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Why Hopeless Romantics Are Actually The Most Hopeful Ones In Love

Why Hopeless Romantics Are Actually The Most Hopeful Ones In Love

Often labelled as foolish, irrational, indecisive and unrealistic, the hopeless romantic is often thought of as the hapless romantic; the ill-fated lover wearing rose colored glasses, and constantly burdened by that crazy thing called love.

But behind all those rather unfair descriptions lies a solid and steadfast heart of gold; one of strength, that refuses to allow the ills of the world to taint their hopes. They may be romantics, dreamers and idealists, but they are far from hopeless. Instead, their true identity lies within the ‘hope-full’.

So here are 10 examples why these guardians of love should be treasured!

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They hope for the best.

True optimistics, they are a glass-half-full bunch, who rather than becoming cynical after heartbreak, choose to believe everything happens for a reason, or a season. Sure it probably hurts like nothing else, and they deal with that hurt accordingly, but once they’ve gotten over the pain, they get right back up, as hopeful and as positive as ever.

They are determined.

There’s nothing like the belief they have in love that spurs them on. To most, love is just a romanticized notion, but to the hopeless romantic, love represents so much more. The determination they have to acquire love results in a strong willed personality, that helps them fight through the day-to-day, hoping for something great and wonderful. This means they don’t buckle at the first hurdle, persevere and put their whole being into making things work. These guys are in it for the long-haul.

They are problem solvers.

In a relationship, they want to make it all better. They wish they can take your pain away, and will do the utmost to make sure you don’t suffer. As a friend, the hopeless romantic is your go-to for advice (and hugs!) Their ability to find solutions where others cannot is extremely impressive and makes the hopeless romantic, as a partner and friend, the person everyone should have in their corner.

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They know when to give you space.

They understand all too well the matters of the heart, and appreciate all aspects of love, especially those that require the need for alone time to mend. They’re not into pressuring you or trying to hurry the process of recovery, or forgiveness. Instead, they allow time, and love, to do their work, knowing that soon your heart will mend and you’ll be ready to fight again.

They offer a different perspective.

As a friend, they’ll suggest you see things from the other persons point of view, asking you to be totally honest with yourself, which in turn does wonders in helping you to move on from heartbreak. As a partner, they’ll encourage you to speak your mind while they try to see things from your side. This balanced approach not only makes for darn good therapy, but also aids healing.

They know what they’re looking for.

Being hopeful allows them to tap into that side of themselves that refuses to settle for less than what they deserve. They are extremely decisive about what they want, but most importantly, what they don’t want. They are assured in their quest for the real thing, and refuse to waste time with a ‘maybe’. They’ll hold true to their desires if it means they get to live out life with their soul mate. Settling is not an option.

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They’ll fight when you can’t.

As a friend, they understand why you may want to opt out of the whole love thing, or why you’ve put up that protective layer (read: wall!) to keep out people from trampling all over your heart again, but they are also aware that wall may also be keeping out your soul mate. So they work with you, side by side, day and night to create a little side door that only true love is allowed to pass through. And while you recuperate, they”ll stand guard against the baddies who may be trying to scale the wall. You’ve been warned!

They are not superficial.

Contrary to popular belief, they are not shallow. In fact, their need for real love, rather than flings, puts them in an ideal position to look beyond the surface of a potential mate and see the beauty that lies beneath. This ability also holds them well when it comes to determining whether of not the potential love is indeed right for them. Being able to distinguish and decipher the reality from the fiction is what allows them to seek out that true love, where others may be confused by it all. Beyond the cosmetic, they can delve deep enough to discover the real person.

They’re honest about who they are and what they want.

They don’t feel they have to hide their true feelings from you. They see no problem in vulnerability – it’s their strength, and they respect themselves enough to not have to lie about what they truly want from a relationship. There’s no pretending they’re okay with just hooking up when what they really want is an exclusive relationship, or pretending they’re cool with just living together when they really want to get married.

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They don’t hold back.

They’ll tell you they love you, and mean it. They’ll treat you like the precious gift you are, and you won’t have to ask. They’ll dote on you. There’s no end to how special they want to make you feel. With them, you’ll feel totally and completely loved and adored. When they are with you, they are with you.

The best part: it’s all genuine with this not so hopeless romantic. What else could be better!

Featured photo credit: Man with a Bouquet of Roses/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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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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