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20 Signs You Have The Coolest Dad In The World

20 Signs You Have The Coolest Dad In The World

I am part of Generation X, which has experiences the recession, the Tech Bust 5 and the Credit Crisis. Wages have been relatively flat the last ten years so most Generation X households have both parents working. When dads get home there is still much to be done around the house because Mom is just getting home from work too. I am not the father my Dad was. I wish I were. I am learning how to be a cool Dad in the society that exists now. There are many good messages a household with two working parents give to their children. Examples of partnership and equality, but I can’t help wish that I could stop the duties that begin after I get home to spend more time with my children. Here are things my Father did with me and I am trying to find time to do. He was a cool Dad.

To make you feel like you are the whole world to them even when you have other siblings, that is what makes a Dad cool. When all the external pressures they are under never seep into the space you occupy with them. That makes a Dad cool.  A Dad can create that for a child by doing little things all the time. As children we do have the fond memories of a few big vacations with the family. Some of those fond memories are the ones of vacations that may not have gone so smoothly. The memories we have that are the clearest however are the times that were consistent and were small gestures. In this day and age it is growing more difficult for children and parents to have those moments together. Times they can just focus on eachother. Dad may have a cell phone he is always looking down at, or the child may be the one with the phone.

Here are 20 signs that you have the coolest Dad in the world.

1. Every summer day after work he takes you to the neighborhood pool to play catch in the water.

I loved playing catch with my father and brothers. I also loved the fact that the pool was away from the house. It allowed us to really focus on eachother without any outside distractions. My Dad had a gym bag in his closet by his shoes that was always packed with balls for the pool. He would slip off his shoes and quickly change and grab the bag. Taking his kids to a pool makes them feel appreciated.

2. He wrestles with you and lets you win until you are 13…then all bets are off.  How else are you going to learn to be a man?

My Dad was perfect at “fake losing” and as we got older we realized he was no longer doing that. My Dad was strong and a good athlete, but he never competed with us. He saw any time together as quality time.

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3. He is your soccer coach even if he doesn’t want to be, and you think he wants to be.

My Dad hated being the coach. He only did it because our first coach quit out of the blue. We were a terrible team. My Dad did his best and I’ll always love and respect him for it. If a father does something selfless for his children and their friends, this is how they can tell he really cares about them.

4. He gets up at dawn to pack the car for your family vacation, and always makes every suitcase fit perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle or the video game tetris.

No one, and I mean no one, could pack a car like my father. A father has a duty to teach his kids life skills, even if they may seem simple, they will help his children to get along in their future.

5. He has the route to your family vacation spot memorized and doesn’t need a map.

I thought this was a special power until my third trip to California with my family. After you drive a route a few times the first of which you’re under deress you never forget your turnoffs. In many ways a dad is also a role model for his kids.

6. Before there were thermometers in cars he pressed the back of his hand to his car door window to see what the temperature was outside instead of rolling down the window creating a huricane in the car.

I once had a girl develop a crush on me in college because I did this. I swear it’s the truth. Children look up to their dads if they have smart and extraordinary ways of doing simple things.

7. He puts your homemade pen holder on his desk at work and actually uses it.

I was not artistic. He was so proud. If your dad is proud of your childish creations, he really cares about you.

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8. He will act silly infront of you like pretending to play the guitar on a tennis racket in his underwear with a child’s cowboy hat on his head.

My mother has actual photographic documentation of this. Dad’s lucky there wasn’t social media back then. Still, nothing makes a dad happier than to see his children laugh.

9. He wears a Halloween costume every Halloween.

I’ve started doing this. My kids love it. Older kids will give me a nod of approval as well. You’ve got to stay young at heart.

10. He’s the first person you shared a beer with.

It takes the mistery out of drinking. I think it helps kids not binge drink because drinking is not so forbiden.

11. He’ll drink scotch with you even though he doesn’t like scotch.

My Dad is a wine drinker. But he’ll try anything if it means we can sit on the back porch and talk longer.

12. He is proud of you and wants you to live your life and not the one he didn’t get to live.

I didn’t even know what sports my Dad played in high school until I was in high school. He also down played his major in college. Still he never made me feel bad about not persuing his career because their children’s happiness is the only that matters to a father.

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13. He teaches you to respect people and prepares you to know that you must earn respect.

My Dad was a hard worker to put food on the table. He never brought his problems home and he treated my Mom and us three boys with respect. That made it easy for us to respect him.

14. He doesn’t shave on vacations. He also knows that there is a time and a place where personal hygene is less important, like on a camping trip.

I’ve continued this tradition. It is important for kids to see that their father can let go and simply enjoy time with his family now and then.

15. If you get injured in sports or playing with your friends he tells you to “shake it off” and teaches you the difference between a “battle wound” and a serious injury.

I wish I saw more of this in kids today. My son has a few “battle wounds”. He’s tough. But it’s the responsibility of a father to teach this lesson.

16. He treats your Mom like a Queen, and is a good role model for how to treat a spouse.

My parents are true partners and respect eachother. Teaching his kids to treat women with respect is one of the most important tasks a father has.

17. He treats every failure you have as a learning experience and allows you to fail. He gives guidance but does not let it interfere with you choosing your own path.

My Dad wanted us to live our own lives and be our own persons. He used to say that my brothers and I were all very different people.

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18. He understands why you want to be dropped off 100 yards away from where you and your friends are meeting girls at the mall (or boys at the mall).

I never did this. I had a friend who would make his Grandma drop us off this way. She took it in stride. Great lady.

19. When you have a bad game or race he knows it is not the time to “coach”.

I have adopted this from my father. I know my son appreciates it. No one is harder on you than you. Nothing is as bad as you think it really is. My Dad once told me that people are concered with their own lives, they are not giving you much thought.

20. He understands what builds your relationship are the small things. The everyday moments you spend together.

The big vacations were great, but they are fading in my memory. The day to day experiences are what I remember.

Featured photo credit: http://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/ via google.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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