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You’re More Lovable If You Know How To Love Yourself

You’re More Lovable If You Know How To Love Yourself

We’ve always been told that in order to love someone else we must first learn to love ourselves. It’s so important to be able to establish a close bond with the most important person in your life – you. How you view and see yourself ultimately reflects in everything that you do and every relationship that you have. Self-love is when you find such peace in the deepest part of your being, and you genuinely enjoy being in your own company. I don’t think that many people know what it truly means to “love themselves” so I’m going to clarify exactly what I mean.

Be gentle with yourself

We tend to be our own best and unfortunately worst critics. We are often so hard on ourselves we forget to take a step back and give ourselves a little break. It is normal to feel sad, hurt and afraid. We shouldn’t be ashamed when these feelings arise and try to ignore them, or mask them with bad habits. Sometimes people think that these feelings are a sign of weakness, but in actuality they are a sign of strength. It’s very important to become mindful of this, and allow yourself to feel exactly what you are feeling. During times when you feel this way, remember that you are only human. Life is hard, but be gentle on yourself. You’re the only you out there.

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Let your experiences be as they are

Have you ever noticed that when you ignore your feelings or push them away they tend to come back with such intensity you almost cannot stand being in your own skin? It is overwhelming to feel unhappy feelings because they cause us to think and overthink. So instead, we somehow train our brains to completely push out those feelings so we don’t have to feel them.

Have you ever spoken to someone about a bad experience in their life that made them sad and hurt and they’ve said, “I don’t want to talk about it” or “I pretend it never happened”? This is a perfect example of someone who is not allowing themselves to feel the experience(s) for what it is or was. In the long run they are going to be causing themselves mountains and mountains of more pain. You must remember to feel your feelings as they come throughout every experience you have.

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Your feelings will tell you everything that you need to know in order to take care of yourself, you just have to listen to them.

You know how to make yourself happy

Nothing you do is defined by another person which is what makes your relationships so much more valuable and special. You don’t rely on your partner or anyone else for that matter to make YOU happy. You’re fine sitting at home on a Friday night in sweats watching TV all by yourself with a glass of wine and you are completely content.

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You’re independent and you move to the beat of your own drum. You don’t care if your partner goes out without you sometimes because you know you need that time alone for yourself anyway. You love having someone special in your life, but you know that they can only add value to your life because you are truly happy with who you are.

You appreciate your strengths

You’re mentally strong, compassionate, and you have the ability to be able to see things in a positive light. It’s one of your most valued strengths. In turn, this allows for you to see the positive qualities in others, especially your partner. You tend to notice the positive things about them rather than picking at their weaknesses.

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You know that sometimes you need help too

You recognize that everyone needs help sometimes and you aren’t afraid to ask for it. You also recognize the importance of making your partner feel needed in the relationship. If you can’t reach something on the top shelf in the pantry, you yell to your partner in the other room to come help you out. Same goes if you’re going through a rough time. You realize that you can’t always handle everything on your own and you have no problem leaning on your partner for love, help and support.

You don’t demand love & you realize you matter

Nowhere in your world do you demand to be loved or demand love in general. You know that love is give and take. You are selfless and give love to all of those around you. You’re so in tune with yourself and you find it easy to express how you’re feeling. You’re able to express yourself to your partner with ease. You know that your feelings matter, that you matter. You realize how vital this is for healthy communication with your partner.

It’s so important to realize the significance and importance of self-love. When you have learned to love yourself, you will notice how much easier it is for people to love you and for you to accept that love because well, you deserve it.

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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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