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16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face

16 Harsh Truths About Modern Dating You Must Face
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Modern dating is complicated. It can be everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s a revolving door of people with expectations. You’re running on empty if you don’t keep up. Here are some harsh truths about modern dating that will help you deal with reality and prepare you for the unexpected.

People lie.

Face it. No matter how “honest” someone appears there is more reward through lying when you first meet. If you don’t accept everything you hear as the truth, you will give yourself some time. Down the line, you may see the truth for yourself, which is far better than words.

You lie.

Big lies. White lies. You do it. Beware, however, the bigger your lie, the more likely you are to date someone hiding an even bigger lie. To avoid this, date less, and establish intimacy with a few chosen people you want to get to know. That level of comfort will make you more open and honest.

Texting means you’re low on the priority list.

Texting has possibly changed modern dating for the worse. It builds fantasies, false hope, and misunderstandings that complicate communication. It’s meaningful to hear your lover’s voice on the other line. The ebbs, flows and hesitations tell you much more about his mood, personality and what’s really on his mind.

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People got issues.

No one is going to come cookie cutter clean. Everyone has a bad or dark side whether they admit it or not. Just hope you meet the person who knows what her dark side is because she will most likely have compassion when you show yours. Every one you date is a teacher. If you think this way, no relationship is wasted.

There are a lot of options.

From online dating to speed dating, it’s easy to feel like modern dating is a full-time job. Don’t do everything. Find what best suits your personality. An extrovert may love the nightlife and meeting people out on the town. An introvert may prefer online dating or a structured, timed format like speed dating.

You will pay dearly for someone else’s childhood trauma.

If there is unresolved childhood trauma, be prepared for dating to be quite tumultuous. If you experience an adult-child who is acting as if they are stuck on six, instead of 36, because he has not progressed emotionally from what happened, take a step back. Establish boundaries early. It is your job to protect yourself.

You will be disappointed.

Again, and again. You disappoint yourself often, how do you expect someone else not to disappoint you? Learn to live with frustration. If you dump everyone who disappoints you, you’ll never find anyone.

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You will have to change.

You will find someone you’re dating who is going to dig up all your bad qualities. Consider this a good thing. It will help you grow, shift and accept parts of your personality you discarded. If you meet someone who suddenly has you interested in running sprints on Friday nights instead of binging on alcohol that is a huge improvement for your quality of life.

You are not the only one they are dating.

There is less pressure to perform when you keep this in mind. Be comfortable with the fact the person you are dating may be interested in others. It’s all fair game until you become exclusive.

Your “issues” will magnify and scare people away (eventually).

People will dump you when you stop being nice. Eventually, they will see parts of you that are not what they want. Accept this. Stop taking on the choices other people make. This rarely has anything to do with you. We are all on our own journeys and must find the people who will get us there.

Stop being “perfect.”

Being a doormat or a yes man is not going to make dating easier. In fact, it puts you on a pedestal. Sitting on someone’s pedestal is pretty lonely. You can’t be yourself, or share your deepest needs. Express your needs whether he or she likes it or not.

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Unconditional love is earned, not automatic.

No one is going to love or accept you unconditionally out of the gate. If he says he does, you haven’t given him a reason yet. You eventually will. Unconditional love is earned through time and problem-solving. You need to feel confident in someone’s loyalty to you, and that is rare. However, you can always trick yourself into it, by ignoring everything he or she does.

You will never fully know someone.

There is always a side to someone he or she keeps from the world. There are parents who have raised honorable children, and still don’t know why little Johnny is stuck in Mexico on a drug charge. Dating is not the place to “get to know someone.” Get to know yourself first, and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Leave other people to account for themselves.

If you aren’t a top priority, your invitation to spend time together will be a “maybe.”

You will know if you are a priority by where you fall on the list. If you want to be #1 don’t take “maybe” for an answer. Let the other person make the effort to set up the dates. That is a good indication of his interest in you.

The person who cares less has all the power.

This is difficult when you are head over heels for someone. After a few months of dating, you care a lot. You want the other person to know. Forget it. It makes you appear less valuable.

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People want people other people want.

It’s human nature; the whole law of scarcity thing. Don’t make yourself too available or an over-sharer. Let the other person set the pace until you both find balance. It’s only natural for her to feel you slipping away, and want back in.

Give up on relationships. Improve yourself first to attract better dating prospects. Once you feel whole and complete with your good and bad parts, people will stick to you like butter on toast. Men and women are attracted to partners who are most comfortable with who they are. That’s why “bad boys” and “bad girls” seem to have all the fun.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3275748024/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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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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