                Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

                                Writer, Poet, Marketer

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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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