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Is Blind Dating A Good Option?

Is Blind Dating A Good Option?

We all want to meet that special someone; we usually try to do that at work, bars and cafes, but in the end, in many cases, the people we meet are not worthy of our attention. Even though we are spending so much time online, whether we’re working, doing some shopping or browsing through those matchmaking websites, we are still not so lucky to find a person with whom we can have a proper date with. So, where does that leave us? Do we become desperate enough to go for blind dating? Do we let our friends and family introduce us to someone they believe would be a good match for us?

Is a blind dating a good option? Let’s find out. People have different opinions whether blind dating is a good idea or not, and to go with that, different experiences. Some of them have found the love of their lives and some of them wished they had never gone out on that disastrous date. Blind dating has its pros and cons, and if you decide to try it out, there are certain things you need to avoid when you actually go out with someone you have never met before in your life.

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Why Can A Blind Date Be A Good Option?

I know that bling dating can be a little nerve-wracking, but in many cases, people who went on blind dates actually ended up in long-term relationships, so it cannot be all that bad, right? Based on other people’s experiences there are times when a blind date can actually be a good thing, for example, if you are extremely busy and don’t really have the time to go out and look for that special someone, it would be easier if someone would just set you up.

This way, you will meet people who are not already in your life, but have similar interests, because so many people you know either from work, or family and friends, can set you up, the possibilities can be endless. You know what they say, sometimes other people know us better than we know ourselves.

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Believe it or not, you might even have a lot of fun when on a blind date, and even if this person you are going to meet isn’t exactly a good match for you, you can still have a good time and perhaps make a new friend. Why not? One of the best things that can happen when on a blind date is scoring a free meal. Imagine the possibilities, meeting a soulmate and free food – that sounds perfect to me.

Believe it or not, you can find out a lot about their personality depending on what food they order. Having in mind all of this and knowing that blind dating isn’t exactly the same as you see it in the movies, one more thing you need to know is that no harm will be done if you don’t click with the person you were on the date with. So no awkward situations – yay!

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Why Can A Blind Date Be A Bad Idea?

Although good things can happen on a blind date, have in mind that not everything can work out well in the end. So, it is no surprise that many people share the opinion that a blind date can be a disaster and recommend that you completely avoid it if that is possible. It is not excluded that you will lose several hours of your life which you will want back, and with someone who wasn’t inspiring at all, had some really bad jokes and was not very pleasant. You might get the feeling that your friends don’t really know you that well, since they are the ones who have set you up.

So, always look for those warning signs, if the people who are setting you up are saying that the person you are going to meet is great, funny, cute and so on, you cannot help but wonder what is wrong with them, since they are agreeing to go on a blind date.

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Although you have the option of not calling that person ever again, you may end up with a needy and clingy individual who might insist on seeing you again and be a little annoying in their wish, so be careful, polite, but in the same time firm when letting them know that you are not interested, so that you don’t end up with a person who can be a little psycho. But don’t worry, the chances of that happening are really small, maybe one in a million.

What To Avoid On Blind Dates

If you are brave enough to try blind dating, good for you. Now that you are backed up with the possible scenarios, and know what might come your way when meeting people in this manner, the only thing left to do is learn some guidelines to help your date run smooth. The first smart thing is avoiding doing anything dangerous on your blind date, so stay away from animals, roller skates, mountain climbing and similar activities. After all, you don’t know this person and you surely wouldn’t want to end up going home with a paramedic.

I don’t think that this should be even said, but I will say it anyway – don’t do anything that will make you sweat. This just isn’t the right time to present to your date with stains on your shirt, you will make an impression, but not a really good one. Do your best to be as representable as you can be. So, hide your flaws – not everything needs to come out on your first date – wait for the right time to tell them those little annoying things you do.

So, whether a blind date will be a good option or not, it depends entirely on you. Make sure that the one who sets you up really know you, so that you can eliminate the possibility of going out with a psycho. Be totally relaxed regardless of whether the date turns out great or a complete disaster. Have fun and maybe you will meet the love of your life or just make a new friend in this process. Who knows? You always have the option of not calling that person again so why not? In the end, you don’t have too much to lose and at least you tried.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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