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You Can Understand Yourself From These 8 Kinds Of Relationships

You Can Understand Yourself From These 8 Kinds Of Relationships

Life is confusing and messy and sometimes you just feel lost in all the mess and confusion. When this happens, it’s hard to remember who you are,how you got where you are now, what you want and what to do next. Examining the eight kinds of relationships discussed in this article can give you a great place to start in finding yourself again so that you know who you are,what you want and where you want your life to go.

Your relationship with yourself

Man Using Perspective To Stand On Top Of Beer Can

    How are you doing your relationship with yourself? You teach people how to treat you by the way you treat yourself. It is important that you get into a great relationship with yourself so that you know who you are and what you stand for. When you have a good relationship with yourself you know your strengths and also your weaknesses. You know your likes, your dislikes, your hobbies, interests and passions and create time for them. You embrace who you are fully and learn how to love yourself unconditionally so that you give yourself permission to be you and do what is right for you. Because after all is said and done, no one will love you and value you more than you value yourself.

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    Your relationship with your family

    Grandmaother And Childs Hands About To Touch

      When my son was born, I was scared that I would have to transition into motherhood alone with little or no support. But my family turned out to be my biggest support system. My sister flew across the world to spend two weeks with me and the newborn baby. My mother and the rest of my family all showed their love and support by calling and checking in on me constantly because they could not be there to physically take care of me. I was surrounded by so much love which reminded me that I was special, loved and that I mattered. Sometimes when you’re feeling lost, all you need is to surround  yourself with family and people who love you for who you are so that you are reminded of your value and worth in this world.

      Your relationship with money

      We all have a unique relationship with money. You may ignore it, abuse it, deny that your relationship exists but you are still involved. Your involvement in your relationship with money occurs with every decision you make that money plays a role. You are either in control of your money or your money controls you. Examining your relationship with money can give you and others insight into who you are because how you handle your money is a clear reflection of who you are. Because you can’t have everything you want all at once, you have to pick and choose what you spend your money on and you will always pick what you feel is important and valuable to you. Looking at how you spend and handle money can tell you who you are and what is really important to you.

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      Your relationship with the past

      There are many ways our past determines our present and it is easy to fall in the trap of living in the past. Spending time thinking about the past and wishing things would have been different or better does no one any good. The past is gone and done with. You can’t change it. Continuing to have a relationship with what is already done prevents you from moving forward and enjoying the present. Looking at your past experiences and learning from them without judgement and shame can help you understand who you are and why you do things the way you do them.

      Your romantic relationships

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        Romantically, we tend to attract people who share similar values and interests. By looking at your past and present romantic relationships, you can gain some knowledge about who you are by looking at the type of partner and romantic interests you attract.

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        Your relationship with your friends

        Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. Like attracts like and your friends are a great indication of the type of person you are.

        Your relationship with the present

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          You are who you are now, not who you were five years ago or who you wish you could be. Being able to enjoy what is happening in your life in the presents makes your life more enjoyable and meaningful. That tells you and other people the kind of person you are,one who is living life to the fullest.

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          Your relationship with the future

          You may not like your past or present situation but you have the opportunity to change what your future looks like. How do you want the future to be? Who do you want to be? Knowing what you want your life to look like in the future allows you to start preparing yourself and working towards becoming the person you want to be. Having a relationship with the future does not mean obsessing and stressing about what you want to happen, but being a co-creator in how your future turns out.

          Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.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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