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Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

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Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

A lonely guy, dejected and broken by recent events, enters a bar and calls for a Vodka Martini. He is feeling down and is in no position to strike up a conversation with the folks around him. Just as he’s thinking of nothing but finishing his drink, paying his tab and calling it a day, something miraculous happens. A beautiful woman enters the bar and immediately lights up the room. Our forgotten hero cannot believe his eyes as she heads toward him, smiling. He is in seventh heaven. They chat like they’ve known each other for years; it is love at first sight.

If this sounds like a story, then that’s because such an unbelievable turnaround in fortune is indeed the stuff of fairy tale. Truth be told, if you’re looking for romance, then a bar is a terrible place to start. Fret not—the world doesn’t quite end right at the bar.

1. Parks

romance at park

    Parks are great places to get to know the people living around you. People from all sorts of walks of life and interests gather at the park. Parks offer a great environment to relax and take your thoughts far away from the troubles of your day-to-day life, so the casual and cheerful spirit of park visitors could help a great deal in your cause to team up with someone. Whenever you feel lonely and need someone to date, jump off your couch and take a few strolls down to the nearest park.

    2. Health and Fitness Clubs

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    romance at gym

      The main purpose of visiting health and fitness clubs is obviously to maintain the physique and keep up the good health. But, with mixed gender health clubs, you could have added incentives. The health clubs could come in different forms, such as saunas, gymnasiums, yoga and aerobic centers, and you could choose any of them based on your interests and practicalities. But wherever you go, you could meet a similar soul with the same interests as yours, all while you’re sweating to keep yourself fit. The only way to make new friends is to go out to new places, and health clubs are fun ways to do this. You could very well meet a special friend in the process.

      3. Sporting Events

      romance at stadium

        A lot is at stake during even local sporting events, not to mention the grandest of stages like the World Cup, Super Bowl or Wimbledon. And when the team and the athletes plying their trade at center stage are the ones you revere, your feelings are hard to describe. You heart oscillates between highs and lows, before finally setting on a level based on your team’s result. While you’re having this compendium of crazy emotions, there could be a charming guy or a girl nearby who echoes your emotions. You could have a say on proceedings of the game and start to converse, casually in the beginning. And, if you’re willing, you could evolve things from that starting point.

        4. Social Sports Clubs

        Photo by Steven L. Shepard

          Sporting events are not the only way sports can provide you with opportunities to find a partner. You could do the same by being part of the game as well. And for this, social sports clubs are highly effective. Such social sports clubs provide great opportunities for socializing and making new friends. They provide an encouraging environment for having fun, which immediately breaks down barriers and develops talking points, without you having to think of a witty conversation starter. Depending on your preferences, you may need to pick a mixed gender sport, which could be beach soccer, tennis, badminton, dodge ball or any other sport you fancy. Pick a sport that you will genuinely enjoy, and don’t worry too much about it being something you are particularly good at—the rest will follow.

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          5. Parties

          romance at party

            Parties are fine occasions to find a partner. So many people are gathering in one place, so you can easily find someone you’re intrigued with. A great thing about such parties is that it’s quite easy to break the ice if you’re interested. If you have a friend or relative at the party, ask them to introduce you to that person. The beginning is half done, so you’re that much closer landing a date.

            6. Festivals

            romance at festival

              Whether it be religious, musical, or cultural, festivals are one of the best ways to get to know other locals, with whom we would otherwise never be acquainted with. At festivals, the mood is cheerful and a major populace of the region gathers in one place. As said earlier in the article, the best way to meet people is to go to new places. As this kind of event is usually casual and everyone is in lighter spirits, it’s easy to pair up and start a conversation. Hence, a local festival can provide you with a chance to find a partner, living right in your neighborhood.

              7. Volunteer Activities

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              romance at volunteering

                Each and every one of us possess a certain bit of altruistic self within ourselves, although it could be in varying degrees from person to person. Volunteering activities may seem to be too much trouble. But if you have a sense of longing to serve the community and desire to contribute to the overall good of humanity, volunteering is a great thing to do. You don’t only enhance your personal development with it; you’ll also meet new people. And, along the journey, you could also meet someone who shares your interests and whom you are compatible with. You could foster a great relationship with him/her as well. Therefore, even if you’ve never felt like doing it, spare a thought for it, as the incentive is too huge to turn down!

                8. Classrooms

                romance in class

                  In many romantic movies and novels, lovebirds emerge from within the classroom walls  And, rightfully so, since in real life, classrooms are often a great place to find someone to form a bond with. Generally, most of us have our first crushes on our classmates. And often, the first romantic endeavors are with the ones we shared classes with during high school years. Our classmates are frequently the ones with whom we spend the most time at a particular stage in our life, and they are also the ones with whom the chance of developing a connection is highest. So look around the seats in your classroom, single folks out there!

                  9. Libraries

                  romance in library

                    Libraries may not hold much appeal as the likeliest of places to find someone to date, but believe me: you’d be wrong to laugh off at their potential to hook you up with a companion. Imagine how romantic it will be when you’re holding a copy of Pride and Prejudice in your hands and are completely propelled by the unfolding of events in the book. And when you lift up your looks to people around the room, you find a dazzling beauty sitting across the table, holding a copy of the same novel herself. Your eyes meet and as they say, the rest could well be history. So, if you’re enthralled by reading, libraries could help you find someone with similar interests and save you from being forever alone.

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                    10. Long Distance Transports

                    romance in travel

                      We often like to dream of a charming companion by our side while we’re travelling, whether it be on an airplane, a train or a bus. We want this even more we’re travelling long distances. Sometimes, we may not get exactly what we’d wished for, having to travel with complaining aunts or boring uncles. But sometimes, we can get really lucky and meet the prince charming or princess of our dreams right there. When we’re accompanying him/her for such a long distance and time, there’s plenty of opportunities to communicate and get to know each other. And, it could well be the start of another great love story!

                      In reality, love at first sight very rarely occurs. Affection grows over time, strengthened by shared experience and appreciation of events around you. People don’t fall in love based on physical appearance, but on personality—so looking for ways to show your personality is the best way to “mingle.” The inherently flawed notion of “fate” is simply an occurrence due to the weight of circumstance. But it is these circumstances that you can affect by giving yourself the opportunities to connect with others, based on shared interest and experience.

                      Featured photo credit: Laughing couple via wikimedia.org

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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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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