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5 Differences Between Real Love And Attachment

5 Differences Between Real Love And Attachment

Are you in love with your partner or are you just attached to them? Love can be complicated, but this article explains a few of the differences between attachment and real love. I hope that these explanations will aid you in nurturing your current relationship or creating one based on genuine love in the future.

1. Love is selfless, attachment is selfish

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    When you’re in love, you focus on making the other person happy. You’re always thinking of ways to make sure that your partner feels loved and fulfilled. You aren’t keeping score, arguing over who helps more, or fighting over who is supposed to wash the dishes. You don’t emotionally blackmail your partner, try to manipulate them, or seek to dominate the relationship.

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    When you’re merely attached to someone, you’re focused upon the ways in which they can make you happy. You become heavily dependent upon your partner and may even try to control him or her to avoid abandonment. Instead of confronting your own issues, you use your partner to improve your self-esteem and fill a void within you. You believe that they are responsible for your happiness and become frustrated and angry if they fail to bring you contentment.

    2. Love is liberating, attachment is controlling

    Mutual love allows you to be your true self. Your partner encourages you to be who you genuinely are and you won’t be afraid to expose your weaknesses. Mutual trust develops and becomes a powerful catalyst for personal growth for both of you. Love is never controlling. In actuality, love transcends control. Your partner’s ability to accept you for who you are and encourage you to pursue your dreams allows you to let go of the need to control their life.

    Attachment, on the other hand, tends to fuel controlling behavior. You may discourage your partner from spending time with their friends, play mind games, or put an unhealthy level of focus on pleasing them. You may even try to manipulate them into staying with you regardless of their feelings.

    3. Love is mutual growth, attachment is encumbering

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      Photo credit: Source

      If you’re in love, you and your partner will grow together. When both of you work to become the best versions of yourselves, you’ll become better than you could have on your own. In short, your partner stimulates your growth, and you do the same for them.

      In cases of attachment, your urge to control and your inability to solve your own problems restricts your growth as well as your partner’s. Your unresolved issues cause unnecessary dependence upon your significant other. Not surprisingly, this restricts the growth of both parties and makes it difficult to love in a healthy way.

      4. Love is everlasting, attachment is transient

      Love survives the passage of time. You and your partner may ultimately breakup, be it temporarily or permanently. If you were truly in love, however, that person will always have a place in your heart and you will continue to wish them well for the rest of their life.

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      If, on the other hand, you were merely attached to them, you will likely hold resentment after a breakup. You may even experience feelings of betrayal. These feelings stem from the assumption that your partner had an obligation to make you happy that, in your eyes, was not fulfilled.

      5. Love is ego-reducing, attachment is ego-boosting

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        When in love, you become less self-centered. Your relationship serves to reduce your ego, fosters your growth, and encourages you to become less selfish and more loving. The relationship you have with your partner fuels positive changes for both of you. More importantly, you’ll both have the courage to share your weaknesses, expose your vulnerabilities, and communicate from the heart.

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        Alternatively, relationships based on attachment are typically dominated by the ego. This is why many people repeatedly fall into a continuous stream of unsatisfying relationships, each of which involves the same, recurrent problems. You find it difficult to look within and resolve your issues. This generates dependency within your relationship, which triggers the feeling that you can’t be happy without your partner. You rely on your significant other to solve your problems or, at the very least, help you forget them.

        If you aren’t in love right now, I sincerely hope that you will find your soul mate and build a magnificent relationship with that person. Until then, why not work on becoming a better and more loving version of yourself? As the saying goes “Like attracts like”. If that’s the case, it’s wise to become the person that you wish to attract!

        Featured photo credit: couple holding hands via pixabay.com

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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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