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Top 5 Ways Your Partner May Be Hiding Secrets from You

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Top 5 Ways Your Partner May Be Hiding Secrets from You

The longstanding movie-enhanced image of fairy dust being sprinkled over a couple in true love is indeed quite romantic. These days, however, an alarming number of relationships aren’t quite so picture-perfect. Couples therapy expert Esther Perel concurs, saying that “When I entered marriage I bought into the whole romantic package. I want my husband to take care of everything. I want to never feel anxious again, never feel a fear of abandonment. It’s the complete merge model. But that’s very different than the millennials I work with.”

As most people are aware, trust is the most important ingredient in making a relationship work. Oftentimes though, there’s cause for concern where it’s not unreasonable to suspect your partner of hiding secrets from you. The secrets your partner might be hiding from you could range from something as innocuous as opening your mail to something sneaky like having a secret bank account to something as deathly serious as infidelity with your neighbor. It’s never been as easy as it is today for your partner to keep secrets from you; so easy, in fact, that you won’t believe the types of things partners sometimes hide from one another.

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    With all of this in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 5 ways that your partner may be hiding secrets from you. If the integrity of your relationship matters to you, it is worth your while to be on the lookout for telltale signs that something may be amiss so that you can address these issues and resolve them amicably.

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    1. Think your partner likes your food? Think again!

    It is often said that “the way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach”. In other words, serve him some great food and you will win his love. Many ladies enjoy cooking for their men, but whether the guys actually love the cooking might be up for debate. Plenty of men can not stand the taste of the cuisine their partners feed them but adopt a diplomatic approach and compliment the food anyhow. Unbeknownst to their partners, however, these men might be discarding the homemade cuisine in favor of take away food.

    Think that could never happen to you? Next time your man comes home, ask him whether he enjoyed the lunch you made for him to take to work. Then interrogate him with some follow-up questions about the food. If you have left him dinner in the fridge because you were out for the night, ask him about that too the next day. If you think your partner might be hiding a secret or concealing the fact that he does not like your food, you should be certain that it is worth your while to prepare it for him in the first place!

    Life Hack 2

      2. Your partner went Where?

      Naturally, you and your partner ought to be spending a lot of time together. Of course, as individuals we are all entitled to some “me time”. Then again, there should certainly be limits as to the activities you engage in alone. This concept may be a foreign one to your partner though or, worse still, he might be taking unfair advantage of time away from you. For all you know, while your partner could be telling you that he’s just having a night out with the guys, that night could have been out at a gentlemen’s club or spent enjoying the company of women.

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      On a far lesser scale, it might seem to you like your partner has become a little “extra eager” to take the dog out for walks or head to the park often with your kids. While it’s certainly possible he’s just being nice and trying to give you some time of your own to chill and relax, he might also be engaging in other activities you are unaware of. At the other end of the spectrum, he might even hint at you and him taking separate holidays from one another. Especially if it is the first time he has ever brought up something like that, you might want to investigate where precisely he wants to go and if there’s some sort of ulterior motive he’s got going on. If you notice a sudden, or even gradual, change in your partner’s routine that allows him for more time away from you, it’s not unjustified to start suspecting that he’s hiding something from you or that there may be cause for concern.

      3. More money, more problems?

      In many relationships there’s a division of labor and chores. This often means that just one of the two partners takes responsibility for money-related issues. If that person is your partner, then perhaps you should consider paying a little extra attention to what’s going on in the bank account.While your credit card may not indicate any suspicious activity in the form of purchases you don’t recognize, if your partner is hiding something money-related from you he may be doing so in cash. Check your bank balance once in a while to see if you notice any out-of-the-ordinary ATM withdrawals. If you do happen to notice your man walking around with more cash than usual, it would not hurt to ask why he’s carrying it all around.

      Beyond that, if you have got a partner who is determined to hide some secrets from you, it is not unreasonable to think that he might have a separate bank account you are not aware of. Maybe he is channeling funds in there to support a recreational gambling habit he thinks you would not approve of? And if you think this is impossible, as you would otherwise find evidence like gambling software on the computer, think again. Many gambling operators offer up an instant play casino platform which would allow someone to play while not leaving tracks. To be fair, it is possible that your partner is hiding something from you, money-wise, because he wants to buy something nice for you without you knowing about it in advance. In fact, there are even how-to articles online that give guys tips for how to keep that surprise from you. So if you notice a little money missing from the piggy bank, it might not be all that bad and you should certainly consider discussing the situation before initiating a hostile confrontation.

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      Life Hack

        4. Nothing to see here, we are just Browsing

        When it comes to Internet browsing and other online activities, modern-day technology has made it possible to hide things pretty easily. Thus, it’s not uncommon to wonder if your partner might be using these technologies to hide secrets from you. Some of the measures he might be taking to ensure you remain blissfully unaware of his online activities include the use of private browsing, as well as the creation of fake user profiles with which to visit certain unsavory corners of the Web.

        If you are pretty certain that your partner does not engage in such activities from their home computer, it still does not mean that he is not utilizing mobile technology for these purposes. For instance, there are ways of hiding apps on your Smartphone, and the fact is that if your partner has gone to the trouble of using technology to conceal things from you as far as his online surfing habits go there is no telling what he might be up to when you’re not around or not looking over his shoulder. While no partner should automatically suspect their significant other of impropriety, the bottom line is that technology makes it easier than ever before to hide secrets and live separate existences.

        Life Hack 3

          5. Is that “eau de mystique” I can Smell?

          Too many bad habits can be malodorous. If your partner is engaged in some of those bad habits and wants to keep them a secret from you, there are many ways he could be masking their smell. For instance, if you notice that he’s recently taken up the habit of chewing gum or suddenly starts carrying breath mints around with him wherever he goes, he might be trying to hide a new smoking habit from you. So if your partner suddenly walks into the house at the end of a long workday smelling as fresh as a daisy or as though they have bathed in cologne, this might serve as a warning flag for you. Sure, he may just be refreshing himself after a tiring or challenging day, but it does not take too much imagination to wonder if he might have been engaging in other activities while at the office or out inthe town with friends.

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          This is especially true with activities that carry with them another person’s fragrance that he may be trying to hide, while a sudden change in your partner’s behavior is also liable to be questioned. With this in mind, keep your wits about you and commit to using all of your senses to see if your partner is hiding something from you. Your instinct is also important, and you should not be afraid to raise issues that are causing you concern in a frank, calm and proactive manner.

          Life Hack 4

            The Bottom Line

            Naturally, we would encourage partners to be fully open with one another through the course of their relationship. If you do suspect that your partner is hiding something from you, we do not advocate confronting them about it right away, or in an overly aggressive manner that prevents them from responding adequately. Trust in a relationship is sacred and can be difficult to repair if breached. For that reason, it may be worth your while to follow these steps to confirm your suspicions about your partner before actually making a move to do something about it.

            Featured photo credit: Eddy Van 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)

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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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