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10 Things You Shouldn’t Hide Anymore, No Matter How Others View You

10 Things You Shouldn’t Hide Anymore, No Matter How Others View You

I know that when I was growing up, I was small, skinny and wasn’t good in sports. I hid a lot. I didn’t want my peers to know my home because they would assume my parents weren’t so wealthy. I missed out on some fun parts because I was hiding. But guess it did not matter much. It only diminished my presence rather than make me blossom. This I have learned all these years, there is really no reason to hide what gifts I have and who I really am.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” – Charles Bukowski

1. You shouldn’t hide your intellectuality

You are knowledgeable. You are strong mentally and you see the world from a holistic angle. You are not one sided. You are not in a loss on what to say to your environment. Yet you hide it. Yet you are afraid that once you say something people will pose a defensive threat.

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2. You shouldn’t hide your awareness

You are well traveled and have been to several places. You are a reservoir of experience and what exciting thoughts you could share. Let other people know that you have some social substance and that you can see beyond their facade. Let them gain from your experience and your awareness.

3. You shouldn’t hide your intensity

There is passion and energy in you. And yes this can be intimidating to those who do not have it. you should flaunt it and get out of the way to prove that what changes everything isn’t simply sitting down and folding arms.

4. You shouldn’t hide your beauty

Yes you are sexy, but you hide that figure in long overalls. Yes you have the right curves, but you prefer to cover them in inappropriate clothes. You got the lovely eyes, yet you hide them in sunglasses. There is no point in hiding such things as your looks. Flaunt it and use it as a weapon for success.

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5. You shouldn’t hide your good nature

You are kind and you have a caring personality. You warm up to others and you really wish the world was a better place. But you hide your good-nature spirit because you are afraid the world will take advantage of who you are.

6. You shouldn’t hide your scars

“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Whether emotional or physical scars, having those scars shows that you have passed through a funnel of becoming. You are not who you were and somehow these experiences have made you tough. Let the world see your scars and listen to your story, who knows what value you would have rendered?

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7. You shouldn’t hide your humor

People have lost their sense of humor because they feel the world around them wants them to be so serious. Laughter and humor is good for the soul. Why don’t you share your brightness and offer it to the world.

8. You shouldn’t hide your authenticity

You are real. But certain people love lies and think that the fake ones are a great sell. But you do not need to be like one of those. Be who you are. Be real and genuine to yourself and to those who surround you. Such truthfulness would add greater character to who you are.

9. You shouldn’t hide your beliefs

It is easy to be intimidated by those who don’t share your thoughts, opinions or beliefs on certain subjects. Because you want to gain acceptance by these ones, you suddenly get a cold feet and hide your beliefs. You stick to other people’s opinion because you do not know what they will say when they listen to what you have to say. Well it is either they respect you or they are not deserving of being around you. Air your beliefs and never hide what opinion you have on a topic.

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10. You shouldn’t hide your skills

Whatever talents or skills the Creator has blessed you with please use it as a contribution to the development of our world. People with great skills are rare, but the world needs them. The world needs you too.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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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