A good partner puts the past in perspective and doesn’t constantly bring up reminders from the past that serve no valuable purpose in the present. Such as something their partner did months or years earlier. Move on!
2) They don’t compare
The partner realizes that each person they date has strengths and weaknesses and refrains from comparing their current partner to their exes – especially unfavorably. Just because an ex was unfaithful does not mean that another partner will be so too.
3) They understand the idea of ‘give and take’
The partner is aware that all relationships need both partners to put in effort. It’s all about balance, about the give and take. If one person does all the taking, the imbalance will lead to problems. The person doing all the giving will end up resentful.
4) They know the importance of time alone
A good partner understands when they need space and a time out. A healthy relationship involves having interests outside the relationship, and spending too much time together can lead to a feeling of suffocation. Again, it’s all about balance.
5) They prioritize communication
The partner places communication as a high priority. Many if not most issues can be worked out if you have the ability to communicate with one another. Being able to talk openly and knowing you will be heard and not ignored or dismissed is vital for the longevity of a relationship.
6) They are straightforward and/or uncomplicated
A good partner doesn’t engage in game playing. They live with integrity and speak up about problems instead of engaging in underhanded tactics such as passive aggressive behavior or withdrawing affection.
7) They are ‘tuned in’
The partner knows their significant other’s ‘love language,’ from acts of service to affection to spending quality time together to verbal expressions to gifts.
8) They are light hearted
A good partner has a good sense of humor, and you can exchange jokes with them and make each other laugh.
9) They are reasonable
The partner has realistic expectations of their significant other. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. A good partner doesn’t have double standards whereby one set of rules applies to them and a different set of rules applies to everyone else.
10) They are self-aware
A good partner understands when they are projecting. Often, we expect others to show strengths that we wish we had. When they don’t, we feel disappointed. Learn to develop these skills in yourself and use your relationship as a way forward to enlightenment and personal growth.
11) They are optimistic
The partner has positive expectations; they expect the relationship to be good and to last and don’t dwell on negatives. Focusing on the bad parts can lead to self fulfilling prophecies.
12) They take responsibility for themselves
A good partner doesn’t expect their significant other to be the only source of happiness in their life. They realize that we are all responsible for our own happiness. A partner is a wonderful bonus but not a necessity in life.
13) They are not emotionally abusive, manipulative or controlling
A good partner treats their significant other with respect by not criticizing them relentlessly, embarrassing them in front of others or trying to control them.
14) They are generous with their time and/or resources
The partner shows empathy and works with you as a team. It’s not all about them, just like it’s not all about you. You work together, and they understand the concept of strength in numbers and are happy to offer support.
15) They are dependable
A good partner is reliable and responsible, always there for you in a crisis if thy are able to.
16) They are supportive
A good partner encourages you to be the best you can be. They do not feel threatened by your success and they naturally bring out the best in you.
17) They put consistent effort into the relationship
A caring, good partner realizes that relationships take work and don’t chug along for ever without putting any effort in. The honeymoon phase is really just that, a phase!
18) They are honest and trustworthy
The partner is trustworthy, say what they mean and would never cheat on you. If they did meet someone else, they would end the relationship rather than deceive you and hurt you by leading you on.
19) They are able to say “sorry”
A good partner is self aware enough to know when they are in the wrong and have no problem with apologizing.
20) They are your best friend
A good partner offers a wonderful friendship. Friendship can hold a relationship together when the going gets tough. If you are friends, the other problems can always be worked out, since friendship provides a solid foundation for a happy healthy relationship.
Of course, we are all human and can’t be good partners 100% of the time. A good partner, however, will possess most of the qualities listed above and will generally be someone who is happy with who they are and how they live their lives. Once self-acceptance established, there is always more to give to others.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: