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It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

Relationships are a part of everyone’s life. As humans, we crave for companionship; a person to share experiences with, a person to touch and to be touched by, someone who will listen and someone who can make you laugh. Often, when we first meet someone, everything seems to click and that feeling of elation which seems to only exist in romantic comedies, becomes real life.

However, real life has ups and downs, and these can affect your relationship negatively. So, how do you know when the going is rough, but better times are around the corner, or if the relationship you are in is rearing its ugly head as a bad match? When your heart is invested, are there signs that your head should be able to see? The 14 signs listed below should aid you in figuring out if you need to make the tough decision of ending your relationship, or if grey skies are going to clear up.

1. You don’t want the same things in your futures.

It is certainly possible to be in love in the here and now and that is a wonderful thing. However, it is important to be able to talk about what you and your significant other want in the next few years. Where do you want to settle? Do you want children? Are you the same religion and if not do you care? If you find that you have opposing, non-negotiables that neither of you are willing to compromise on, it’s time to have an honest conversation about whether or not a prosperous future is realistic.

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2. Nothing you do makes your significant other happy.

If you are trying your hardest to make someone else happy and nothing you do is good enough, then you are giving your best to the wrong person. Time, energy, effort and love should not go unnoticed. It is not your fault if someone cannot see how wonderful and giving you are. If you have been in your relationship for a long time, try having an open and honest conversation where you express that you are trying your best and you feel like your efforts are going unseen. See how your mate responds. Perhaps he/she was just going through a selfish phase and the confrontation will snap him/ her back to reality. On the flip side, if you keep trying, and you are communicating but your attempts are not being reciprocated, its time to reevaluate. You deserve to be happy and to have your partner recognize you. Stand up for yourself and what you deserve. Respect and love yourself first! You will be a better person to the other people in your life when you feel happy and not defeated.

3. You constantly feel insecure.

Innately, we as humans go through insecure times. The people we are closest to, should be the one’s to remind us why we are fabulous! Thus, if your girlfriend/ boyfriend is the cause of your insecurity this is not a healthy relationship. Take a moment to write down a list of at least five things you believe you should be receiving from a healthy relationship. After you have done this, ask yourself honestly if your current partner is providing you with your list. Be aware of defense mechanisms! Are you making excuses for your woman/man? It will be important to be honest with yourself so that you can know if your relationship is healthy. Remember, being in a relationship doesn’t make you who you are. You have a right to feel secure and happy every day.

4. You find that you have nothing nice to say about your partner, when you talk about her/ him to your friends or family.

Depending on how long you have been together, the honeymoon period may by long gone. That being said, do you want to be in a relationship where you can’t find redeeming qualities to still rave about even after all these years? It may be a sign that you have grown out of your relationship if you (perhaps without noticing,) are always speaking negatively about it. Ask your friends and family for a reality check. They can tell you if you don’t seem happy anymore. Look at your life, are you content in your career and home? Are there changes in your life that you can have control over? Ask if the problem is you, or your relationship. Perhaps you are not in a good place in your life, or perhaps your relationship is no longer working. Listen to what you’re saying and decide if your pessimistic comments are a true reflection of your companion or is the attitude adjustment one that needs to come from within.

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5. You’ve been setting deadlines for your relationship to get better by and they keep passing.

You shouldn’t have to set deadlines for your relationship, you should be able to communicate and get on the same page at any time. Setting deadlines creates for unwanted insecurity. By putting a date in place that you need a verdict or an action by, you are creating a waiting time where you are likely to not be living in the moment but rather counting down until the zero hour. Life should be about gratitude for your current moment. Of course a sense of direction is important, but if we are living for a time and unknown answer, then we are missing the joys of daily ins and outs. Drop the deadlines, and get to the point. Live your days to the fullest and choose happiness today. If you both are focused and happy in the moment then the future deadline is unimportant.

6. You fight all the time.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that fighting for weeks on end is not healthy. Your relationship should be a wonderful part of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life. If simple things like, what to have for dinner, or what movie to see, are turning into fights, it’s time to ask what is really going on? Usually, there is a deeper issue. Communication is the key to success. Be adults and talk about your feelings and thoughts in a calm manner. It’s often not what you are saying but how you say it. So if your relationship is important to you both, you should be able to have an honest and productive conversation without the neighbors wondering if they need to call the cops.

7. You Cry All The Time

If you wake up every day with sorrow in your heart and tears in your eyes, something needs to change! Make a list of things that are bothering you. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I so sad? What is making me feel this way? How can I change?” If you find that your answers are revolving around your relationship then it may be time to choose happiness for yourself. You can only change yourself, you cannot change someone else. Make the choice to feel good inside and to cut out the things or people who are making you feel bad.

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8. Your Relationship is Negatively Impacting Other Areas Of Your Life

Do you find yourself being less productive at work? Are your friendships and family relationships suffering? Is your boyfriend or girlfriend at the base of these issues? A relationship is supposed to build you up, not drag you down. You should not find work, or friendships suffering due to your companion. Ask yourself what is more important, how you want to live your life, or how someone else tells you to live it. When we are kids we don’t like to be told what to do  by our parents. It should be the same when when you are in a an adult relationship. A partner shouldn’t be controlling you or decisions. In addition, the way you feel about your life shouldn’t be negatively effected by your significant other. Remind yourself what kind of relationship you want to be in and ask yourself if you are really living that. Don’t let your work suffer because of the mood you feel. Negativity feeds more negativity. You have to find a way to pull yourself out and that may be by starting fresh without a lousy partner.

9. You Never See Each Other

For some people long distance relationships work, but if you live in the same area and you can’t find time to see each other this may be an issue, especially if only one person is making all the effort. You should never have to put time and effort into a relationship if it isn’t being reciprocated. This causes for resentment, stress, anxiety and angst. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly making excuses as to why he or she can’t see you, then ask yourself if this union is really a fit for you. Some people have an understanding with their companion that they only see each other a few times a week, as long as neither person feels let down by this, then that is great. However, if one person is feeling neglected, a conversation needs to be had, and a re-evaluation should be placed. Relationships take time, energy, effort and a mutual desire to want to spend time together. Make sure you’re the priority you want to be.

10. You Are Flirting With Someone Else

Some of us are naturally flirtatious people and it really means nothing. It is simply a banter or a way of expressing oneself. However, if you find that you are flirting and this is out of character, ask yourself if you are lacking attention in your relationship? Is your person making you feel special?  Or are you looking for attention from other people to fill a void. Have an honest conversation with yourself and then with your significant other. If you can’t be made to feel special then it could be time to change your status.

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11. You Don’t Trust Your Partner

Relationships should be built on trust, so if you are even questioning if you trust your spouse than you probably don’t. When we don’t trust people we can grow insecure and ultimately drive ourselves crazy creating realities in our minds that may or may not be true. No one needs, or deserves to spend their days consumed with questions about what their significant other is doing. Not trusting your partner will certainly cause you to drive yourself into a tizzy and will effect other areas of your life. You deserve to be in an honest and open relationship, make sure you’re getting the answers you need.

12. You’re Living On A Future Idea

There is no time like the present! If everything in your relationship is built around a concept that has never actually occurred then you are not living in the moment and merely consumed with an idea of what could be. You may never get that idea so be sure that you are happy now. You never know what would happen tomorrow.

13. You Find Yourself Lying

Having to create alternate realities to mask the one your in, is not ok. Eventually lies catch up with you and they certainly seep into other areas of your life. You should be proud, confident and secure enough to live in the life you are in. You shouldn’t have to make up lies and create a facade. If you’ve noticed yourself lying frequently about your relationship or your partner ask yourself why you are doing so. Maybe you are lacking some excitement, or perhaps you are covering up your unhappiness. Be honest with yourself and then be honest with your man/woman.  Remember too, he or she should not want you lying either!

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14. You constantly say, “When X Happens, Everything Will Be Fine”

Assuming that when you buy a house, have a baby, get engaged or whatever major event your waiting for, will make your relationship better,  it’s not true. Major life events cause stress. You need your relationship to be strong and communicative before you step into a major event. Big changes can make everything seem better, they can also make life much harder. You need a strong foundation before you ‘build the house’. We cannot control tomorrow, but we can control today. So look at the here and now, and don’t assume that an unknown future is the solution.

Featured photo credit: Bad relationship- Po Yang via flickr.com

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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)

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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