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10 Reasons The Youngest Child Is Always Likeable

10 Reasons The Youngest Child Is Always Likeable

Everybody who has siblings knows that the oldest one always makes the rules, the middle one is the reason why there are rules in the first place, and that the rules do not apply to the youngest. Being the youngest of three, I can’t agree with this more. While every sibling has traits that make them stand out, the youngest child is almost always a fan favorite.

1. They are quirky

Being the youngest of the bunch usually comes with the “privilege” of getting hand-me-downs, which usually throws all chances of having a fashion sense out the window. While this may seem like such a downer, it helps the youngest not worry too much about appearances. They may develop a quirky fashion sense that makes them their own person.

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2. They are trustworthy

As much as siblings like to argue and fight, they share an inseparable bond that you simply can not have with any other person. With this bond comes great responsibility. You may be the bearer of a few secrets that your siblings may have entrusted you with. You would not let those secrets out, even if it meant the end of the world. Being trusted like this by older siblings at a young age will carry into adulthood.

3. They tend to be funnier

…and there is research to prove it. The older sibling is said to feel more responsibility than their younger counterparts. With the responsibility not falling on them, the younger sibling tends to feel more relaxed, lighthearted, and able to see the humor in situations that the older sibling(s) may overlook.

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4. They learn how to keep to themselves

While the older sibling(s) may feel the need to compete for attention, the younger sibling is simply okay with blending into the crowd when the time calls for it. Younger siblings have become so familiar with being brushed off by older siblings, and sometimes parents, that they learn to keep to themselves and to be content with this.

5. They are naturally good listeners

Throughout the course of their life, the younger sibling has numerous parents, siblings, family members, teachers, and other various elders wanting to share wisdom, advice, and stories, whether they want to hear them or not. For the sake of not coming across as rude, they learn to listen to what everybody has to say to them, and as they get older they look forward to this because they don’t want to miss out on anything good!

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6. They are usually more outgoing than their older siblings

This is another good point that is backed by research. It goes back to the feeling of responsibility that the older sibling(s) may feel. With less to worry about around the house, the younger sibling can appear to be more outgoing than the older ones.

7. They are more creative than their older siblings

While studies show that older siblings tend to have higher IQ’s, the younger ones are usually more creative.The reason behind this is that the parents may be less likely to give the youngest as much attention towards their education as they did to their first or even second-born. While this may sound negative, it has its advantages in the creativity department. This gives the youngest the opportunity to think outside of the box. Also, if you remember from the beginning, the rules don’t apply to the youngest sibling. They have a healthy disregard for the rules. This sense of freedom is what helps mold the creative minds of the younger sibling.

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8. They learn from other people’s mistakes more than from their own

Younger siblings always look up to their older brothers and sisters, whether the example set be good or bad. When the times are bad, the youngest finds the opportunity to learn from this so they don’t find themselves in the same situation later on.

9. They don’t require as many rules as their siblings did

After trying to enforce so many rules on older siblings, parents tend to be a little more lenient on the last one. They are at the point in their parenting career where they know what works best and what doesn’t, requiring less trial and error.

10. They will always be the baby!

The youngest sibling will always be seen as the baby by parents, older siblings, and family. What’s not to like about that? They are the last child to rock to sleep, to wake up in the middle of the night to comfort, and the last to watch graduate high school and college. While parents will always hold those memories for all of their kids, there will always be a special place for their youngest.

Featured photo credit: happy little girl hugging kissing his brother via shutterstock.com

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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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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