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Things We Can Learn From Banksy

Things We Can Learn From Banksy

Life is Beautiful

Banksy has often displayed an artist’s vision that puts a mirror to society. His “graffiti” or murals are on buildings all over the world–Except he doesn’t announce that he will be doing it. His identity is unknown. He works in secret and without permission, casting his shadow on the world but never showing his face to the public. His art tends to have a theme of being lighthearted, often satirical. These things we can learn from his work.

banksy

    You are never too big to humble yourself

    There was a story about him selling paintings in Central park years ago for $60. They are being sold now for over 100,000 pounds. The man that bought the paintings was only his second customer that day. I expect the piece he sold is now being held by a very happy owner. An original Banksy would garner a large sum of money at any auction house. Banksy sold them for $60 or less that day, no one knew it was him, so he received no admiration from fans.

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    banksy

      Your work will never be appreciated as much as you want it to

      What you do is up to you, and whether your work is treated with the proper respect is up to the stewards of it. Banksy has done work in Detroit before. Most of it has either been removed or destroyed. People destroying these works of art is a travesty. Selling the wall may preserve them but not for the general public, which he means his work to be displayed for. The chaos of people fighting over a wall must be delightful to him, but to see it painted over or destroyed could be hurtful.

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      banksy

        Human lives are precious

        Many of his paintings have a political statement within. War is one prevailing theme that we can see from his body of work. They’re not text, but images that reveal the underlying costs of it.  The cost of waging war should not be quantified in pounds or dollars, but by the lives of the people that died to wage it.

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          banksy

            You can always succeed, but first you must try

            Despite his relative mystery and the sketchy legality of his work, Banksy has become a famed artist in his own time. He has done a lot of work for free, just to get his work shown to the public. He has traveled the world to graffiti it, and rose to acclaim. No one would have thought vandalizing private properties throughout Europe and the United States would have led the artist to star in shows in prestigious galleries. Who would have guessed that when he began painting on the sides of buildings people would tear down walls just to own his work?

            Walk to the beat of your own drum

            If Banksy didn’t do more work after his first was taken down there would be no grand murals or Dismaland, a gallery for his work of his own design. Whether Banksy was rejected by the establishment, or just didn’t agree with it he took to the streets to paint the town his own color. He made a statement that was anti-establishment and often illegal. Bansky is the bad boy of artists, and he took his career in his own hand when he broke the law to show the world what he could do. Be bold, dare to achieve.

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            banksy

              You will find that life is surreal

              No one ever said it would be easy to traverse the gaps you will need to cross. No one said there was a road map to life. You will need to fit a square peg into a round hole. At times you might find yourself flying a refrigerator on a string, figuratively. Sometimes however, the hardest things in life are the most fun. Fly your appliances high!

              banksy14

                Growing up happens, heartbreak is expected

                Though the young at heart will hold on and despair at their lost love, it may not have been meant to be. Very few people don’t experience this kind of loss. It may be cynical to think that is happens to people so young, but hasn’t the other sex made you feel that young?

                banksy

                  Featured photo credit: Banksy via media.photobucket.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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