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8 Reasons Why You Always Fight With Your Beloved

8 Reasons Why You Always Fight With Your Beloved

Doesn’t it seem like those who are truly in love would never fight? The truth is that love is a game of passion and with passion comes a certain intensity of feelings. These feelings often lead to fights. It is not a sign that your relationship is necessarily falling apart, but rather a sign that you are both deeply invested in each other. Here are some reasons you might be fighting with your loved one:

1. You have some unreasonable expectations

This can be particularly difficult as you come out of the honeymoon phase. Romantic love is incredibly powerful and it can lead us to envision our partner as something they are not. This can cause us to be shocked and dismayed when they behave in ways that our inconsistent with our expectations. This type of fight is fairly common for people early on in their relationship and can be worked through by being aware that the first signs of love often leave us with a few unrealistic expectations.

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2. You wonder if these feelings are genuine

Love is a strong, but often mysterious feeling in our lives. With such intensity floating around, you may begin to wonder if all of this is truly real. This insecurity can cause lovers to fight. It can be very difficult to determine how another person feels, let alone how you feel yourself, but in these situations, it is best to realize that you have to trust yourself to know what is real and what isn’t.

3. You worry you may be settling

Once you get seriously involved with a beloved one, you may begin to worry that there may be something better out there. This is a normal sensation, and often flares up most prominently when things are not running very smoothly. With this feeling, you are best to be careful and avoid acting on any rash decisions. Give yourself time and space to decide how you truly feel about the situation. Go slowly and remember all the great things you love about your partner before you decide there is something better out there.

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4. You are frustrated that you can’t be perfect for your partner

Sometimes fights stem from your own frustrations with your behavior. Although you may not realize it, you may be expecting yourself to be the perfect example of loving support for your partner. This is a wonderful goal to strive for, but the truth is no one is perfect. You will make mistakes in your journey, and so will your partner. When you realize you are motivated out of frustration about your own actions, being open with your partner is a good strategy. Trust love includes loving all of your imperfections, so you may find solace in hearing your lack of perfection is forgiven.

5. You may be losing sight of the team aspect of your relationship

If you are getting too focused on “I” or “me” you may be suffering from this problem. Mature relationships require a teamwork mentality. You have to learn to work with your partner and consider your options based on what is most beneficial for both of you. This requires patience and communicating with your partner.

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6. You prioritized your feelings over your partner’s

Although your feelings are probably the most tangible thing on your mind, its important to realize that they are not always the most important thing in a specific situation. To avoid these sorts of fights, be mindful of what your feelings are and what your beloved’s feelings might be. Try to make a conscious decision to focus on their feelings over your own.

7. You get the past mixed up with the present

Sure you’ve probably had a few bumps in the past. Perhaps a few of them are still a bit raw. That’s no surprise, but if you bring up bits of the past while trying to work through something more recent, you may be walking into a mine field. Try to stay focused on the now and have a separate conversation about the past if you need it.

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8. You don’t have an established exit plan

Sometimes when you are having a moment with your loved on, it can be hard to know how to exit a conversation before it gets too heated. If you establish a way to respectfully end the conversation way before anyone gets heated, you have a go to when things start to get out of hand. It can be something as simple as saying “I need a break, let’s return to this tomorrow” to something outrageous like “Pink bananas are better ripe.” Whatever phrasing can help you and your partner flag a respectful retreat will help reduce the number of fights you both have to endure.

Featured photo credit: JanDix via pixabay.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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