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Why There’s Nothing Wrong With You Being Single

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Why There’s Nothing Wrong With You Being Single

“I’m single because I was born that way.” – Mae West

Are you worried about being single and coping with all those rather nosy questions about your status?  Numerically, no need to worry at all because one in two people in Manhattan are actually single. Nationwide that adds up to 100 million people and growing, according to the Census Bureau.

Guess what?  Numbers apart, if you are single, you are much more likely to do better in your career, be more sociable, be healthier and also do voluntary work. These are the findings of Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist who wrote a book called Going Solo.

Still not convinced?  Read on because I am going to list 10 reasons why there is nothing wrong with being single. Welcome to singledom.

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1. Because you relish your freedom and independence

This goes for both singles and divorced women. Studies done at the Kingston University in London found that women following divorce were happier than they had ever been (for up to 5 years) after divorce. Being free of any awkward and messy ties was a big part of this. As for singles, you never have to ask your partner or spouse before deciding anything. You are totally free to spend money as you please, go to bed when you want to, and watch that late night film without having to negotiate anyone’s permission.

2. Because you know what you want

One of the reasons for so many unhappy marriages and long –term relationships is that the fear of loneliness took over when deciding to get hitched. This means that many singles made the wrong choice. But you know what you want in a partner and you are not going to compromise just because of parental and peer pressure. No, your standards are not too high and don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.

3. Because you are happy

You have enough interests, friends and job satisfaction to keep you going for a long time yet. You are happy when alone and think of it as ‘restorative solitude’, rather than a negative feeling. Above all, you feel that you are self fulfilled as a single entity.  You are also keenly aware that the happiness of married men and women has been steadily declining over the last three decades as a University of Pennsylvania study has shown. Marriage does not always mean happiness and one study of over 1,000 couples found that marriage was a ‘blip’ and had no long term effect on happiness.

4. Because you know your limits and defects

You have enough self awareness to know that you are not the Mr or Ms Perfect. You are well aware of your defects and how they could be obstacles in a long lasting relationship. Above all, you are able to forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made in the past but you do not let these pollute your outlook on life.

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5. Because you enjoy the financial benefits

Have you ever thought why so much marketing is aimed at singles?  They have done their homework and like you are aware of the enormous scope for spending when in singledom. You can spend much more on fitness, clothes and holidays than you would if you were married. You do better financially when buying a house and also in planning retirement benefits. You can also save up to 5 percent of monthly salary according to Forbes magazine.

6. Because you can really appreciate your family and friends

“A single rose can be my garden – a single friend, my world .” – Leo Buscaglia

If you have maintained a healthy and affectionate relationship with your family, you really appreciate them. In addition, your friends are just as important to you as your immediate family is. If you are a woman, you have a greater capacity for making friendships with other women. Men have more difficulty in bonding with other men.

7. Because you can really work on your career

Family obligations for men and women are not always recognized in the workplace. They should be of course, and ought not to be a barrier to having a brilliant career. Recent legislation in the USA is now concentrating on how this can be eradicated.

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While singles often have to take care of elderly parents, they are in many ways free of other responsibilities such as bearing and rearing children.

While you are aware of the favorable bias towards married people with children in the workplace, you are not let that going to stop you. You are the one who is free to read, study and attend extra training skills programs. You will never have to ask your spouse for permission. Being single is going to really help you in your career.

8. Because you are healthier and will live longer

Most experts have reported that marriage can help you live longer. But this is not always true as a lot depends on the lifestyle and the mental stability of the partners in any marriage.  But look at these advantages:

  • You have a much better quality of sleep being single. No worries about having to put up with snoring.
  • You do not need to spend much time on housework.
  • You have more time for fitness, running and the gym.
  • You are much less likely to suffer from stress because of family problems, children and marital conflicts.
  • You have more time for friends than married people.
  • You can have fabulous holidays without being encumbered by a family in tow.

 9. You are in total control

Enjoying singledom means discovering yourself, your passions, what you really appreciate and what makes you happy. Being yourself is the great benefit when you are in total control. There is another wonderful advantage in that moving house, changing job and relocating all become so much easier when you are the one who decides.

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10. You can always change your mind

The greatest advantage of all is that you have the wonderful option of changing your mind, should you want to opt for a more long term relationship or even marriage. Nobody can dictate when, how or with whom you could do this. You haven’t signed anything yet!

“As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.”– Hermann Hesse

Let us know why you are happy or unhappy being single in the comments below.

 

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Featured photo credit: Single tree/Martin Fisch via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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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