Advertising
Advertising

15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

15 Signs You’re Obviously The Youngest Child

We are basically all spoiled eggs, right? That is our reputation. Before we begin the checklist to unite us all in our perceived spoiled ways, let one thing be known. The proverbial apples in your parents’ eyes were set aglow in ways never before illuminated the day your oldest sibling was born; but, they were once again equally illuminated the day they realized their last child had grown up and was on his or her own…well, at least we have that.

1. You know how to handle rites of passage

You have rites of passage just like everyone else. Your advantage, though, is that you got to witness your older siblings walk through the fire before you and observed how they stepped. Whatever burns they sustained, you can choose to also sustain or avoid. Whatever new and amazing discoveries they make you now have access to. Your older siblings explore unknown things and the further down the line you are the more cheat sheets you have to get you through your life.

2. Your parents are too tired to care

You, for better or worse, were allowed to juggle chainsaws and light fires in your backyard after school because your parents were too tired to care. The first, second, maybe even third, or more, were monitored far more than you as the watchful eye was gradually closed shut on your adolescence. The others turned out okay, right? Besides, someone is getting married, another is graduating high school, one more will be a freshman soon, and then there you are, melting ants with your magnifying glass, eating already-been-chewed gum off the sidewalk, and wondering what Santa Claus will bring you regardless of how adamantly your older siblings strive to convince you no such giver of toys exists.

3. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger

You, in memory of what Friedrich Nietzche once said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”, were able to test limits on a spectrum never before seen. You had an ability to absorb this world free of preconceived notions and the pressures parents put on the first of their line. Your parents were preoccupied isolating those before you as you emerged as a nearly unnoticeable drifter not encumbered by expectation, which might have made you the bird with the biggest wingspan in the nest.

Advertising

4. You idolized at least one of your older siblings

You idolized at least one of your older siblings as a child if not only for the simple fact that they were older. Well, now that we are all older and playing out the lives we had all imagined in high definition reality you take great joy in realizing that the brother or sister before you is forty, whether you are twenty-nine or thirty-nine.

5. You’re sensitive

You are sensitive because you were the last out the gate. You have the least to gain because you were so far behind. You noticed things the front runner wouldn’t. It wasn’t a fair race and you came to terms with that immediately. There is nothing to win, only things to notice and enjoy along the way.

6. You’re an “Old Soul”

You have been called an “Old Soul” many times and tend to hang out with people who are older than you. The reason you are wise beyond your years is because you have been quietly watching multiple life experiences, which will eventually play out in your own life, occur over and over in the form of older brothers and sisters.

7. You’re accustomed to insults

You are quite accustomed to treatment many others would find utterly insulting, even when you are older. Constantly being given torn or scratched hand-me-downs, never getting a window seat on family trips, and being forbidden from ever sitting at the adult table for holiday gatherings until you were thirty-years-old have all contributed in your modest world view and resistance to irritability.

Advertising

8. You’re not very sentimental

You are not very sentimental because it did not take long for you to realize that hardly any pictures were ever taken of you from infant through teenage years. Meanwhile, your oldest sibling has archived films and picture albums dated by the week until he or she turned eighteen.

9. You get called by the wrong name

You do not mind as an adult if a friend, acquaintance, or even your own boss calls you by the wrong name because it has simply always been that way. Your parents’ inability to use your correct name is as natural as calling an apple an orange…”perhaps it is” you might think to yourself.

10. You can sleep anywhere

You can fall asleep standing up, hanging upside down, on the floor, or duct taped to the wall…instantly. It has always been this way because there was no other alternative.

11. You never fail to stun

You never fail to stun your aunts and uncles each time they see you because for some odd reason they expect you to still be eight-years-old even though you are twenty-seven.

Advertising

12. You will hear many stories from before you were born

You pay no attention when your family gets together and begins talking about childhood memories. Being the youngest child, your whole life has consisted of random, unfamiliar anecdotes given by your siblings that always end with, “Do you remember that?”

“Ummm…no I don’t. I wasn’t born yet.”

13. You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped

You leave your siblings’ jaws dropped in the event that you display any level of intelligence. Knowing something that no other sibling in the room could answer is a felonious family act punishable by silent treatment and dismissed as dumb luck.

14. You really, really, really enjoy it

You really, really enjoy being younger than your siblings in adulthood…Did I mention that already? You really, really, really enjoy it.

Advertising

15. You realized that maybe we are all spoiled eggs

Maybe we are all spoiled eggs, but it is through the exhausting energy exerted on those who came before us that made us the laid back, happy-go-lucky, adaptable, and adventurous creatures that we are.

Featured photo credit: Happy Children Siblings via bing.com

More by this author

Pregnancy Checklist: What To Do When Pregnant How To Make Lavender Lemonade To Get Rid Of Headaches And Anxiety 42 Flowers You Can Eat And How You Can Eat Them How To Burp A Newborn 10 Bizarre Ways of Celebrating the New Year Around the World

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next