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15 Ways a Feminist Dad Makes You Stronger

15 Ways a Feminist Dad Makes You Stronger

Even the most stoic, manly man will wilt at the first sight of his newborn daughter. From that moment on, a certain softness will slowly overcome his hardened exterior little by little as his baby girl grows into an independent woman. He’ll immediately want the world for his child, and want her to be able to accomplish everything she sets her mind to. Fathering a daughter makes men realize just how important females our to our families, and to our world in general. Feminist fathers:

1. Split up all the chores.

There is no such thing as “men’s work” or “women’s work” to a feminist father. He has no qualms doing the dishes or cooking dinner, and would never want your mother to think it’s “her job” to do anything around the house. He takes responsibility around the house, regardless of the task.

2. Teach you about sports.

Just because your a girl doesn’t mean your father won’t teach you how to throw a football, or kick a soccer ball. He knows how important it is for boys and girls to get exercise, and he doesn’t think women should just be relegated to the sideline as cheerleaders.

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3. Go to your “girly” events.

But he doesn’t fault you for being into ballet, either. If dance or art is more your speed, he’s more than happy to support you there, too. He’ll be the one pointing up at the stage when you come out, with a big smile on his face as he proudly watches you do your thing.

4. Teach you “guy” things.

Why wouldn’t he teach you how to change your oil just because you’re a girl? Surely you’re not afraid to get your hands a little dirty, and you’ll need to know how to do it at some point. Feminist fathers don’t see tasks as masculine or feminine; they see them as human tasks that we all must learn in our lifetime.

5. Teach the importance of math and science.

It’s pretty sad how many people think of math and science as “male” subjects. Feminist fathers see the potential for both his sons and daughters to be the next Einstein who ends up changing the world through their complex reasoning and critical thinking skills.

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6. Care about all of your accomplishments.

He doesn’t emphasize certain subjects and events while minimizing others. Everything you accomplish, in his eyes, is incredibly important, and is one step closer to you being an independent woman who can fend for herself in life.

7. Foster your independence.

Along with the previous point, feminist fathers push their daughters to try their best without help from anyone else. They know society will anticipate weakness from young women, so he’ll push you to buck the system and show them you can make it on your own.

8. Support you every step of the way.

That doesn’t mean he pushes you too far, especially if you’re not ready to take the step. Your feminist father always takes care of you; in small ways, you’ll always be his little girl.

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9. Push your comfort zones.

Feminist fathers teach you to never be comfortable with what you have, and always strive for more. Just because society thinks you should stay in a bubble doesn’t mean you have to, and fathers should push their daughters to expand their comfort zones as much as possible in order to succeed.

10. Know how to be silly.

No father can truly say they were a good dad unless, at one point in their lives, they dropped what they were doing, put on a tiara, and had a tea party with fifteen stuffed animals. Feminist fathers aren’t afraid to break gender roles and be silly with their kids, even if they risk their wives posting pictures on Facebook.

11. Show their emotions.

Good fathers aren’t afraid to let their children see them laugh, cry, or get upset. They control their temper and anger, but they also show their daughters how to deal with uncomfortable emotions. By not hiding behind a veil of stoicism, they show their kids it’s okay to feel blue sometimes, and they shouldn’t need to run away from their feelings.

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12. Listen to you.

The best fathers take the time to listen to what you have to say. They take a genuine interest in your life, and offer good advice based on the situation. They will never let you feel as if they have bigger problems to worry about, because you are the most important thing in their life.

13. Stand up for what’s right.

Feminist fathers live by their word. They never play the “do as I say, not as I do” card. When they see something they know is wrong, they speak up about it. By doing so, they teach their children the importance of being the change they wish to see in the world, and that anyone can make a difference.

14. Teach you to go out and grab life.

Great fathers teach their daughters not to wait for someone to come sweep them off their feet so they can finally have the life they want. They teach their kids to work hard for what they deserve, and know that being passive will get them nowhere.

15. Treat their wives as their equal.

As I said before, feminist fathers live as they say to live. By treating their wives as their equals, they set the example for their sons and daughters that everyone should be treated with the same amount of respect, regardless of their differences. When sons and daughters grow up having two integrious role models to follow on a daily basis, they’ll surely grow up to find success.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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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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