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6 Reasons Opposite Personalities Work Well Together

6 Reasons Opposite Personalities Work Well Together

We’ve all heard the saying “opposites attract.” Whether or not we believe it is another story. While it may not necessarily be a rule of nature, it’s certainly true that people with seemingly opposite personalities can work well together in a relationship, for a variety of reasons. Besides, dating someone who’s exactly like you would probably get boring after a while!

1. You complement each other

The purpose of being in a relationship is to find your better half. While some people are content living the single life, most of us strive to find the person that makes us feel whole. This won’t happen if you find someone who’s exactly like you; it’ll only fill up one half of the relationship. Like two sides of the same coin, the best relationships are made up of two individuals who, despite their differences, are not complete without the other by their side.

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2. You encourage each other

If you’re truly in love with someone, you’ve likely been inspired by them in some way, and you’ve done the same for them. Of course, the way in which you’ve inspired each other likely varies. Maybe you’ve inspired them to work harder for the things they want in life, while they’ve inspired you to not work so hard that you miss out on more important things. However you do it, you both encourage each other to live life to the fullest.

3. You compensate for each others’ weaknesses

You’ve heard of the “power couple,” right? Well, the only reason many relationships are seen like this is because both halves work incredibly well together. When one person falters, the other person is always there to pick up the pace. Alone, they might not be much, and they might not make it very far in life. But together, they can take on the entire world, and come out of the battle triumphant (just ask Beyonce and Jay-Z).

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4. You realize greatness in those unlike yourself

Unless you’re incredibly self-deprecating, you most likely think very highly of yourself. Whether you realize it or not, you probably often feel that if everyone saw the world the way you do, there wouldn’t be so many issues plaguing society. Falling for someone whose views on the world clash with yours will open your eyes to different perspectives, and allow you to see things in a different light. Although you most likely will hold on to your beliefs, being with someone opposite of you teaches you to respect other people’s point of view, and give your own ideas a second thought.

5. You experience more

Let’s take a sidebar from the more serious points in this article and realize that, simply put, being with someone different from yourself allows you to experience much more of the world. Maybe you don’t have the same taste in movies or music as your significant other, but you’ll end up giving them a try at some point–which could change your perspective entirely. I don’t love Top 40 radio by any stretch of the imagination, but since my wife does, I’ve learned to enjoy singing along to silly pop songs while driving to the supermarket. I know if it weren’t for me, she would have never watched The Usual Suspects or Se7en, but after we finished them, she looked at me and said “Wow…that was really good.” Being with someone with different interests allows you to experience things outside of your comfort zone that you never would have on your own.

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6. You can be comfortable being yourself

Speaking of your comfort zone, being with someone opposite of you, ironically, allows you to be more comfortable with who you are. You get validation from the moments I’ve spoken about, such as when they agree with you on something you didn’t think they’d agree with you on (whether it’s a movie or a political viewpoint). You also can be comfortable knowing there are certain things you’ll never agree upon. Like I said before, you’re two sides of the same coin; you won’t always see eye to eye, but you know you wouldn’t be complete without your better half.

Featured photo credit: Yinyang / Chris via farm4.staticflickr.com

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More by this author

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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