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15 Signs That You Are Surrounded By Good Friends

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15 Signs That You Are Surrounded By Good Friends

An old saying goes, “Surround yourself with the people you want to be like.” Successful people want to surround themselves with successful people. Optimists like to be around optimists. How can you tell if you’re hanging around with the right group of friends for you? Here are 15 signs that you are surrounded by good friends who care about you and not just what you can do for them!

1. Your friends listen to you.

A good friend can tell when you need an ear, or just to take the floor for a few minutes and talk something out. More importantly still, they help you determine where you have good, solid, actionable ideas and where they think you’re a little off base.

2. Your friends care about you.

Good friends take the time to ask about your life, your interests, and your opinions. They also take the time to be there when you need them, and want to help you be the best person you can be.

3. Your friends know when to throw a party.

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    There’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam, celebrating a milestone, or just making an event happen “because.” A group of friends who are really in tune with your needs know exactly when and how to party without taking it to extremes or getting you involved with anything illegal or uncomfortable.

    4. Your friends know when to end a party.

    Even the best party has to end eventually, and good friends can tell when it’s time to leave. If someone’s getting drunk and belligerent, or you’ve been yawning for the last half hour, they will understand it’s time to call it a night and leave gracefully.

    5. You feel like your friends have your best interests at heart.

    You may not always agree with what your friends say or their perceptions of a situation. However, they’re always thinking of what’s best for you in the long run. This can be a tricky line to walk, and sometimes you have an obligation to ignore the advice of others. Nevertheless, a good friend will be less worried about sparing your feelings than looking out for you.

    6. Your friends support you.

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      Even when you do something your friends don’t agree with, if they’re really good friends, they will support whatever you decide to do, within reason. They may not agree or like what you’re doing, like moving across the country to snag a good-paying job, but they’ll be there with the pizza and beer while you load up the truck!

      7. You always hear the truth from them.

      Good friends don’t lie. (Except on rare occasions of the “Does this dress make me look fat?” sort. Those kinds of lies don’t count, because they are intended to spare your feelings.) When the chips are down and you really need to be told the truth, your friends may hate it…but they’ll do it. This applies in situations like when your friends tell you maybe you’re partying a little too much or working too hard. If they tell you something like this, they’re speaking from the heart. You owe it to them and your friendship to listen.

      8. Your friends check in on you.

      A good friend cares about the people close to them. If they don’t hear from you periodically, they pick up the phone or even send an email. “Dude, where you at? Everything okay?” This doesn’t mean they constantly worry about you, because sometimes people get sick or busy and life happens. But they do take the time to let you know they’re thinking about you.

      9. Your friends know when to leave you alone.

      Sometimes you just want (or need) to be left alone. Work assignments, homework, or relationship woes can all leave you feeling like you just need a little downtime to work out your situation. A good friend understands and respects this. They’ll make it clear that they’re available if and when you need them, but they also understand that everyone needs alone time once in a while. Conversely, they also know you well enough to say, “Enough’s enough!” and drag you out of the house by your hair if necessary!

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      10. You don’t feel like you always have to reciprocate.

      A good friendship doesn’t come with a balance sheet. While you should always try to give as good as you get from your friends, that doesn’t mean you or they should feel obligated every single time. The point of a friendship is to be there as much as you can, when you can, to the fullest extent you can. Sometimes that means Jim picks up the beer, while you bring the pretzels. Sometimes Josh throws the party and you pitch in with the cleanup. Sooner or later in a good friendship, the books will balance naturally and intuitively, without either side having to do anything except be themselves.

      11. You can call your friends anytime you need them.

      Let’s put some rules on “anytime.” This does not mean three in the morning, unless someone is dead! Within reason, however, and during the hours when you KNOW they’ll be awake, you can call and say, “Hey…you got a few minutes? I need an ear.” If they say, “Not now, but let me call you back,” then respect that. If they’re willing to sacrifice time to help you out, it’s only fair that they should be able to do it on their schedule, especially for those who have “real jobs.”

      12. Your friends feel like they can call you when they need you.

      Part of being a good friend is being available, and this applies just as much to you as it does your friends. A friend who feels like you’re available for them when needed is more likely to be there for you when you need them!

      13. Your friends celebrate your victories and help you get over your setbacks.

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        Milestones deserve to be celebrated, and misery loves company. A good friend will congratulate you on your accomplishments and achievements without letting you rest on your laurels. Similarly, a good friend won’t let you wallow in self-pity when things go a little sideways. A good friend will celebrate or commiserate with you as appropriate, always asking the question, “So what’s next?”

        14. Your friends see you for who you are.

        We all wear masks and put on a show in our public lives, whether we choose to admit it or not. A good friend sees beyond the mask or the front and looks at the real person behind them. You can tell a good friend because they’re not afraid to call you out on your front, but they still want to be around you even when what’s behind it isn’t always the nicest, kindest, or best person. A good friend inspires you to be and do better than you are, but cares for you because of who and what you are.

        15. Your friends tell you when you’re making a mistake.

        No one likes to hear it when they screw up. That’s just human nature. However, a true friend is able to tell you you’re making a mistake without making a federal case of it. People who love you and support you even when they don’t necessarily agree with you are the kind of friends that are worth keeping, no matter where life takes you.

        More by this author

        J.S. Wayne

        J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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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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