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18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

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18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

You’ve probably heard of the seven deadly sins (greed, lust, wrath, etc.) With relationships, however, that number is a steady 18, in no small part due to the fragile nature of our romantic entanglements.

Most of the sins listed below have a specific cause and effect, and we exercise at least a portion of these deadly errors. As a result, it can be nearly impossible for us to avoid committing these sins once in a while. Still, you can make a substantial effort toward recognizing these sins and preventing them from becoming a lifestyle that will undoubtedly ruin your relationship.

1. Negativity

Think about it. Do you like being around a negative person? Maybe you’re the one who is sick of the other person constantly being cynical and unenthusiastic about things that make you happy. No matter who is on the receiving end, negativity that has gone unchecked will ultimately sour the romance.

2. Indecision

99.99% of girls claim they like a guy with confidence, and for a good reason. Guys are also far more comfortable being with someone who is able to show assertiveness when the situation calls for it. Though you don’t have to have an over-inflated ego, it’s essential that you’re able to make decisions and stick with them, especially when it counts the most.

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3. Insecurity

Related to indecision, insecurity is a sin that can lead to major relationship problems, such as jealousy and envy. If you’re constantly filled with self-doubt, then your partner may start to have doubt in you as well. Sometimes, our insecurities can be brought on our exasperated by our partner, so in these cases, the best fix is for you to communicate openly about your insecurities with the person you’re dating.

4. Belittlement

Constantly berating and bad mouthing your boyfriend or girlfriend is a huge relationship transgression, especially if you’re doing it behind their back. It’s normal for couples to playfully banter, but this can lead to a dynamic that is built on unhealthy habits, like competition and intimidation. Worse, this can lead to serious issues, such as verbal or physical abuse. If you’re openly and harshly criticizing your boyfriend or girlfriend on a regular basis, then you need to make some serious changes or call it quits before it gets worse.

5. Clinginess

Not being able to give someone space is one of the most common relationship sins, mostly because it’s rooted in external problems like dependence and (sometimes) immaturity. It can be difficult to recognize when you’re committing this sin, as it tends to happen when you have genuine intentions, but you have to read the signs. If your partner is complaining or avoiding you because they can’t seem to find time for themselves, then your relationship is headed for trouble. Additionally, if this is a persistent problem for you, then it may be better for you to take a break from dating.

6. Being Disagreeable

Have you ever talked to someone who disagreed with you by default? We like to do this with our parents or individuals we’re initially skeptical of, but it really doesn’t settle well when we do this in our relationships because…well, it’s really annoying. You don’t have to agree with your partner 100% of the time, but you need to make it clear that you’re supportive of them. Before you agree or disagree, hear them out and be empathetic toward what they’re experiencing. Otherwise, they’ll be tempted to go to someone else.

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7. Neglect

This can be a very bad sign for a relationship because it typically means that one person (or both) is not interested or inclined to be involved with the other. It should be obvious that ignoring or being indifferent to your partner is going to lead to conflict and/or will make them want to end the relationship, so if that’s not what you want, take a look at why you’re being neglectful in the first place and fix it.

8. Not Listening

Maybe you’re not neglecting them completely, but you do have a hard time listening to what they’re saying. It’s easy to be a good listener during the first stage of a relationship because the information is new, and you’re infatuated with this person. Eventually, it gets harder, but that doesn’t mean good listening skills aren’t expected of you. Men tend to be the usual suspects for bad listening skills, but women can be just as bad. No matter what the reason is for your difficulty in this area (mine is that I have a deaf ear), find a way to start correcting this sin before it leads to bigger ones, like neglect.

9. Bossiness

Being too controlling in a relationship is a dangerous problem because it usually starts out innocently. The more domineering person will step up and make the decisions because that is the nature of their personality, and the other person may be more than fine with this. Down the road, however, this level of bossiness can become too much for the other person to bear once they realize they don’t make enough of their own decisions.

10. Resentment

It’s easier to forgive than forget. When we make a sacrifice for someone, or if we are wronged, resentment starts to grow, especially if we don’t feel validated and affirmed by our partner. The major problem with resentment is that it leads to a lack of empathy, which can lead to cheating and insecurity. Also, resentment can be difficult to overcome if it has been bottling up for a long time, so if you want your relationship to last, you need to be open about how you’re feeling toward the other person before it overwhelms you.

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11. Pedestal Building

Most people get pretty excited when they find someone to love, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations. If you put someone on a high pedestal, it’s that much more painful when they make a mistake and fall. The root of the problem is trying to fully know someone before you have all of the facts. Pace yourself, and your expectations, so that you don’t make your partner feel like they can’t live up to who you see them as.

12. Ingratitude

This is a simple one, but it’s a cinch to commit. Over time, it gets challenging to show our appreciation and gratitude for our significant others, and this can ruin a healthy relationship. Sure, you can verbally thank someone for what they’ve done, but the best (and lasting) types of gratitude are done through actions. Doing this may actually prevent many of the other sins on this list because they typically start with simple appreciation.

13. Stubbornness

Not only are you disagreeable, but you’re stubborn to the point where you never make compromises. If you’re the person who is a statue, keep in mind that faltering doesn’t show weakness or make your relationship flimsy. Instead, it shows that you’re willing to trust the other person and meet them halfway. What’s really stubborn is how detrimental this habit is to your dating life.

14. Narcissism

Being self-obsessed is another “root” sin that leads to the other sins on this list, especially neglect and not listening. Symptoms of narcissism are that you force yourself to the be the center of attention (or the conversation), you quickly bail if you’re bored and you are consistently looking for praise and affirmation. To be honest, most people under 30 are pretty narcissistic, including me, but we can make great lengths toward curbing our self-obsession with genuine care and compassion for the people we love.

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15. Manipulation

A great way to lose someone’s trust is to manipulate them. Obviously, outright deception and dishonesty for our own gain is a common method of manipulation, and you probably know this already. But manipulation can start in your other relationships as well, making it a tricky habit to stop. Acknowledge how you treat the other women/men in your life (like your parents). If you tend to mislead them for your own needs, then chances are that you’ll do the same thing in your dating life. Eventually, you’ll probably get caught, and your relationship will suffer.

16. Duplicity

The opposite of integrity is duplicity. This means that you’re one way with a group of people and another way with everyone else. When dating, we do this during the “impress me” stage. When we first meet someone, we want them to like us, so we put on a mask to accommodate them. The problem is that our true colors come out eventually, and our duplicity can lead to a souring of the relationship. It’s okay to make yourself seem more flattering when you first meet someone, but avoid being fake and dishonest about your values and personality. It’s more beneficial in the long run.

17. Monotony

There are plenty of ways for your relationship to fall into a rut. Routines make our daily lives manageable, but the side effect is monotony, which can make both you and your partner bored with each other. The good news is that it isn’t hard to get out of the rut. Inject spontaneity into your relationship whenever possible, and be the person who makes an effort to try new things when you have free time. If you wait for the other person to do this, you might be disappointed.

18. Infidelity

I saved this for last because it’s one of the biggest sins you can commit in a relationship, and it comes about from some or a combination of the sins above. Understand that infidelity isn’t usually something that happens on a whim or out of nowhere. It happens when the other person is neglectful, manipulating, disingenuous or unwilling to compromise. That’s why one of the best ways to prevent cheating or being cheated on is to avoid these deadly sins at all costs.

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 You may also want to read: 7 Ways To Let Go Of Insecurity In Your Relationship.

More by this author

Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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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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