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20 Ways To Help You See Your Best Friend In A Whole New Light

20 Ways To Help You See Your Best Friend In A Whole New Light

We’ve all got that bestie for the restie. You know each other’s sleeping patterns (because you’re messaging each other every waking hour), you know each other’s allergies, and you’re the only person who knows the full story about the broken curtain on the gym shower (and the resulting indecent exposure).

But what don’t you know? What secret traits and unseen sides lie hidden beneath that persona that you know so well? Here are 20 things that will help you find out – there may be even more reasons than you realize to love your best friend.

1. Visit your best friend at work

You’re used to seeing them in leggings or sweats, with cookie crumbs on their face. But what about in a tie and white button-down, laying down the law and being all serious and powerful? It might just take you aback.

20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

    2. Live together for an extended period of time

    Leave dirty dishes around the house, use the last of the shampoo, draw a territorial line on the carpet – living together will push you two to your breaking points. You’ll see those snappy red-mist moments in each other like never before. And your friendship will be the stronger for it.

    20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

      3. Visit a place neither of you have ever been

      Time to whack out the rucksacks, the cameras, and the sunglasses and discover a new part of the world together. Expand your horizons as one and discover a new way to hang out. And of course, no trip is complete without an obnoxious picture posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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      20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

        4. Try the Insanity workout program together

        This task comes with some fine print: You have to vow to stay by each other’s side (it may be the most difficult mission of your life). Because suffering together always brings people closer.

        20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

          5. Share tapas in a public place

          When you can negotiate meals and swap and share your dishes, you know you have found a true friend. Because most people are like Joey. And Joey doesn’t share food.

          20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light. Lifehack

            6. Be the big spoon after a night on the town

            There’s nothing like a platonic cuddle to get you to sleep after a night of shots, tall drinks, shots, dancing, and shots. And it’s a plus to have your friend on hand for when your hair needs holding back in the toilet in the morning…

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              7. Attempt the impossible together

              Whether this means climbing a mountain, starting a business together, or simply finishing the whole rack of ribs in TGIF, you’ll find new strengths, new weaknesses, and new glue to keep you stuck.

              20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                8. Confront your worst fears as a team

                Whether your bestie drops hot tea all over their lap, or calmly finds a book heavy enough to squash the eight-eyed monster gatecrashing your evening, you’re sure to find out about the real them during times of such extreme stress.

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                20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                  9. Get lost on a road trip

                  Roof down, music up, wind in your hair – hell, this one’s just an excuse for a holiday! And getting lost is the best part, so go off-road and find new paths in each other.

                  20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                    10. Go clubbing together stone cold sober

                    Do you both still bust out those moves and drop it like it’s hot in the middle of the dance floor when you haven’t knocked back a single stiff one? Only one way to find out…

                    20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                      11. Double date

                      When you’re vetting the new lad or lady on the scene, why not vet each other while you’re at it? Does your bestie act differently on a date? Do they nibble their lettuce leaves instead of tucking into that pork pie?

                      20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                        12. Start a club together

                        Dancing, life drawing, archery – whatever floats your boat. How is your bestie with an arrow? How are they when they lose? Meet the sweaty, tackling, red-faced version of your best friend and learn a hell of a lot about their competitive streak.

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                        20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                          13. No texting for a week

                          Can you make it through? It might be worth it to see your friend in the real rather than the virtual. See how excited you are when you meet up and have ALL of the things to talk about!

                          20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                            14. Buy a pet together

                            Whether it’s a fish or a donkey, enjoy mothering something cute and fluffy and watch the parental urges come to the fore.

                            20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                              15. Spend a night in jail together

                              Inadvisable, but definitely perspective-changing.

                              20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                16. Write a song together

                                Get those creative juices flowing and who knows where they could take you – record deals, overnight fame, or perhaps just to a better understanding of each others’ sensitive souls.

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                                20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                  17. Write a book together

                                  You really want to know those deep, dark, weird spaces of your best friend’s mind? Brainstorm the perfect story and watch it wind out of control as you create your masterpiece together.

                                  20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                    18. Have that raging argument that’s been building for weeks

                                    Let off some steam and let it all out in the open – you’ll both feel the better for it, and you’ll unleash some tensions while resolving some issues. And of course you’ll bounce right back.

                                    20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                      19. Witness your best friend brush their teeth

                                      You’ll never look at them the same way again. It’s an intimate moment – all that frothing and spitting. And it’s a great look into the domestic life of your bestie.

                                      20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                        20. Be there to watch them grow up and grow old

                                        You’re best friends. You’ve seen it all. You’ve been there for each other. So stay there. Right to the end.

                                        20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                          Featured photo credit: Lauren Rushing via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                          The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                          Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                          Posture

                                          First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                          • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                          • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                          • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                          • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                          All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                          Facial Expressions

                                          Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                          • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                          • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                          • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                          If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                          1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                          A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                          The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                          This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                          2. Relax Your Face

                                          New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                          The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                          To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                          3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                          Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                          The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                          To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                          3. Smile More

                                          There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                          Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                          4. Hand Gestures

                                          Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                          It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                          5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                          In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                          “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                          It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                          6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                          As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                          Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                          Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                          Final Takeaways

                                          Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                          If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                          More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                          Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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