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How to Effectively Tend to the Relationships in Your Life

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How to Effectively Tend to the Relationships in Your Life

We all have relationships with a number of people, including wives, husbands, parents, children, brothers and sisters. When you interact with so many different people and personalities, clashes are bound to occur. Every person has different ideologies, values, and beliefs. Maintaining healthy relationships takes work. Here are some helpful tips on how to tend to the various relationships in your life.

Give time.

The people with whom you are related to need your company very often. They might not show it, but they do crave time with you. Start today. Take some time to sit and talk with the people in your life. They will appreciate the time you take to nurture the relationship you have.

Listen patiently and speak less.

Many of us do not realize that one who listens well can speak well. Listen patiently to what those you care about are saying, rather than breaking in before they finish talking. Listening carefully helps you grasp their point of view more effectively and also gives the other person a sense that they are important to you. Listen without thinking about your response and you’ll truly hear what they are trying to tell you.

Consider other points of view.

One-sided thinking is extremely harmful in any relationship. It is essential to consider the other person’s point of view in any conversation or situation. Many times thinking from your perspective alone is not sufficient to yield the desired results. There could be other aspects associated with a situation. Always take into consideration the point of view of everyone involved.

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Learn when to let go.

There will be times where it will be beneficial for everyone involved to let go of certain issues. Everyone does not think in the same way. The expectation of bringing every issue to a resolution is futile. So just let go. Move on positively and leave it to time to decide the results.

Consider other people’s priorities.

You cannot clap with a single hand. If someone somewhere is keeping your priorities on top and moving on, then there will be a point in time where you need to give importance to their priorities and happiness. This is essential for a healthy relationship.

Be kind and show respect.

Show humility every day. Learn to be kind to everyone including those who are related to you. An arrogant attitude can never stand very long. A healthy relationship demands respect for the relation and even for all the individuals related.

Allow others space to make their own decisions.

Avoid interfering or poking your nose in each and every matter. Your support is needed but everyone needs their liberty and space. Let them go forward with their decisions, and be there for them whenever they need you.

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Let go of those who have gone.

Those who have gone have their own liberty to think for themselves. Let them go and allow yourself to move on develop and maintain healthy future relationships. Sticking to the past will not help you in long run.

Do what you say and say what you do.

Your actions and words must be synchronized. Say only what you can do and what you have already said must be done anyhow. Action and words in opposite directions develop a negative perception of your personality.

Give everyone a fair chance in your relationships.

You might not always completely understand the other person, and they might need time to build up trust for their own self in your mind. Give them a fair chance to place their ideas completely and precisely. This is very important as we do not realize that reality can be very different from our perceptions. Even we need time to understand and realize things in their true form.

Accept people just the way they are and not the way you want them to be.

Everyone cannot think  or act in the way we might want them to. It is better to accept them the way they are. If we cannot, then we are going to get ourselves in trouble. Instead of assuming their ideology is incorrect, improve your character in a way that inspires them to become like you.

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Try to interpret intentions in a positive way.

In certain situations, it could get difficult for you to understand the other person’s perspective clearly. You would feel they are wrong but somewhere at the roots, they care for you and want you to beware of any difficulty you could face ahead. Before reaching a conclusion, try to analyze the intentions of the person positively. Look for that positivity in their intentions and you will find your way.

Learn to ask for forgiveness and forgive others when needed.

Forgiveness is the most effective tool in any person’s life, and it is equally difficult to hold onto. In relationships, learn to forgive your partner or those you have relationships with. You’ll feel lighter and stronger. This quality will help you become humble and kind. Additionally, do not hesitate to ask for forgiveness when the situation arises. Everyone makes mistake. Put aside your ego and say, “I’m sorry.”

Reduce your expectations.

The day your expectations do not get fulfilled, you get angry and wild. Why? It is because you expected something and wished for its fulfillment? A truly healthy relationship means giving without asking for anything in return. You can call it the purest form of love; love for anyone with whom you are related to.

Start expressing your positive feelings more often.

If you love someone or care for them, then say it or find a means to express this emotion. Those you love might not know how much you value them; so express yourself effectively.

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Start practicing these steps today. Things will not change overnight. It is a process that needs patience to yield results. These points seem very simple, yet we many times forget and keep wondering what is missing from our relationships. So start contemplating on these points today. I’m sure things will change for you and the difference will be sweet.

Featured photo credit: beautiful little boy and girl hug/Katsiaryna Drobysheva via shutterstock.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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