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20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand

20 Moments Only Those Who Have A Baby Sister Can Understand
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Becoming an older sibling to a baby sister is one of the most exciting, terrifying, and overall incredible moments in a person’s life. Throughout your relationship, you’ll want to teach her about the world, but shield her from a lot of it. You’ll love her at times, and you’ll hate her at times, but you’ll eventually realize she is the most important person in your life. You’ll also realize that, through it all, she may have taught you more about life than you could have ever hoped to teach her.

1. You don’t want the change

You’ve gotten used to being an only child, and frankly, you’re quite scared of what gaining a younger sister means. Will your parents stop loving you? Will you not be as special to them as you once were? Will she get all the attention now that she’s the cute little baby of the family? Every older sibling goes through this anxiety, but it quickly fades when you realize that your family is not just gaining a younger child—it’s also gaining an older one.

2. You instantly grow up

You want to do everything you can to help your little sister, from holding her and feeding her, to pacifying her when she cries. Your parental instincts kicked in the moment you meet your baby sister. Throughout your life, you’ll always feel a need to protect her.

3. You understand your parents a bit more

Instantly growing up means you see the parent/child relationship from the other side, if only in snippets at a time. You couldn’t finish your homework because you needed to go with your parents to the doctor. You couldn’t sleep at night because your baby sister was crying for God knows what reason. You also understand that all of this is worth having another member of the family.

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4. You see yourself in her

You realize that you were the reason your parents couldn’t sleep at night, or that they had to decline a party invitation because they couldn’t find a sitter (or didn’t want to). You realize you’re not the center of the universe. You realize that you were once an infant, and you see what you’ve grown into. And you realize your baby sister will soon do the same.

5. You have someone to talk to

Even as children, your little sister is always there to talk to. When you’re bored, she’s there to joke around with. When you’re sad, she’s there for you to unload your emotions on. When you’re ecstatic, she’s there to share your excitement with. Your sister becomes your outlet for all of your emotions, a living, breathing journal for you to tell your story to.

6. You gain a pal

You realize your sister isn’t just your family; she can be a part of your inner circle. It doesn’t matter if she’s one year, five years, or ten years younger than you. Your friends will accept that the two of you are a package deal. They might get annoyed with her, and you, but in the long run they understand how important she is to you, and true friends will become big brothers and sisters to her as well.

7. You gain a nemesis

Having a younger sibling is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. You’ll argue with each other. You’ll fight—a LOT. You’ll wish you were an only child so much that you can’t believe how unfair your life is. But having a family member to experience these emotions with makes you realize something important about family: they don’t go away, whether you want them to or not.

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8. You gain a scapegoat

You broke a glass playing basketball in the kitchen? Blame your sister. Spilled juice all over the brand new sofa? Blame your sister. Having a younger sister means you can shirk responsibility for just about anything. Not only that, but since she’s younger, your parents will usually go easier on her.

9. You become a scapegoat

That is, until she figures out how to turn the tables on you. Once she realizes that she, too, can blame you for things she’s done, don’t expect her to let up. She might even start trashing the house on purpose with the sole intention of getting you in trouble. And when the time comes, be sure to look behind your scolding mom’s back to see your little sister sticking her tongue out at you. With little sisters, payback’s a snitch.

10. You learn to hate responsibility

Mom has to work late? You need to feed your sister before you feed yourself. Dad has to run to grandpa’s house? You need to come inside and watch Nick Jr for a few hours. When you were looking forward to a baby sister, you never asked for all of this. But here you are, stuck playing tea party while all of your friends are playing manhunt down at the park.

11. You learn to love responsibility

Being responsible for another human being is incredibly empowering. Not in a bullying sense of the word, but in the sense that if you can watch out for another person, you can surely survive the world on your own. While you’re preparing food for your baby sister, you realize you can actually make your own meals whenever you want. When stuck inside with her, you realize you can make the best of a bad situation and end up having silly fun. You realize you don’t always need to be with your chosen friends to be having the time of your life.

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12. You learn to appreciate more

You realize the little things are what make your sacrifices worth it. You didn’t have fun playing dress up, especially when your sister took that incriminating photo of you in a tiara. Years later, you’ll see that picture and instantly feel like a kid again. You might get a serious case of FOMO when your friends tell you all about last Friday’s party, but you would have missed the first moment you hung out with your sister all weekend and saw her as a person rather than a younger sibling. You realize you wouldn’t trade her for anything else in the world.

13. You become a role model

Sure, you “instantly grew up” when you met your little sister, but did you consciously change your behavior? Not until you’re older, and your sister actually looks up to you, do you truly want to be someone worth looking up to. She sees you as a leader, and even if you never felt like one before, you hold yourself to a higher standard because of your little sister.

14. You have more in common than you think

You might be polar opposites on the surface, but your sister shares the worldviews and values your parents have instilled in both of you. If you ever feel alone in life, you can bet your sister will understand exactly where you’re coming from. You might not like the same music, or enjoy the same hobbies, but you’ve experienced the same vacations, family dinners, and other life moments that are much more important than Top 40 radio or the New York Yankees.

15. You need your space

Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. You were an only child for a long time, and you’ve almost forgotten what it was like to experience peace and quiet. There’s nothing wrong with this. But you also must come to the realization that you are not an island, you are not alone, and you will always have a responsibility to your younger sister. Being alone to recharge is one thing, but don’t ever isolate yourself from your closest family member.

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16. You’ll need her to fill that space

When you’re away from your sister, you might not realize it, but you miss her. The peace and quiet can be nice, but after a certain period of time it becomes deafening. You’ll realize that you might not always have her around to create the ambience you’ve gotten used to (and tired of), and you realize how much you’d miss it if it were gone for good. Missing your sister leads to appreciating the times you have with her.

17. You gain someone to trust

You can never trust anyone as much as you can trust your sister. She might have pulled one over on you in your younger days, but you can always count on her to keep secrets, listen to you, and love you for who you are. You both understand the special bond you share, and know how important it is to never break it.

18. You will become friends

You might have just tolerated your younger sister throughout your childhood, but that will change once you become adults. You will actually look forward to spending time together. You’ll actually make plans with each other. Your friends will want to hang out with her, and you’ll want to hang out with her friends. You’ll most likely end up going on more adventures with your sister than you ever did with any of your chosen friends.

19. You will stay friends

Not only will you become friends, but you’ll stay friends with your sister for longer than with anyone else who has come and gone in your life. High school friends almost always go their separate ways. College friends will move away, start their own families, and eventually the magic of your friendships will dissipate. Your sister will grow with you. Through every part of your life, your sister will be with you. And for every part of her life, you’ll be there watching over her proudly.

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20. You learn the true value of family

Throughout your life, your sister will teach you the ultimate value of having a family. She’ll become an aunt to your children. She’ll welcome your spouse into your family. You’ll both help your parents as they grow older. You’ll always share the memories of childhood and the dreams of your lives with your younger sister. The best part of having a younger sister is the magic of your relationship will never fade.

Featured photo credit: Baby girl laughing to her brother via shutterstock.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye 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)

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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