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12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

12 Weird Little Things Couples In A Long-Term Relationship Do

There comes a point in everyone’s relationship where things just get weird. The level of weird is completely normal to the two of you but to onlookers and friends, it’s almost unacceptable behavior. Here are some things couples in long-term relationships do that are a tad bit weird to the outside world.

1. Your bodily smells are no longer a gray area

After a certain period of time, farts and burps just become amusing. On second thought, the ones that don’t smell like a decaying body or a fresh pile of crap, are amusing. Throughout the course of your relationship, the importance of hiding your farts and excusing your burps have slowly dwindled down because you both are more comfortable with each other. It is just another step deeper into a long-term relationship and this step is inevitable, so don’t try to stop it.

2. You both think it is necessary to narrate your pets life

There is something particularly amusing to the two of you for your animal to have a voice. On more than one occasion, either you or your other half has put words to their actions because it’s funny. They can’t talk, so we must talk for them.

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3. You have seen each other wear the opposite sex’s clothing

This one is something that everyone won’t admit to, especially the men, but everyone has seen and done it. Women across the world have a sweater or two stretched out because someone thought it was funny to prance around in it along with their bra on. Guys have seen many sweaters move from their side of the closet to their other half’s. It is a normal thing in a long term relationship. A stretched out sweater is worth being stretched for the memory of a guy wearing it in combination with a bra and grabbing his imaginary boobs.

4. Morning breath doesn’t bother you as much

When the relationship was new, you creeped your way out of bed to brush your teeth and crawled back in before the other woke up. Now, morning breath is just another natural thing you need to get over because everyone has it and you both have accepted it. Mornings just consist of “Morning babe” with a huge smooch on the lips or cheek, maybe more if it’s a good morning.

5. Binge eating and watching Netflix all day is acceptable in your household

You both have had Saturday mornings where you rolled out of bed, made food, taken your dog out to pee as you narrated him finding his perfect pee spot, cooked breakfast and stayed in your PJ’s watching Netflix. This goes on all day and both of your stomachs are bottomless pits of hunger. This is perfectly acceptable because there is two of you doing it.

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6. You use each other as an excuse to skip out on plans

You both just want to have a night in to watch TV and drink where it’s cheaper than $8 a beer. This is usually when one of you pretends to be the bad guy and has to act like you don’t want to go so the other person looks like they are legitimately trying to make the plans. In another occasion if both of you want to look like the good guy, one of you plays sick. In reality though, you are both terrible people and have accepted this because you rather watch Netflix in your sweats than pretend to be a good person anyways.

7. You can communicate telepathically

There are weird things that you do with your eyes when you are both at social gatherings, getting stopped by sales people or in a crowded place somewhere. There are expressions that mean stay away, I’m having a bad day, I”m hungry. If one of you suddenly lost the ability to either talk or hear, both of you will be fine off of facial expressions.

8. You both laugh when the other falls…and then stop when they don’t get up

There have been times at the beginning of your relationship where the other one falls and you rush to their side. Now, if one of them is…knocked down sideways because the dog ran right into them, for example, you now immediately die of laughter. You both laugh at each other falling down, tripping, or slipping. It is all good fun unless you don’t see them get up.

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9. You both aren’t embarrassed to relive your childhood

The two of you on countless occasions have built forts, played with light sabers through the house, played with Legos, even if you don’t have a child, and have scared each other by hiding around the corners of the house. It’s normal, and it’s fun. Anyone who doesn’t accept this from the two of you are basically put on the list of “let’s make an excuse to get out of plans with them”.

10. You send each other text message when you are in the same area

There have been times where the both of you are sitting on the couch, or sitting at dinner and have sent a text message instead of physically talking. You have also use texting instead of getting out of the current room you are in to get your significant other’s attention.

11. Your bathroom is no longer a sacred domain

There was a point in your relationship where the bathroom was a place of solitude. Now, opening the door and doing what you need to do while your other half is in there is perfectly normal. Unless you’re the type of couple that likes a little mystery in their relationship…and mystery meaning that you don’t want to know what the other’s fresh poop smells like.

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12. You people watch and make up stories

When you go out to eat or go to the mall, small talk is no longer needed because you know a lot, too much actually, about that person. The two of you now focus on people watching and making up stories of their lives to match what they look like. Sometimes it gets to a deeper level of weird and you narrate their conversations.

Featured photo credit: Couple having crazy fun on the beach- Iztok Alf Kurnik via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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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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