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15 Amazing Things Only Single People Can Enjoy

15 Amazing Things Only Single People Can Enjoy

Look how our society has changed in 70 years. Bette Davis played the spinster aunt in Now, Voyager in 1942. She bewails the fact that she will “never have a home of my own, nor a child of my own.” Marriage now is no longer the only gateway to happiness. Being single is no obstacle for a woman to have a home or even a child, if she wants to. The single status for both men and women has some pretty amazing things going for it. Here are 15 just to start with!

1. We are fitter and happier

Look at the figures – married people tend to put on weight as marital commitments ruin their fitness programs. Married men seem to be more at risk as one study shows that they are 25% more likely to pack on the pounds than their single counterparts. Being fitter also means that singles get a bigger slice of happiness.

2. We know it is a lottery

You know the scenario You thought for a long time that there was something wrong with you because you were not in a stable relationship? The fact is that it is mostly down to chance and has got nothing to do with our character. We can relax and stop worrying about all the so called mistakes we made. It is just a lottery, really.

3. We enjoy sleep a lot more

If you had to go through all the trauma of getting used to your partner’s weird sleeping habits or the thought of a future sleeping partnership, relax and enjoy the freedom of sleeping in your own bed. You can toss and turn, read, get up and sleep in as much as you want and you will disturb nobody. Except your cat, perhaps!

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 4. We have stopped agonizing about missed chances

How many times have you thought about whether this is Ms. or Mr. Right as you pondered a permanent relationship? Now that you are single, you can save all that angst and worry and concentrate on doing all the things you love doing without ever having to ask for permission.

5. We don’t need to tell anyone where we are

The constant phone calls with “Where are you?” is not only a threat to our mental health but it was also damned expensive. Being single means we can save money on our phone bill and forget all the worry.

6. We love our own company

We have learned that loneliness is no longer the awful threat it once was. We like being alone and we enjoy our own company. We have not forgotten the value of friendship and we can dedicate so much more time to friends who really matter, without ever worrying whether our spouse will like them.

7. We enjoy all the extra time

Singles just have so much time to dedicate to their careers and hobbies. There are no schools events to attend, no relatives to look after and there are no domestic issues which get in the way.

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8. We enjoy financial independence

Having a joint bank account is not nearly as much fun as having your own. No worries about spending that extra bit on a great meal, new motorbike or an extravagant holiday. Being your own personal accountant is just so much more fun. The 2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey found that singles were spending a lot more ($34,471) than married couples with no kids ($28,017). Who says we are not helping the economy?

9. We never have to worry about compromising

How many times have you thought that compromising ruins everything? It is like having your foot on the brake pedal all the time. You have to be so careful of those tricky bends and those steep slopes and hills. These are just metaphors for making concessions and sharing chores. Being single removes all that hassle.

10. We volunteer more often

If you read Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg, you will discover that one in two adults in Manhattan are single. They are also more active socially and also volunteer much more often.

11. We have a lot more political clout

Politicians are finally waking up to the fact that we are emerging as a voting block and that we can actually sway election results. How many times in the past have politicians failed to address single issue such as taxation, housing, gender issues and abortion? They now dare not forget there are 35 million single Americans and they are going to vote in the next elections.

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12. We can disregard the wider family

You know how you get sucked into the spouse’s or partner’s family when you are in a stable relationship? That means sharing their food, outings, celebrations and even their pets! Being single removes all the obligations here and you can get on with being a better you all round.

13. We prefer not to gamble

We know the statistics and they are pretty scary! Only about 50% of marriages actually work. Now, that is a pretty risky undertaking so we just prefer to stay single.

“I didn’t really want a man that I could have. The dream or the neighborhood? I wanted the dream.” – Diane Keaton

14. We do not worry about our wardrobe

What we wear as singles is not going to be scrutinized by close friends and family. We do not have to worry about being judged. Single men never have to worry about their dorky wardrobe and women are more relaxed about what is or is not the latest in fashion.

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15. We enjoy the mess

Being a singleton is wonderful when it comes to not having to clean up and or tidy our mess every time! Just wallowing in a little dirt or untidiness never hurt anyone and there is no risk that we will get told off, criticized or locked up!

Featured photo credit: us with Diane Keaton/Kim Snellink via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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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