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20 Things To Make A Relationship Last

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20 Things To Make A Relationship Last

Are you and the crush of your dreams in the beginning stages of a new relationship? Are you worried that you aren’t sure how to make this relationship last? In this day and age, there are a lot of factors inside and outside of a relationship that can influence its outcome.  If you want to learn some tips on how you can help your relationship last, keep reading!

1. Burn your blueprint and script.

What this means is simply do not try to “plan” your relationship.  If you try to do this, the chances that something is not going to go like you wanted to is pretty high, and that could end what could have been a pretty fulfilling relationship.  Some of the best relationships are built on being spontaneous and passionate, and if you try to plan out how it’s going to work, it usually will not.

2. Forgive.

Everybody makes mistakes. This is a cold hard fact of life.  If you truly care about the person you are in a relationship with, you have to learn to forgive them for their mistakes.  Holding grudges toward one another is very toxic in a relationship, and is definitely not something you want to do if you want your relationship to last.

3. Be a good teammate.

Being in a relationship is a two-person job.  If you want your relationship to last, you cannot expect your partner to do all of the work.  This includes general housework (if you live together) to actually being the only one to contribute to the relationship physically and emotionally.  It’s a two-way street, and if it’s only running one way, its not going to last.

4. Grow together.

It is very important to grow as a couple.  That is how you find out if that person is the one for you.  You grow as a couple by spending time just talking and bonding with each other.  If you can’t grow or learn to grow in your relationship, it will not last.

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5. Adapt.

You obviously can not expect to have the all of the same ideas and beliefs as the person you are in a relationship with, so it is important to adapt if you want your relationship to last.  If you care about your boyfriend/girlfriend, this step should come pretty easily. Your partner’s little quirks or even religious beliefs may seem like a deal breaker, but if you have the ability to adapt, then your relationship has the amazing ability to go the distance.

6. Develop your own interests.

When in a relationship, it is important to develop your own interests.  You and your partner don’t have to express interest in all of the same things as each other; that would make things really boring, wouldn’t it?  This way, you guys will have more things to talk about and even more new things to try in your relationship.

7. Don’t keep score.

Relationships are not a game, so there is no reason to try to keep score.  This means, if you do something nice for your partner, or do something to help out, you don’t have to announce it to them just to get brownie points.  The same goes for if they make a mistake, or make you mad, you shouldn’t feel the need to hold it against them just to make yourself look better. This is probably one of the top reasons why relationships don’t last.  Nobody likes to feel like a loser in a relationship.

8. Practice self-awareness.

When you are in a relationship, you usually try to do whatever you can to make the other person happy, right?  Well, how are you supposed to make someone else happy, unless you know what makes YOU happy?  Practicing self awareness is a good way to know what makes you happy, and what makes you click so you can be the partner your significant other deserves.

9. Cultivate your finer qualities.

Work on the qualities that make you a better person.  It can be easy to do this in a relationship, because there are always opportunities to practice those qualities, like loyalty, compassion, and trust.

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10. Encourage each other.

I’m sure you don’t want to ever feel held back from doing certain things, or trying new things just because you are in a relationship, and neither does your partner.  Make sure you encourage your significant other to achieve any goals.

11. Offer solutions, not criticism.

If there is a problem that arises in your relationship with your partner, and they come to you for advice, offer advice that tries to help them actually solve the problem, and that doesn’t criticize them for what they have done, or what the situation is.

12. Compliment each other.

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Complimenting your partner is such a simple way to show how much you really care about one another.  If you don’t do it, it could be easy for them to question what they really mean to you, or what you really think of them.

13. Respect space and time.

Spending time with your partner is always a good thing to help your relationship grow, but giving each other some space every now and then is another important factor in making a relationship last.  It gives yourselves time to grow as a person (self-awareness) as well as giving you that time to miss each other a little bit.

14. Remember to say “thank you.”

This is one of those golden rules mom always taught you.  These two simple words can mean a lot to someone. Saying “thank you” is such a simple way to make someone feel as if they are appreciated.  Ask yourself this question: would you stay in a relationship if you felt unappreciated?

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15. Admit that you are wrong.

We have all been in the situation where as much as you don’t want to admit it, you are wrong in some sort of disagreement.  Sometimes you should just swallow that pride of yours, and admit that you were wrong.  If your partner really cares, they will remember step 2, and forgive you.

16. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

If you need to talk about something with your partner, don’t hesitate to say what you need to say. If you are one to beat around the bush and hope that they will pick up on what you are trying to say, you can be lost in translation, which will usually end not in your favor.

17. Be romantic.

Surprise her with flowers.  Plan him a special night under the stars.  Do anything to show how much you really care about each other.  As redundant as this may sound, its a really important step in any relationship.

18. Respect his or her friends.

This is another big one.  If you are not a big fan of his/her friends, you are better off keeping that your little secret.  You don’t have to like them, but for the sake of your relationship, you should at the very least respect them.

19. Be affectionate.

Any girl I have ever met would agree that this is an extremely important factor in any relationship. Whether it is holding her hand, playing with his hair, or giving hugs and kisses, this is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to making that girl or guy in your life happy.

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20. Mind your manners.

Another one of mom’s golden rules, you should always remember to mind your manners when you are with your partner.  You don’t want to gross them out by letting out big burps without saying excuse me, and for some people, that could very well be a deal breaker.

There is always a lot of work involved in maintaining a relationship with someone, but if you always remember how much they mean to you, it will not seem like work.  You can ask anyone who has been in a relationship for a long period of time—they wouldn’t trade it all for anything.

Featured photo credit: Shadow of couple holding hands/merilize via stockvault.net

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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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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