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5 Harsh Lessons Every Nice Guy Should Learn

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5 Harsh Lessons Every Nice Guy Should Learn

You’ve heard the old saying, “Nice guys finish last.” Well, it’s only partly true.

Numerous studies confirm that women find shy, nice guys unattractive. I often hear women say, “All I want is a nice guy who treats me well and listens to me.” If this is true, why do these types of guys get left behind?

I was the “nice guy” and thought if I just agreed with everything women said, nodded my head, and only asked questions to learn more about them, I would eventually attract the ladies. After all, I wasn’t like those cocky, loud guys who seemed to attract a ton of women. And, a lot of women I knew said they didn’t like those types of guys and just wanted a nice boy to take home to their parents.

I thought I figured out the secret to meeting more women. I thought, wow, I don’t have to sound dumb or lame, freeze up, and I can just ask questions so they keep talking! After all, I thought, women love to chat!

Needless to say, this strategy doesn’t work. It wasn’t working for me so I spent years figuring out what really makes people tick. There has to be something more to it, even though women claim they are looking for a nice guy.

There are five themes in becoming more attractive, compelling, and confident.

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1. It’s not just about asking questions.

I used to avoid talking as much as I could. Sometimes I didn’t know to say. Other times I was so nervous that I would freeze up and nothing would come out. To avoid this, I would just ask more questions!

I’m not saying it’s not important to ask questions–especially good questions–but, that is only half the story. Frankly, it’s quite strange for someone to berate with you questions without saying anything in return.

It can come across as nagging or intrusive when someone consistently asks questions. They can feel just as awkward as you do. They start asking themselves, “Why does this person want to know so much about me?” or “Why don’t they have anything to say?”

You don’t want to be a creeper.

2. You have to show them you are interesting.

The fact is, women aren’t going to find you attractive, interesting, or confident unless you show them you are these things. Women aren’t “convinced” of this because you believe you are, or if you just be yourself, you’ll magically attract the right woman.

It’s not enough to naturally attract someone by thinking your way to love. It’s not enough to be nice and curious about them. You have to feel confident, interesting, attractive and show people that you are. Moreover, you can’t just ask your way to become more interesting, you have to show them how you personally relate to what they have to say.

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3. It takes a lot of practice.

It’s easy to say “just ask good questions” or “show them you are attractive” and then be done with it. However, it takes practice to learn how to be a good conversationalist. Even more, you have to look beyond the tips, strategies, and methods and find out what’s really holding you back.

Often, we believe that if only we could say the “right” thing, then we would be interesting. It takes time to improve. It takes time to learn why you feel shy and can’t talk to someone.

It’s not something that you read about once, practice it, try out that night, and then fall in love!

Not only does it take practice, it takes a deep understanding of what mental barriers are holding you back from being more attractive.

4. You have to learn how to make conversation, with anyone.

Imagine you’ve found someone you really like and she introduces you to her parents. You continue only asking questions and are shy around her parents. Do you think they are going to see you as a good fit for their daughter? I hear things like, “He seems like a nice boy but doesn’t really have much to say. I don’t really know much about him. Maybe over time, he’ll open up.”

Imagine meeting her brother, her friends, or her co-workers for the first time. The truth is, you’re going to have to show more people how confident you are. It’s not just a one-time event.

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I don’t recommend learning quick tricks or pick-up lines. Pic-up artists are missing something critical when it comes to meeting more women.

Firstly, it’s disingenuous to act like somebody you’re not. I will never be that cocky, smooth, extroverted guy who the ladies love. It’s just not going to happen. Second, there’s more to the story than focusing on what to say when approaching a woman.

It’s not just about feeling confident around a woman–it’s about being confident around anybody.

5. The right people are interested in you

The types of guys who seem to have all the ladies flocking towards them are not who we are. And, do we really want to be? I would much rather meet quality women who value my personality and want to get to know me, than a large quantity of women who I probably won’t get along with anyway.

The right woman will be attracted to you. The right people will be interested in you. The right people will not only see your best qualities, but they will want to know more about you. The truth is not everyone is going to be interested in you and I find this to be a huge relief. We’re not trying to impress everyone. We’re simply showing the right people our best qualities.

Now, you may be thinking, is he still a nice guy? Well, I never stopped being a nice guy (my mom and wife would kill me if I did). However, I learned that I could be both nice and confident.

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The combination of confidence, kindness, coupled with an astute conversational ability can make anyone become more attractive.

You don’t have to brag about yourself. You don’t have to be loud. You don’t have to be arrogant. You don’t have to be someone you’re not.

You can be yourself.

Even better, you can learn to be a confident guy who shows the right people just how awesome you are.

Featured photo credit: Man, One of The Happy/Bigter Choi via pixabay.com

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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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