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20 Differences Between Friends And Best Friends

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20 Differences Between Friends And Best Friends

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”

– Sarah Dessen

Best friends are in a special category in our lives. They did not earn the accolade ‘best’ for nothing, That joint prize was won after lots of joy, effort, hardship, companionship and affection.

With best friends, you make an investment for life and the dividends are priceless. Here are 20 differences which illustrate the differences between friends and best friends.

1. Friends will always be complimentary, but best friends will give you honest feedback.

Friends will always be ready to pat you on the back or praise you, but never dare to criticize you or give you honest feedback. Best friends, however, are there when you might have to confront a drinking problem or get a nasty looking lesion on your back treated. They will tell you straight on that you are going down the wrong road.

2. Friends may call you often, but best friends call you every day.

How many times have you heard of friends who say they have lost touch with their other friends? Friendship, like a garden, needs daily watering. With best friends, you call each other every day and your friendship will always blossom.

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3. Friends will not root for you, but your best friends will.

When you break up with a significant other, your best friend sympathizes and empathizes and says something like, “That bitch/bastard, you dodged a bullet there.”

Friends will probably ask what you will do now and simply put on a worried look.

4. Friends won’t give you advice when you really need it, but best friends will.

Friends may take the time out to listen, but there is no guarantee they will be able to guide you. Your best friend will sit down and offer his or her advice and practical wisdom when things go pear shaped.

5. Friends may be cautious about invites, but your best friends are not.

You invite some friends to a party and all they want to know is who will be there and what their relationship statuses are. Best friends will go with you, whatever the scene.

They are just great fun to be with and will inspire you with their good humor and zest for life, without asking cautious questions beforehand.

6. Friends will not care about loyalty, but best friends value it highly.

When people start to talk badly about you, friends may steer clear and will certainly not stand up for you because they are not committed. Best friends, on the other hand, know and value loyalty and will defend you to the hilt.

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7. Friends may be lukewarm supporters, but your best friends are always there.

When you want to apply for that dream job, friends have a habit of warning you of the competition that you may face. Best friends might do that too, but they are the ones who will also tell you to go for it.

They always remind you of all your great qualities, skills and experience.

8. Friends may joke, but your best friends remember all of your inside jokes.

Your best friend has all your inside jokes on his or her Rolodex and is ready to trot them out on the right occasion. Friends will probably have difficulty in remembering that particular little episode or may have forgotten it completely.

9. Friends may help you out, but best friends are there 24/7.

You might hesitate to call a friend if you have a soaring temperature at 2.a.m., but you can always phone your best friend for advice or just a sympathetic word.

10. Friends cannot always keep secrets, but best friends can.

We once had a mutual friend who always told her friends that “This is strictly confidential.” It never was! With your best friends, you know that your secrets are 100% safe.

11. Friends will rarely mention your mistakes, but your best friends will.

We all make mistakes in relationships, work and in family matters. Friends will rarely go the extra mile, but your best friends will always be able to tell you what went wrong and help you not to make the same mistake again.

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12. Friends are conscious of paying back, but best friends never think about that.

Whether it is money or favors, friends are always willing to pay back and expect their friends to remember to do so! With best friends, this is never even an issue and there is no counting to be done.

13. Friends do not understand the ins and outs of your love life, but best friends do.

Friends may not be willing to invest all that time and effort, and you may not feel confident enough to go into all the details. Best friends are great listeners and they know all the details, good and bad.

14. Friends may be strict timekeepers, but best friends are flexible.

We know punctuality is important, but sometimes friends take it to extremes and your 20 minutes to get ready seems like a spaceship launch countdown when certain friends are present. Best friends are totally relaxed and can occupy their time by doing something else while waiting.

15. Friends are wary of your obsessions, but best friends accept them.

We all have our obsessions. With friends, we may have to be a little careful because they seem to think that being weird is not quite mainstream and they may often frown. Best friends just laugh off each other’s obsessions though and can joke about them.

16. Friends do not want to hear the same things all the time, but best friends thrive on repetition.

The same old stories, the inside jokes, the things we repeat over and over again, are all doled out carefully with friends because we are afraid of being repetitive. Best friends tolerate and thrive on repeating the same old things and know how it adds reassurance and comfort to a friendship.

17. Friends do not view you as a real soul mate, but best friends do.

Friends are great for company, fun and being supportive. But best friends are like getting an upgrade. The idea of being a soul mate is completely natural for them because you will always be there for each other and understand each other perfectly.

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18. Friends may not be there in the hard times, but best friends will.

Have you noticed how friends are suddenly busy when illness, hardship and depression strike? They fade away like melting snow. Watch the video here to show how best friends will never have to face that problem.

19. Friends may be happy about your wedding, but your best friend is over the moon.

When you announce your wedding or some other happy event, your friends will smile and be enthusiastic. But your best friends go one step further and get more excited about it than you even are.

20. Friends may be jealous, but best friends never are.

Jealousy can wreck many a friendship. There may be sensitivities that are never revealed and they may then ruin a friendship like weeds in a garden. Best friends are never jealous because their bond has thrived on openness, trust, loyalty and being supportive. Their garden is in full bloom.

Featured photo credit: Best friends forever/Don LaVange via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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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