“You know when you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” — Dr. Seuss
Even if we’ve had our heart broken a few times, and we believe that being cynic is easy, fairy tales portrayed in movies always warm our hearts. The best love stories are the ones that go beyond life and death. They not only foretell happiness or togetherness but they triumph over mistakes and missteps in life and arouse the feeling that goes beyond insanity that’s socially accepted.
Love is sacred and the greatest love stories provide the kind of feeling we always aspire to enjoy in our lives. I know you’ve heard stories of Romeo and Juliet, but there are more heart wrenching stories that are sure to make you emotional. Check out these 10 crazy real life love stories that would warm your heart.
1. Dashrath Manjhi – The man who broke mountains for love
“I would move the mountains for you.” If you’ve ever been in love, you might have heard soothing lines from your partner or chances are you might have told your loved ones too. Dashrath Manjhi, also known as the ‘Mountain Man’ did it for real. He split a mountain for his love.
Dashrath Manjhi, a destitute person in Gehlour, a small village in India lost his wife when he could not take her to the doctor after she fell off of a cliff. With strong determination, and often being called a ‘psychopath’, Dashrath took 22 years breaking stones in the mountains to pave a 400 feet long and 30 feet wide road that connected the village to the nearby city. His only motive was to provide people of his village with access to medical services so that nobody would lose a loved one like he did.
2. Faizul Hasan Quadri – The man who made the second Taj Mahal
Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz in 1632, Taj Mahal is often considered as the epitome of love. A 77-year-old Indian man named Faizul Hasan Quadri also vowed to build his ‘monument of love’ for his wife Tajammuli Begum in Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh, India. Faizul married Begum when she was just 14 and he taught her to read and write in Urdu. The couple had no child and his wife always worried if she would be forgotten after her death. Quadri promised to build her a mausoleum and that she’d be remembered for ages.
“We were together for more than 58 years, and love grows with time. Now that she is gone, she is always there in my thoughts,” he says. Tajammuli died of cancer in 2011.
3. Chadil Deffy and Sarinya Kamsook – Love that went beyond death
Chadil Deffy and Sarinya Kamsook had plans to get married soon after Deffy completed his studies. But his life was devastated after he learned the news of Sarinya’s death in an accident even before the two finalized a date to tie the knot. But death could not beat his love. Deffy married his deceased girlfriend in a combination funeral and wedding ceremony where he placed a ring on Sarinya’s hand, his girlfriend of 10 years and kissed her in a ceremony in Thailand’s Surin province.
4. David Hurd and Avril Cato – Two lovers who became one sharing letters
People write letters to their loved ones all the time. But, the story of two people who got close through letters and got married the first time they saw each other is pretty heart-welcoming. Yes, that’s how David Hurd and Avril Cato became one.
David Hurd moved to New York City in 1907 and that was when he started writing letters to Avril Cato, an unknown woman in the Caribbean who he’d never seen in life. The two started sharing letters and became close. A year later, David proposed Avril to get married and the two met for the first time on their wedding day in August 1914 in Jamaica. These two faithful pen-pals developed a deep and passionate commitment through their exquisite use of art of letter to become one.Advertising
5. Kurt Klein and Gerda Weissmann – Love during a time of war
Gerda Weissmann, a Polish-born American writer was forced to March by the Nazis for months along with 4000 other Jewish women. She lost 65 family members during the time of war and only 120 of those women in the march were alive and abandoned in a factory where they lived without proper food for days. She was one day shy of her 21st birthday, wearing rags and not bathed in three years when Kurt Klein, a Lieutenant in the United States Army force found her and rescued. The couple was engaged in September 1945 and married shortly after.
6. Anna and Boris – Two lovers who reunited after 60 years
Russian couple Anna and Boris were only married for three days, when Boris bid him adieu to join the Red Army Unit. Anna and her family were sent to an exile and the two lost contact with each other. Boris tried finding her but had no luck while Anna also had thoughts of committing suicide but remained hopeful that she’d find her man someday.
One fine day, Anna Kozlov caught sight of an old man moving out of his car in Borovlyanka in Siberia and she was breathless. She could not believe her eyes when she knew that the man clambering out was Boris.
“I thought my eyes were playing games with me,” Anna said. “I saw this familiar looking man approaching me, his eyes gazing at me. My heart jumped. I knew it was him. I was crying with joy.” The couple reunited and romance blossomed again after 60 years.
7. Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer – The lady who married the Berlin Wall
Eija-Ritta was only 7 when she saw the Berlin Wall for the first time on television and she felt head-over-heels when she saw the wall. Eija developed a fetish for inanimate objects and married the concrete structure in 1979. Her surname also means Berlin Wall in German and when the structure was brought down in 1989 she was in tears and said ,”What they did was awful. They mutilated my husband.”
Eija-Ritta was later diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality. Though she remained virgin as a human, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall for having married the structure for more than 29 years now.
8. Bonnie and Clyde – Two accomplices who loved each other
Love is blind and Bonnie and Clyde prove the same. Bonnie and Clyde, two lovers who disobeyed laws in the United States during the Great Depression robbed a lot of banks, small stores and gas stations while also killed nine police officers and several civilians.
The two met on January 5, 1930 at Clarence Clay’s (a friend of Clyde) house at 105 Herbert Street and became close friends in no time before confessing their love for each other. The two ran a gang and were known to be involved in a lot of notorious crime during the Public Enemy Era (1931-1935). The two remained loyal to each other during their life and even at the time of the violent death with gunshots they predicted as inevitable in 1934.
9. Helen and Les – A lifetime of love
Couples make promises to live together and die together. Helen and Les proved the same. Call it a matter of sheer luck or crazy true love, Helen and Les were born on the same day on December 31, 1918. The two attended the same school where they met each other and fell in love.Advertising
These high school sweethearts eloped and lived 75 years together. During the last days of their lives, Les was sick with Parkinson’s disease and slipped to coma while Helen was battling stomach cancer. She died on July 16 and Les passed away a day after without even knowing about his wife’s death. The couple were both 94.
10. Shah Hussain and Madho Lal – Two lovers together even after death
Shah Hussain, a Punjabi Sufi poet also called as the Sufi saint fell in love with a Brahmin boy called “Madho Lal”. Though gay marriage was not legal anywhere in the world before this century, the two shared a mutual feeling for each other and dared to confess their love in Pakistan, a Muslim state when they lived during their 1960s.
The two are often referred to as a single person with the composite name of “Madho Lal Hussain.” Thousands of people visit the shrine and the tomb during the “Mela Chiraghan” (Festival of Lights) where the two rest together in silence.
Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via pixabay.com
Last Updated on January 15, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension. 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.
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? 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.
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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
- Increasing Confidence with Body Language
- 8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations
- Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips
Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com
|||^||Berkeley News: The 16 facial expressions most common to emotional situations worldwide|
|||^||Science Daily: Teeth grinding and facial pain increase due to coronavirus stress and anxiety|
|||^||National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint & Muscle Disorders|
|||^||Michigan Medicine: Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation|
|||^||Spectra Magazine: Oculesics: Science Speaks Where Words Do Not|
|||^||NCBI: Attention to Eye Contact in the West and East: Autonomic Responses and Evaluative Ratings|
|||^||ResearchGate: An Anthropology of the Handshake|
|||^||Sage Journals: Mapping the Range of Information Contained in the Iconic Hand Gestures that Accompany Spontaneous Speech|
|||^||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Hand Matters: Left-Hand Gestures Enhance Metaphor Explanation|