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20 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person Even If You Don’t Feel You Are (But That’s Fine!)

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20 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person Even If You Don’t Feel You Are (But That’s Fine!)

Everyone knows you just can’t stop taking things so personal. They know you always worry about how others feel and can easily guess others emotional state. You wish you got a dollar each time you were called too emotional or told that you are overreacting.

There’s nothing wrong with being highly sensitive, yet you have your own highs and lows, not everyone would understand.  Here are twenty of them!

1.You literary feel everything

Sometimes you think your emotions are practically palpable – anything can trigger them: from a passage in the book, to a cheesy scene in the movie or a few lines of the song you’ve overheard playing from someone’s car. These small things may mean nothing for someone else, but for you they can mean a thousand feelings at a time. Some days it gets just too overwhelming.

2. You have an ability to scan the vibe

When entering the room, joining a conversation or just coming into contact with another person, you can always feel or guess the mood of the conversation that was taking place. You can easily predict someone else reactions to certain comments and even change subjects in advance if you know that the conversation’s heading towards an emotional disaster.  People often call you are a master communicator.

3. You can always tell when something wrong

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According to this research, 20% of the population can react particularly strongly to other person’s emotional circumstances. “No, I’m fine” little lies won’t pass with you as you can always accurately feel when something gone wrong with your close one. “Your pain is my pain” has literal meaning for you as you often experience really strong empathy.

 4. You easily pick up on the subtle

Your close friends joke you can read thoughts as you often answer their questions before they even asked them. You easily sense and spot lies or tell when people are trying to hide something from you. A career in law or police might be a great option for you.

 5. You are a good storyteller

As you feel all the feelings so vividly, you can convey them into powerful words and tell captivating, mind-boggling stories about the slightest daily occurrences. Your recent clash with a careless drives, his car accident lawyer and yours turns into a multi-layer story of raw emotions, active confrontation and final miraculous victory, turned into a divine, emotional narration worth to be written down.

 6. You are incredibly polite

When you say it “was a pleasure”you genuinely mean it. You always notice other people’s manners and never forget to say “thank you” and “please” when it should be. Deep down inside, however, you know that you are just afraid of offending someone’s feelings by being rude or not polite enough. You will stay extraordinary polite until you are 100% comfortable around that person (and often even afterwards).

 7. You are easily moved by art

You think you have experienced Stendhal syndrome at least once in your life. Art captivates you. Aesthetical beauty, creativity and basically any forms of artistic expression resonate strongly with you and make your heart pumping. You never ask questions like: “What the author wanted to say with this?” as you can precisely feel the message encoded.

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 8. You love doing things solo

You are absolutely fine being alone without feeling lonely. There are a lot of activities you prefer to do solo like working out as team sports often make you feel as if each of your move is watched and judged; work at home alone (or have personal space at work) as large open space workplaces make you feel wary and less productive; traveling solo isn’t a problem for you too – you can always sense the attitude towards you and the environment around you to stay out of the harms way.

 9. Your intuition is mystical

You tend to listen to your guts as they rarely let you down. You often have this weird feeling of what’s going on in between the lines and what’s the best way for you to act even if you have no apparent reasoning for it.

10. You are often called a people pleaser

And even though you don’t like this fact, you did admit to yourself a while ago that you can’t stand criticism. So you try your best to please everyone around and do an extra mile, even if that’s against your own interests. Sometimes, you become so accommodating that you become anxious that people would think you are too annoying and then you try to go out of their way to make sure, they don’t think so. Some days you feel exhausted and look for ways of how you could tolerate criticism.

11. You have problems saying “no”

All your friend know that when they need a favor, you can always be counted on, whether it is moving a piano or walking with their dog in heavy rain; you would have huge problems saying no to them.  The truth is, it’s easier for you to do something you don’t really want or like, rather then offending someone’s feeling by refusing to do so.

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12. You fall in love hard and fast

As Psychologist Elaine Aron wrote in her book, when highly sensitive people fall in love, they often feel tremendous ecstasy, and often just too quickly, but they, as well, feel anxiety, overstimulation and difficulty processing their intense emotions.  This emotional blast and overstimulation, unfortunately, often make intimacy more difficult for us. Also, as we fall in love so quickly and desperately, the risk of heartbreak and unmet expectations is above average. We tend to show our emotions to hard and fast, expecting the others do same.

 13. You have powerful imagination


Your dreams are vivid and full of bright emotional details and you can easily zone off into magical realms within your mind pretty much any time. When someone tells you an emotional story, you can easily imagine all the thoughts and feelings on the subject and live through them.

Having huge imagination certainly makes you creative, but on the other hand, makes you worth in taking decisions. You always try to imagine all possible scenarios and play them over and over again considering how you would feel in each outcome.

14. You often cry (and it’s okay)

Obviously, all the emotions you feel need some outbursts and tears are just one of them. You cry when you are happy, you cry when you are sad, you cry because you are alive and human. You shouldn’t be ashamed of that!

15. You have lower pain tolerance

You feel pain more intensively than other people do. That’s why you hate various medical procedures, yet at the same time you need them as you just can’t ignore some nasty headache or muscle pain and shrug it off like most people do.

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16. You don’t like scary movies

Or books, or spooky areas at night and certain carnival attractions. Your imagination is just to vivid and you can easily picture yourself in the violent situation you see or spin off a possible bad scenario. Friends may tease you, but you don’t want particularly terrifying things to be buried in your brains for life and pop up any time you walk alone at night at an empty street.

17. You can’t stand loud or irritating noises

If most people would just feel irritated, you become outraged if you hear a particularly intimidating or loud sound for just too long. You have a burning urge to stop it or get away as far as possible.  However, it’s good to know a few ways how you can deal with the extreme noise factor.

18. You hate bright lights as well

You always give preference to dimly lit corners at the restaurant and love candlelit dinners. Extreme light is often just too much for you to handle, that’s why you never liked camping overnight when someone’s suddenly beaming with a torch straight into your face.

19. You are more prone to anxiety and depression


As Doctor Aron noted “”If you’ve had a fair number of bad experiences, especially early in life, so you don’t feel safe in the world or you don’t feel secure at home or … at school, your nervous system is set to ‘anxious.” When your feelings are so strong, you need to keep them under control and don’t let them dig into your personality.

20. You are probably not the only highly sensitive person in your family

“Sensitivity is an inherited trait,” says Dr Aron. You are not alone in your emotional woes and you can always come to another family member who totally gets you and shares the same joys and problems!

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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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