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15 Things Millennials Say That No One Else Understands

15 Things Millennials Say That No One Else Understands

Every generation has its own vernacular, colloquialisms, terminology — slang, if you will (you do). And members of generation whY are just as prolific in their hip word creations as those of generations past. Examples:

1. Bro

Et tu, Brote? Millennials have this sly habit of taking the word “bro” (which is supposed to be short for “brother,” but as a Millennial you use it to describe guys whose minds are filled with nothing but the quest for sex and, well, that’s about it), and placing it into any word possible. The brocabulary includes events (bro mitzvah, Broman Holiday), people (Bro Montana, Seth Brogan, Kimbro Slice), phrases (disbrospectful, bro manchu, brodown, pro brono), and other aspects of bromunication that have nothing to do with blood relations or those Warner guys.

2. Adulting

Possibly the most difficult Millennial word to accomplish, “adulting” refers to acting as an adult would, with full grown up responsibilities, grown up jobs, grown up bills, and even food especially for grown ups (yuck!). It’s a bittersweet term. Wonderful because it comes with grown up drinks that get you through those days when you can’t even, but awful because it means you’ve lost that youthful serendipity.

3. Can’t Even

“I just can’t even!” The mantra for Millennials across the nation (mostly female, but guys, you get your chances, too) is used when someone cannot comprehend, act on, or come to any conclusion whatsoever regarding situations from adulting to when that strange bro asks if you want to “Netflix and chill.”

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4. Netflix and Chill

Usually referring to an exchange of goods and services between two Millennials, whereby Millennial one invites bae (Millennial two) over for streamed sitcoms and junk food as an excuse for both to indulge in something a bit more enjoyable. It’s modern quid pro bro. Sometimes the phrase is mistaken by a person trying to binge-watch the newest season of New Girl while hanging out with a friend, both stuffing their faces with Doritos. But not by the cool youths.

5. Merica

Particularly around the 4th of Bro, the term “Merica” (mur-i-kuh) is used to describe and encourage anything remotely related to all of the U.S.A.’s worst stereotypes, or just anything a bronified redneck would enjoy (e.g. guns, PBR, bald eagles, freedom, etc.). Yes, those-of-an-older-generation, America used to stand for (paradoxically) opportunity and sacrifice, but that was before Millennials had Joey Chestnut shoot it down with a turret strapped to a flock of red, white, and blue bald eagles.

6. The struggle is real

Typically used in conjunction with “adulting,” it refers to a person’s inability to excel at daily tasks, usually because that person is being clumsy or forgetful. It’s also used as a reference to being poor or overworked. Eating through your last packet of Ramen, for example, is quintessential de strugel, which you (sadly) know all too well.

Surprisingly, it’s often used by Millennials who are actually doing pretty okay at life.

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7. White girl

See also “pumpkin spice latte,” “fall,” “overpriced coffee,” “flannel,” and “upper-middle class.” This phrase is in reference to the turning of seasons, particularly around September 22 (Brotober 3rd, by the Broman calendar), whereupon upper-middle class entitlement-addicted females flock to the nearest Starbucks (Sbucks) in search of an artificially flavored seasonal beverage while shrieking something about hoodies and boots.

As anything but one of these “white girls” (which you actually are), you mock the entire situation as you repress your desires to partake in their delicious, carefree ways.

8. Bae

Created by Apple’s mistake of auto-correcting “Bro” to “Bae,” the word has come to be a term of endearment signifying someone’s significant other. Often used to replace “babe” and “baby,” it is in fact not meant as a synonym for a small child, which has caused some recent complications on find-a-babysitter-esque websites.

9. Sorry not sorry

You’re sorry that you’re not sorry. But you’re not sorry. You’re not sorry at all. About anything. This phrase is meant to deceive and mock and boldly proclaim that you are proud of your ill deeds!

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You are a strong independent black woman that don’t need no man!

10. Basic

Unlike you, you complex son-of-a-bro, this term refers to persons, particularly of the female variety, who are utterly predictable in their likes, style, and personality. Iconized by Gucci, Louis, Fendi, and Prada, “basic” is meant to insult a person’s unoriginality (or basicness), which is why when it comes to mainstream appeal, you don’t even botha.

11. Rachet

This beautiful use of the handyman tool refers primarily to women who think they’re the bro’s knees, but are in fact the exact opposite. Whether because they’re classless, hideous, or still roughed up from a late night out, a rachet girl’s appearance is anything other than what could be considered put-together.

12. Fetch

Fetch is not going to happen! It has happened. Brolloquial for anything cool or, dare you say it (you do), bitch’n. “Fetch” was brought into the mainstream by the instant classic Mean Girls and its cult following, who just have a lot of feelings. Rumor has it that if you turn your bathroom light off and say “fetch” three times, Regina George will appear and call you a homeschooled jungle freak. Pretty fetch, right?

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13. Break the Internet

Not exclusive to the Kardashian family, “break the internet” refers to creating a massive explosion of social media buzz and chatter around a specific re-meme-rable event. Breaking the internet has become so pervasive that even Time has a list of things that broke the internet (which kind of makes you feel bad for whomever has to repair this thing every time).

Apparently Kim’s butt broke it, and apparently that confused you, and apparently Taylor Swift is your spirit animal, and apparently still nobody knows what ALS stands for, and apparently we Millennials have an incredibly short attention span.

14. Turn Up

Not to be confused with a garden vegetable, this cultural phenomenon is all about getting as hyped as possible, and staying hyped until the Red Bull wears off. Brolarized by the trap music scene, “Turn up!” has been the calling card of Millennials from sea to shining club, and is responsible for more than a few of your less-than-fantastic decisions.

15. Humble Brag

This paradoxical line takes shape through such lines as, “I can’t believe I got an A on my paper, I didn’t even start till the night before.” And “That awkward moment when you’re walking down the street and someone from The Tonight Show decides to interview you.” Outrageously annoying, humble brags are always cause for dispute between you and your humble braggin bro-worker.

But you still accept them for who they are because you’re clearly the better bro.

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Kenneth Burke

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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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