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6 Manipulative Things Every Girl Should Do When Dating

6 Manipulative Things Every Girl Should Do When Dating
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That title does scream things out, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

The modern world of dating is simultaneously easier than ever before—we can message prospective partners from our phones, conduct webcam dates via Skype, and spend more time in the romantic entanglements of other people through reality television than we do our own.

Dating is a minefield and putting your heart out there for someone can be brutal, scary, and terrifying—as well as being wonderful, fulfilling and joyous. Besides, a bit of subterfuge is part and parcel of most successful relationships. Little white lies are told all the time by happy couples.

Manipulation is something that normally belongs to the world of psychopaths and Machiavellian types, so while this writer suggests these six tips that every girl should do while dating—or at least consider doing—there has to be a boundary and a line which you have to draw in the sand.

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Subterfuge to test out whether or not a relationship is worthy of your time and undivided effort can be a great thing, as long as you don’t cross the line into something dangerous. Check out our top tips.

1. Fake a crisis.

Faking a crisis is all a bit “The Hills,” but it can work wonders sometimes, and if it errs on the side of manipulative, it normally doesn’t harm anyone. Faking a crisis is something a girl should try out when she’s dating someone and she thinks it could be getting serious. Your date is smart, cute, funny, has adorably bad taste in movies, and a great sense of humor—but it’s only really when we’re put under pressure that the real person can emerge.

In terms of crises, pick something small—your friend’s boyfriend broke up with her, your sister’s dog ran away from home, your brother is drunk at a party—and see how your date reacts. If they get annoyed at you taking time out of the date—or even leaving the date early without the promise of a goodnight kiss—then they’re probably worth hitting the “delete” button on.

However, if they’re more than willing to drive you to where you need to go without you asking (which is rude and never should be done), and check in the next day to see how you are, with genuine concern, then you’re onto a clear winner and can feel confident that they’ll be there for you when the rain starts to fall.

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2. Arrive five minutes late.

Okay, normally we’re all the first to be extolling the virtues of being early and punctual, but when you’re dating a guy, it’s always best to arrive a little bit late. “Why?” you might ask. Let’s face it: the old adage absence makes the heart grow fonder really does apply, and while disappearing off the face of the Earth might be a little extreme for some, being a little late can achieve similar results; plus, it can lead to a potentially killer entrance which never goes amiss.

There’s also the added benefit of having an extra five or ten minutes in which you can double check your appearance, make sure that everything is as fantastic as can be, and if you’re nervous, it gives you a chance to calm down and psych yourself up for your big date. Arriving late certainly isn’t a way of life, but it’s something every girl should do when dating, if only for the first couple of dates. Your date’ll be thrilled to see you arriving, particularly when you’re at your most relaxed and gorgeous, and you’ll have a much better time as a result.

3. Wear heels.

Wearing heels used to be a big part of every girl’s outfit when she headed out on a date, and it has remained a big feminine cultural mainstay for decades, despite both men and women originally using the accessories centuries earlier. However, one of the best things a girl should do when dating, is to always wear heels on the first couple of dates. The reasons for this are simple: a height difference can sometimes make or break a relationship, and so much of society’s norms say that a man should be taller than his female significant other.

However, regardless of if you’re dating a man or a woman, wearing heels helps check your height against that of your prospective partner and sees whether or not the difference is something pleasing, acceptable, or something that’ll throw a spanner in the romance. Plus, wearing heels has the benefit of making your legs look longer and slimmer, so there’s no reason not to wear them for your date. Just don’t wear them all the time—your feet will thank you.

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4. Go only so far with the physical affection.

This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but is still worth including on the list. Take things slow on the list in terms of physical affection. It’s practically standard that a date can expect a kiss at the end of the first date and breakfast at the end of the third these days, which is fine, but if it goes by too quickly, you can lose your appeal and allure. The art of burlesque preaches a similar message—what is truly sexy can sometimes be what you choose to keep hidden and only flirt with.

It’s simple really: go a month or two without engaging in anything more than kissing. It’s so easy in today’s culture to have one-night-stands, which themselves are no bad thing; unfortunately they’ve lead to a culture where sex and sexuality can be disposable and women face a strong double standard for either having “too much sex” (not a real thing) or not having enough (equally not a thing or anyone’s business).

If you’re thinking long term, keep the dating partner waiting a little longer than a month for you to initiate sexual or physical affection or contact; this has the benefits of making you infinitely more desirable for what they haven’t seen, rather than what they have, and of weeding out the people who are only with you for sexual gratification. If by a couple of months in, they’re whining and calling you a “prude” or a “tease” for not having sex with them already, then you need to kick them to the curb and find someone who’ll wait as long as it takes—for that’s the kind of person you’ll enjoy being with, both in and out of the bedroom.

5. Don’t reply to every message.

This one primarily deals with the world of texting, emailing, and the prevalent idea of social media ensuring anyone at any time can be contacted, reached, and pestered through the double-edged sword that is modern technology. Say you’re dating someone and it’s going well; fantastic. However, every girl should try to keep a bit of mystery while dating, i.e. turning off your non-vital communication needs for a while.

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You don’t have to, nor should you, reply to every text, Facebook message, or tweet the person you’re dating sends you. If you’re having a relaxed weekend, turn off your phone and enjoy the weekend. Your significant other will get a little antsy and when you return the message, they’ll be all the happier and the relationship will be kept fresher. For example, it’s fine to keep texting throughout the day, but make it clear you’re doing something in the evening (seeing a movie with friends, going to the gym, doing that “Game of Throne” marathon, etcetera) and then don’t reply to any texts or messages that pop up during that specified time.

It’s really all about setting up boundaries and letting them know that while you love spending time with them, you’re not spending every waking minute by your phone, anxious for a text (even if you do a little bit). Keep them wanting without being rude or disrespectful, and you’ll be all the happier for it.

6. Don’t be exclusive (until it gets serious).

This last point is a potentially controversial one, but a thing every girl should do when dating is to remain open and non-exclusive, until the relationship has been cemented. A lot of modern dating hinges on people going on multiple dates with multiple partners until they find the person that they “click” with, and this is a valuable approach to take, if only because if a guy is truly into you, he will race to solidify the relationship.

Make sure it’s clear that you’ll see other people, and that you really like your dating partner, and then keep looking on the market. Not only will this strike at their ego and help make them consider you for a serious relationship, but if your partner agrees too readily to seeing other people, then they might not be the right person for you anyway. However, as soon as the primary person you’re dating talks about making this relationship serious, decide if it’s equally serious on your end, stop seeing any other people, and focus on having the best, most fulfilling relationship you can.

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Good luck.

More by this author

Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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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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