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7 Reasons Generous People Are More Likely To Be Successful

7 Reasons Generous People Are More Likely To Be Successful

Who doesn’t love a generous person?  Many of us have been blessed by a person who has help us in a time of need, given us advice when we were confused of was just kind when kindness was needed.  Where being generous is great for those who are around such people, the habit of generosity does a great deal for the person who practices it as well.

Truly generous people are often successful in life.  Not just at work or in the community, but in their personal lives as well.  The wonderful thing about generosity is that anyone can become a generous person no matter what station you are in life, how much you have or what you hope to have.  Here are seven reasons why success often fills the lives of generous people.

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1. Generous People are Happy People

You will be hard pressed to find a generous person who is grumpy and unhappy.  People who are willing to share of their time, possessions, and talents are often some of the happiest people there are.  They have a great sense of contributing to the world they live in.  All of us seek to have meaning in life and to feel that we matter to the world.  For generous people, happiness comes from giving more than from taking.

2. Generous People are More Relaxed

There is no greater stress than feeling that you are in need or that you have to get more in life.  Greed as well as a sense of poverty drive people to constantly worry about what they do not have and at times will cause then to make bad choices to try and remedy the problem.  Generosity is a state of mind.  It is not based on how much money or possessions you have.  Generous people can in fact have very little, however, what they do have they are willing to share and are not in bondage to their possessions.  There is a great calm and peace that comes when we always sense that we can give of whatever we have.

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3. Generous People are willing to Work Hard

A common trait of generous people is that they are willing and happy to work hard for what they have.  Success comes through hard work.  There is not short cuts or easy paths to take.  Generous people realize this and will do what it takes to achieve their goals and dreams in life.  Since they tend to be others-focused rather than self-focused they see their own success as a benefit for all, not just for them.

4. Generous People are Kind People

Just as you will not find a generous person who is unhappy, you will not find one who is not kind.  Generosity is all about kindness.  It is giving of yourself to others to help them in a time of need or to advance them on their journey to success.  When you are kind to others you will find that others will be kind to you.  A key to achieving success is knowing that what you give you will receive back.  Zig Ziglar had it right when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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5. Generous People are Free People

The strongest prisons in the universe are those built on greed, want and selfishness.  They are chains that hold you down from achieving real success in life and limit all you hope to do.  The only thing that breaks these chains is generosity.  Generous people are free to do what they wish, and have what they want because their happiness and success is not dependent on what they keep, but more on what they give away.  Have you ever noticed that generous people seem to have more than they need of all of life’s treasures?  That is because you will always receive in the same proportion as what you give.

6. Generous People Have Better Relationships

It is just a fact, happy, kind and generous people have more friends, better friends and stronger personal relationships.  It is not because others know they can get something from these people, in fact, what they have or do not have has nothing to do with it.  Generous people are faithful and loyal and these qualities strengthen all the relationships they have.

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7. Generous People are Confident People

When you are not the center of your universe, you will find that you not only feel better about others, you feel better about yourself.  Generous people do not get their self-worth from what they give, but by their freedom to give it.  The insecurity that comes with greed, want and selfishness is not there to hinder them.  They know they can be and do whatever their heart desires.

Featured photo credit: Feeding Birds/ Diego Cambiaso via flickr.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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