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20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

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20 Amazing Things Only Big Sisters Would Understand

Do you have a big sister? There really is no friendship like it; she had your back before you even had hair, she is pretty much your oldest best friend, and your life is much better for her being a part of it.

Check out 20 amazing things you’ll only understand if you had a big sister, or if you are a big sister.

1. You Were Her Taxi Driver

Let’s face it; it made your little sister feel much cooler when you drove her to school, rather than when your parents did it. You were also the only person who she could rely on to pick her up drunk at 3 a.m. without a long lecture.

2. She Was Your Guinea Pig

No matter how old your sister was,  you used them to try out everything; new games you’d created, your makeup and clothes, and even the dubious ‘meals’ you made. It was a lot of fun for you – and hopefully character building for her.

3. You Taught Her Strength

Literally – anything you could find in your house could (and would) be used as a weapon of war against your younger sister. After that, playground bullies were nothing to your sister; you’d already taught her to stick up for herself.

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4. You Are Her Life Guru

You have been giving your little sister sound advice since she was a toddler, and she trusts you to know what’s up. Whether she needs help with a promotion or choosing what to eat for lunch, you always know the right answer – mainly because you both know each other so well.

5. You Always Chose The Game

Being the eldest meant you got to decide what game you and your sister were going to play – which also meant you got to be the coolest character. You loved playing the teacher, the doctor or the shop owner, while your sister eventually got used to playing the student, the patient and the customer.

6. You Helped Shape Your Younger Sister’s Music Taste

Your younger sister shares a love of the same music as you – mainly because she grew up listening to your CDs.  She may have groaned at the time, but now you both love to listen to the songs and reminisce together.

7. You Were Semi Cool – Which Benefited Your Little Sister

You seemed so cool to your little sister – mainly because you went to secondary school first and had ID. Before she was old enough, you would buy her beers whenever she asked (well, begged.) Ditto to lending her clothes or money for any cool parties she was invited to. In fact, you’re pretty sure you  helped shape her social life, which you’re fine with. After all, what else are big sisters for?

8. You Always Got In More Trouble Than Your Younger Sister

If you and your little sister were pulling off a prank, you were always a little more worried – because you knew if you were discovered, you’d end up in much more trouble than your younger, equally mischievous sister. Sigh.

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9. You Will Always Be Honest

Even when the truth hurts, you will always be totally honest with your little sister, and you’re pretty certain she is glad you are. From relationship advice to career advice, you will always tell her what she needs to hear, rather than what she wants to hear.

10. You Keep Her Secrets

No matter what is going on in your younger sister’s life, she knows that she can always talk to you and trust you to keep her secrets. You still haven’t told anyone the secrets she told you when she was five.

11. You Share Some Of Your Best Memories With Your Younger Sister

From family vacations to getting drunk together, some of your fondest memories are with each other.

12. You Prepared Your Parents For Your Sister

Most parents go through seeing their teenager drunkenly throwing up for the first time, and it’s normally pretty horrible for both parties. However, you did all of that first, saving your younger sister from unlimited guilt at the hands of your parents.

13. You Share A Unique Sense Of Humor

Your sister has known you her whole life, so it isn’t surprising that you share a sense of humor that makes no sense to anyone else. You have endless inside jokes with each other, and they can make you laugh like no-one else.

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14. You Know You Can Fight And Still Be Friends

There is no one in the world you fight with more than your little sister – but there is no one you love more, either. And somehow, it is reassuring that no matter how much you fight, you will always make up.

15. You Will Always Be There For Your Younger Sister

From tough break ups to having a hard day, your door is always open to your little sister.

16. You Helped Make Family Parties Fun

Family events can be particularly boring when you’re a child, but you tried to make every family party fun for your sister. While the adults drank wine and discussed renovating the kitchen, you and your sister would sneak off to play house in the bedroom – which was much more fun.

17. Your Sister Borrowed/Stole Everything You Owned

Clothes, food, money, makeup; anything your sister could get her hands on, she would take. It was pretty annoying at the time, but it taught you to be more relaxed and reasonable later in life.

18. You Taught Your Younger Sister About Sex

Well, not all of it – but your sister could always come to you to learn about the more squeamish stuff your parents tended to skim over.

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19. You Always Have Their Back

Even though you and your sister can (and regularly do) openly insult each other, no-one else can. You all feel grateful for having a supportive ally no matter what – especially when you’re happy to tell your little sister if she is making a bad decision.

20. You Are One Of Their Best Friends

You’ve been through it all together; emotional break-ups, family parties, groundings, and general life struggles. You share more experiences with your sister than any of your other friends, and those experiences have made you inseparable.

Can you think of any more amazing things only big sisters would understand? Comment your ideas below!

Featured photo credit: sisters make a wish via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and 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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