Advertising
Advertising

11 Qualities That Women Should Crave Other Than Beauty

11 Qualities That Women Should Crave Other Than Beauty

From a young age, girls are surrounded by images and words that tell them they should focus on their physical beauty.

According to the Center for Media Literacy, we are exposed to over 2000 ads a day. Many of these are for products encouraging us to have longer eyelashes, poutier lips, less leg hair, bigger boobs and blonder hair. When you add this to the pressure of social media and wanting to “fit in”, it’s easy to see how girls grow up putting such an emphasis on physical beauty.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel good, there are many other qualities that have much more permanent and lasting effects on our lives.

Advertising

These are the traits we want to demonstrate for the little girls watching us and embrace for our own happiness.

Here are 11 qualities that women should crave other than beauty:

1. You Are Brave and Courageous

There are few truly brave and courageous people in this world. Stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your fears in order to help a friend, chase a dream or support your family takes guts. You will achieve more in life when you are willing to be brave.

Advertising

2. You Are Confident

When you are confident, you don’t need someone to call you “beautiful” to feel beautiful. You know your individuality is special and that shines through in your posture, words and actions. When you are confident, other people will want what you have.

3. You Show Kindness To Everyone

People want to feel that someone cares about them. When you smile at your waiter, give up your seat on the subway, remember a friend’s birthday or bring cookies to your neighbor who lives alone, you are making someone else feel important. We all need a little more of that in our lives.

4. You Are Physically Strong

If you’ve ever done a push-up, run a marathon, been through a Pilates class or pushed that double stroller up a hill, you know the power you feel from your own strength. Showing your kids and peers that you prioritize your health is much more awe-inspiring than putting on the right eye shadow in the morning.

Advertising

5. You Are Witty In Conversations

When you are at a party, would you rather hang out with the guy who has nothing to say or the guy who keeps you laughing and on your toes with interesting conversation and one-liners? Being witty means you are both smart and funny, two characteristics shown in surveys to be more important than physical beauty.

6. You Love Encouraging Others

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When you give others encouragement, you will become someone they enjoy turning to and feel supported by. Being a true friend and better person involves encouraging others.

7. You Are A Reliable Friend and Partner

When you are reliable, you do what you say you are doing to do when you say you are going to do it. You don’t change who you are at the drop of a hat. The biggest difference between close friends and acquaintances is their reliability. When you are reliable, people know they better step up their game because you are going to get things done. Showing up for your friends and loved ones means they will show up for you.

Advertising

8. You Are Honest

When you live and speak an authentic life, you are showing others you have nothing to hide or apologize for. You demonstrate that you are proud of yourself and the life you are living. Being honest in all of your relationships shows you respect both yourself and the people in your life.

9. You Know How To Be Resourceful

Resourcefulness is defined as the ability and creativity to cope with difficulties or unforeseen situations in your life. When you are driving down a deserted road and run out of gas, you will definitely want to be with a resourceful person. When you are resourceful, you get things done with what you have in front of you.

10. You Are Calm In Stressful Situations

Researchers at Caliper Talent Management recently wanted to find out if there are certain personality traits that are associated with women’s success in the workplace. They found that the more a woman is tolerant of the stress around her, the better she performs. When you are wiling to let go of control, stay calm and just go with the flow, you will be a better leader at work and in your families.

11. You Are Giving

You can be giving of your time, your thoughts, your money, your skills or your words. When you give without asking for anything in return, you show people you don’t need something from them to make the relationship valuable. You give simply because you want to.

Featured photo credit: Jakob Montrasio via imcreator.com

More by this author

This Is Why You Should Do Bridges Every Day 9 High Protein Breakfast Ideas That Can Keep You Fuller exercise for pregnant women The Best Exercises For Pregnant Women recipes for kids 3 Vegetable Recipes for Kids Who Don’t Like Veggies new moms 12 Things Only New Moms Would Understand

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