Advertising
Advertising

15 Reasons Why Your Older Sister Is The Best Gift Your Parents Gave You

15 Reasons Why Your Older Sister Is The Best Gift Your Parents Gave You

Do you have an older sister? An older sister can be the greatest gift life can give you. From wiping away your tears to teaching you about “grown-up stuff,” it is likely that your older sister made your life much easier – and much, much happier.

Check out 15 reasons why your older sister is the best gift your parents could give you.

1. You always had someone to play with as a child

As a child, you literally never had to play alone – and even though your older sister was too old for Barbies, she would still get her own out and play with you if you asked nicely enough.

2. She taught you about “the birds and the bees”

Your older sister’s worldly wisdom gave you most of the information you have on sex, and it was all pretty accurate. Because of her, you understood all of the innuendos in the family films you watched – although she did also spend a few months trying to convince you that you were adopted. Thanks, sis.

Advertising

3. She helped you to build your style

She may have laughed at your brown-and-purple-striped leggings when you were a child, but she also gave you some sparkly denim jeans to wear instead. She may have been pretty mean about some of your clothes and accessories as a child, but she helped you to form a fashion sense you’re proud of today.

4. She prepared your parents for you

Your older sister was the first one to stay out late, get a boyfriend, and go to college. Your parents were pretty clingy and strict with her, but she taught them that the best way to go with you was to give you some freedom and trust.

5. She is always honest with you

If you’re dating someone who isn’t good enough for you, or you aren’t achieving your full potential at work, she will be the first person to tell you — and she will probably do it in very blunt terms. You love having someone in your life who cares enough about you to be totally honest with you — even when it is hard to hear.

6. … so she always gives the best fashion advice

Her honesty is particularly useful when it comes fashion. You may both be fully grown adults now, but she is still 100 per cent honest with you about your fashion choices. If your outfit looks bad, she won’t let it go until you get changed. When you look back on the night, you always prefer the option your sister chose.

Advertising

7. She taught you nearly everything you needed to know

She taught you how to stick up to bullies, how to get over heartbreak, and even how to put your own shoes on. She is the only friend you have who has helped you so much — and you know she will continue to help you for years to come.

8. She is responsible when you’re not

From remembering to buy Christmas presents for your parents to making sure you get home safely when you’ve had too many drinks, you can always count on your older sister to be responsible for the pair of you.

9. She was your personal chauffeur

She may not have been happy about it, but driving you to school and back made your teenage ears much easier — mainly because she didn’t lecture you all the way there, like your parents did.

10. She made high school easier for you

You spent most of your high school years being referred to as “so-and-so’s little sister,” which you found a little annoying at the time. But, now you realize it made high school much easier for you — mostly because all of your friends thought she was sooo cool.

Advertising

11. She will always let you stay at her apartment

As long as your older sister has a bed, you always have somewhere to sleep. As a child, you used to crawl into her bed when you were scared, and now you crawl into her spare bed when you’ve had too many glasses of wine to go home.

12. She always shares with you

Her toys as a child, her clothes, and even her last slice of pizza — if you ask for some, she will always give it you to, albeit begrudgingly.

13. She is your life guru

If you’re having a career or relationship crisis, your older sister is always the first person you turn to. She cares about you more than anyone else and she understands you better than anyone else, so she always comes up with the best solutions.

14. She is the only person who you can really rant about your family to

If you rant about your family to your friends, they will listen patiently, but they can’t really join in. However, your sister knows exactly how to crack you up by doing an impression of your dad’s drunken dancing.

Advertising

15. She always supports you

From driving you to job interviews to sponsoring you when you do a charity run, your older sister will always support you — no matter what.

What did you think of this list? Share it with your older sister to see what she thinks!

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

Everything Is Going To Be Fine In The End. If It Isn’t Fine, It Isn’t The End. Feeling Trapped? Do These 9 Things to Take Your Life Back 10 Health Benefits Of Avocado This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You Daily Routine of Successful People That Will Inspire You to Achieve More

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next