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12 Signs You’re A Sensitive Person That Always Attracts People To Talk To You

12 Signs You’re A Sensitive Person That Always Attracts People To Talk To You

Life is filled with many ups and downs. All of us are confronted with our own set of challenges, faced with our own responsibilities, and shaped by our own experiences. Fortunately, this rollercoaster ride that is life can feel a lot smoother when you have people who support you. People who understand you and make you feel less alone. People who don’t judge but empathize. People who may not be able to fix your problems but want to help you through them. People whose sensitivity draws you to them.

Being a sensitive person and having the ability to recognize how others are feeling, is a very useful trait to have. Here are the 12 reasons why being sensitive can draw others to you.

1. You validate the feelings of others.

Many people find it difficult to talk about their feelings and emotions. They struggle with letting down their walls and showing their vulnerable side. It takes a lot of courage for them to admit that they’re not okay. By showing them kindness and compassion, you are acknowledging their feelings rather than dismissing them. As a result, people feel drawn to sensitive people because it’s this validation that helps them feel like they matter.

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2. You form your own opinions.

When we meet someone for the first time, it can be easy to make assumptions based on first impressions. It can feel tempting to listen to the gossiping of others and what people have to say about other people. But as a sensitive person, you know that wouldn’t be fair or just. You decide for yourself what you think of people. You believe that everyone deserves the chance to speak for themselves.

3. You keep an open mind.

In a time of crisis, people want to feel understood not judged. They don’t want to feel that they have to justify or defend their decisions. They don’t want to be stereotyped based on their age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, or religion. People will open up to those who they feel they can trust – who are easy going, friendly and accepting of those who are different to them. If you’re someone who wouldn’t want to treat anyone differently, chances are that people who meet you realize this too and appreciate this about you.

4. You help others feel less alone.

When someone is going through a difficult time, they may not necessarily need practical advice. They may simply want a shoulder to cry on, someone to listen to their problems, someone to make them feel less alone. If you’re someone that people often run to when life isn’t going too well, then feel proud of yourself. Life can be challenging for all of us, and taking time out of our day to help someone else is something to be admired.

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5. You remind others that they are important.

Sensitive people help others feel valued through the way that they communicate. They pay close attention to what people have to say. They ask questions to show that they care. You might have a loved one who’s been feeling unwell, so you ask whether they’re feeling any better. Your friend might be studying hard for their exams, so you wish them good luck and remind them to have a rest. It’s not always what we say that matters most, but the meaning behind what we say that does. 

6. You provide the right kind of encouragement.

Sensitive people know that the ‘tough love’ approach does not always work. That telling someone to “get over it” simply discourages them from talking about their feelings. It doesn’t help them feel any better. If you’re someone who is encouraging, who believes in others even when they don’t believe in themselves, and/or often knows the right thing to say – then what you’re doing is making a difference in someone else’s life. Your sensitivity is helping those around you.

7. You help others make sense of their own feelings.

Sometimes, when we’re experiencing some form of ‘negative’ emotion – whether it be sadness, anger, disappointment etc – we may feel too overwhelmed to know exactly what it is that we’re feeling. But when someone shows us sensitivity and listens without judgement, they are often able to find the words that we can’t. This helps others through the pain they’re feeling and it also strengthens the bond between us and our loved one.

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8. You show others that it’s okay to feel upset.

Sensitive persons often set very good examples for other people. They try their best not to pretend to be someone that they’re not. There are days where they are happy and smiling. There are also days where they’re upset. If you’re someone who knows that crying isn’t a weakness and understands how important it is to express feelings and emotions – then people around you will learn to feel the same. Rather than bottling up how they feel, others around you will become a much more authentic version of themselves.

9. You help others to see the positive.

When we’re going through a challenging time, it’s not always easy to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. More often than not, it may feel like there isn’t one. But sensitive people are very aware of the ‘negative’ emotions that others are feeling. They want to help others escape their negative mindset. They know how to validate the feelings of others, instil hope and remind them that they will be okay.

10. You spread kindness.

By being sensitive to how others are feeling, you are being kind. You are adding value to other people’s lives. You are helping them believe that they can overcome their problems. That someone cares and they’re not alone. That kindness will have a ripple effect and spread kindness to the next person.

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11. You remind others that they are human.

We are all human. We make mistakes. We don’t always do the ‘right’ thing. We are still learning as we go. So, when someone comes along and reminds us that we don’t have to be ‘perfect’, that we don’t have to put on a fake smile all the time, a massive weight is lifted off our shoulders. We’re reminded that we’re allowed to be upset. If you’re sensitive in such a way, know that your actions and words are helping others in more ways than you realize.

12. You see the value in working together.

The beautiful thing about life is that we don’t have to do it alone. We have the chance to share new experiences, we have the power to influence each other’s lives for the better, we are all in this together. When you are sensitive to how others are feeling, you are following the principle that ‘two minds are better than one’. You are reminding others that despite the fact that we are our own individuals, we are also interconnected. That true family and friends do not let each other go through challenges alone. That there is so much strength and power that comes from working together and being there for one another.

Featured photo credit: John Mark Arnold via magdeleine.co

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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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