Advertising
Advertising

Only Couples Who Are Always Asked About Babies Can Relate To These 10 Things

Only Couples Who Are Always Asked About Babies Can Relate To These 10 Things

You’re at a point in your life when everyone is wondering about when you are going to have a baby. The hints about having kids are casually dropped into conversations here and there by friends and family, but you’re not ready.

Here are 10 things you will definitely relate to if you’re part of a couple that is always asked when they are going to have kids:

1.You and your partner have several lines memorized in case a response is needed for the question.

This is typically a short phrase or a sarcastic remark that has become almost second nature in response to the question, “When can we expect a baby [insert your last name here]?”. You have been asked so many times you don’t even think about it too deeply anymore or go into depth with your response.

Advertising

2.You walk around and see a handful of children that are well behaved and you change your mind… only for a bit.

You usually start to think that maybe having kids won’t be such a bad idea eventually when you meet a polite child or when a friend brings their wonderful children over. You begin to daydream about having kids and think of what their names would be while you shop for your pet. You are almost convinced and then you come across a complete brat at work, or in the grocery store, and it sends you into a downward spiral of doubting your previous thoughts.

3.You are afraid that what your mom warned you about will come true

If you had a mother like mine, she told you that if you were bad that your future kids would be seven times worse. Let’s be honest, you know that she only knows about half of the things you’ve done.

4.You are selfish and are okay with that.

There are so many things that you feel like you still need to do! You don’t know what they are yet, but you need to do them!

Advertising

5.You are tired of people telling you it’s not so bad.

You know it’s not a bad thing and understand that having children is a different kind of love- you’ve been told about it over and over. You often want to say, “okay, I get it! It isn’t bad but I am not changing my mind yet!”

6.You understand that the “clock is ticking” and you don’t care.

Yes, the clock may be “ticking” but that isn’t enough of a reason for you, and you wish people would just stop bringing up your age.

7.You constantly have people asking you why you don’t like kids.

You are tired of people assuming that you don’t like kids. You like kids- the well behaved ones- and you eventually hope to bring up a well behaved one yourself.

Advertising

8.You are always hearing your parents talk about babies.

Your parents are starting to ask for grandbabies as you walk through Target and pass the baby section. They start to drop hints when your friends with babies post pictures on Facebook; all you do is nod your head because you know it will just open up a can of worms if you start a conversation about it.

9.You get tired of hearing that having a dog is nothing compared to having kids.

You feel like people think you’re dense. Yes, you completely understand that a dog is not a human child. It’s your child though: you feed it, give it water, buy it toys and pick up the mess it makes.

10.You feel like you get punished at work with late shifts because you don’t have kids.

Anytime overtime is offered at work, you’re the first one looked at to volunteer because you don’t have kids. It sucks and there is nothing you can say to not make you look like a jerk.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: loving couple bis LM 1001363/Michel via flickr.com

More by this author

Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

10 Signs You Are A Leader And Don’t Even Know It 3 Things Extroverted Introverts Wish People Knew An Open Letter To All 20-Somethings: Don’t Panic! 30 Mason Jar Meals That Are Instagram Worthy Only Scatterbrained People Would Relate To These 11 Things

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next