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6 Ways to Cope With Unrequited Love

6 Ways to Cope With Unrequited Love
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Sometimes, Cupid flies in where he’s not wanted, shoots his arrow without looking and as a result, misses and hits the wrong person. And so, an unrequited love begins.

Unrequited love is a more common thing when you are a teenager: a period when you form your thoughts about yourself, your identity, and about the image of your ideal partner.

Further psychological maturation is associated with building long-term relationships in which the image of a partner is saturated with some new (and not always attractive) details. Some young men and women stay in the world of fantasy for a long time, preferring not to grow up and make friends with reality.

However, even otherwise mature adults find unrequited love to be intensely painful. When you hold strong feelings towards someone who doesn’t return them, you have been rejected. Rejection always hurts, but it stings even more in a romantic context. This is because it feels so personal. You may start to wonder what is wrong with you. It’s tempting to pick yourself apart, looking for the flaws that apparently make you unlovable. It’s hard to accept that sometimes, the chemistry just isn’t there on their end, and that the two of you will never be together. The romantic dreams you held have been shattered. No-one plans to fall in unrequited love, and it’s difficult when things don’t go as you expect or hope.

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Romantic rejection not only leaves behind emotional scars, but it can cause physical pain and even disease. Research has shown that heartbreak is so stressful that those who have suffered a recent bereavement, relationship breakdown or other psychological trauma are at elevated risk of heart attack and physical pain. Our bodies and emotions are tightly interlinked.[1]

One can take a look at the problem from a very different side. Unrequited love is the engine of the world’s art. There would be no brilliant sonnets of Petrarch without Laura, and if there was no Beatrice, we might not see that Dante, who affected the whole European literature of later times. But unlike them, none of us is willing to spend our whole life in splendid melancholy solitude. Those people who do not have mutual love, still dream of being loved.

If your feeling of love for another person isn’t mutual, here are 6 ways to cope with your feelings of unrequited love.

1. Say Goodbye to all Illusions

Maybe you think the person you have your eye on has a crush on you too.  This hopeful thought can keep you up at nights.  So what should you do? Try to set some criteria or terms.  For example, if the person you like doesn’t show signs that they are interested in you (ie: doesn’t go out of their way to talk to you, hasn’t asked you out or isn’t interested in hanging out with you) it’s time to come to terms with the fact that your crush probably does not feel the same way about you.

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“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” – Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding

2. Try to Know Them Better

Nobody is perfect. We all know this statement, but when you are in love, it becomes more and more difficult to agree with that fact. If you do not know your crush well, you always tend to idealize and romanticize him/her. You can’t believe that such a great person may have drawbacks, bad habits, negative attitude towards something important to you, etc. Try to know your crush better, and you may learn something about him/her, that will break your obsession.

“Unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded. For some unfortunates, it turns bitter and mean, and those who come after pay the price for the hurt done by the one who came before.” – Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischi

3. Isolate

Those of us, who suffered from unrequited love at least once, remember how difficult but desirable it may be to communicate with your crush: you are shy, you can’t think clearly, but you still want to make an impression, you long for his/her presence, you want to know about his/her every step, you want your crush to pay attention to you, and you try to contact him/her as often as possible. It sounds and looks a bit like paranoia, doesn’t it? Try to isolate a bit. Do not check his/her Facebook page every second minute, do not ask your common friends about him/her, do not visit the places s/he visits every day.  If your crush is out of sight, inevitably, they’ll be out of your mind.

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“When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special.” – Miranda Kenneally, Catching Jordan

4. Distract Yourself

When in love, we can’t think of anything but our crush. We imagine how wonderful it would be to spend time with them, we dream about them, and forget about everything and everyone around  us. To get your mind off this person, find something that brings you pleasure and do this as often as possible when you have a free time on your hands. Indulge in your hobbies – even better if your hobby involves going outside or sports, which gives your body endorphins, that give the same effect as love does.  Who knows? Maybe your undying love is just a way for you to escape boredom.

“Only three things are infinite: the sky in its stars, the sea in its drops of water, and the heart in its tears.” – Gustave Flaubert

5. Go on a Date

We realize the last thing you want to do when you’re crushing on someone is to go out with other people but it’s exactly what you need to do! If you suspect or know for a fact that the love is not mutual, staying at home moping around what would’ve been isn’t doing you any good.  Get out there and try to live your life in full! Ask a friend or a colleague you’d like to get to know better out for coffee or dinner to a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.  You know you’re not ready for a relationship, so the pressure that this person could be ‘the one’ is off the table right off the bat, upping your chances on having a great time and possibly making an amazing friend in the process.

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“When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.” – Sylvia Plath

6. Love Yourself

Love yourself, no matter what they say. Love your personality, respect yourself, accept yourself as you are – the all-sufficient and really cool person. This is the best medicine from all mental troubles!

Certainly, it is difficult to argue with your heart. But there is no love that can live without booster charge; and if a battery for mutual love is romance, trust, tenderness, common interests, and love making (well, we can’t ignore this sphere of our life anyway), unrequited love’s food is a fantasy only.  And you have two choices here: to wait until this weak source of energy is discharged, or to turn it off deliberately and go to search for a real mutual love.

“Self-love seems so often unrequited.” – Anthony Powell

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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:

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