Advertising
Advertising

6 Signs You’re A Strong Person With Heightened Sensitivity

6 Signs You’re A Strong Person With Heightened Sensitivity

Society has made us believe that a strong person is someone who is fierce, has a stone for a heart, and doesn’t get moved by anything. In short, lacking sensitivity. But you may be surprised to know that it is very much possible to be both strong and sensitive. In fact, the strongest people may actually be the ones that are also highly sensitive.

Here are six signs that you are that unique kind of person, who is both strong and sensitive:

1. Life Sometimes Seems Too Much

You have to get to lecture on time, and you know that immediately afterwards you have to go work at the restaurant, yet not before you pick up your little sister from school. And all that while knowing that your midterm exam is tomorrow. Overwhelming? Well, some people may get absolutely crushed by all of this, while some will do it up without even snorting, or giving it a second glance. However, strong people with heightened sensitivity will feel both things at the same time. Kinda.

Advertising

Life can be overwhelming at times. The speed, the stress, the responsibility. People that are both strong and sensitive will easily feel crushed by the weight of it, but will also know that it won’t be enough to stop them. They know that if they fail, they can just get back up, and try again.

2. You’re Truthful, With Yourself and Others

At times, social interaction requires us to act a bit phony, to avoid conflicts and let the truth slide from under the carpet. But when it comes to strong highly sensitive people, they will not shy away from the truth, and in fact, will not even wince at presenting it to the crowd. They are sensitive to their friends and surroundings, but will know that covering up the truth will not help anyone, neither their friends, nor themselves.

3. You Require Meaningful Relationships

You are tired of going through the demanding dates. Dress well, act politely and charmingly, and overall being someone you’re not, waiting to present your true self as time goes by. You want to be honest about your thoughts and your feelings, you don’t want to make up meaningless conversations just for the comfort of conversing.

Advertising

Strong people with heightened sensitivity do not like being alone, but know that they need to stay strong enough and wait, if they want to find someone that they will enjoy as their company. Any less than that is unacceptable.

4. You Respect Yourself As Well As Others

A strong person with heightened sensitivity knows what he wants from others, and is also strong enough to know that he won’t take any less than that, even at the cost of pointing that out bluntly at the risk of confrontation. And of course, that person will not expect to have what he doesn’t give.

If you are a strong person with heightened sensitivity, you go by the ideology that you only give others, what you expect of them to give you. It comes by the fact that you hold high respect for yourself, as well as for the people surrounding you.

Advertising

5. Strong People With Heightened Sensitivity Make for Great Listeners

You’re talking with your friend, you can hear something strange in his voice, see something odd in his expression. Your heightened sensitivity allows you to catch on and realize that something is wrong. The act of listening does not end with hearing the other person’s words, it also includes reading his tone, and his mood. To read through the lines.

Your heightened sensitivity allows you to be empathetic about the situation, while your strong personality gives you a firm shoulder to weep and cry on. You are sensitive enough to relate to the situation, but also strong enough to keep your composure, making you a reassuring person. This is indeed a unique quality to have.

6. Bad Decisions Overburden You

Have you ever made a decision that you considered as “wrong”, or “bad”? You ran it through your head over and over again, thinking hard on every and each scenario, trying to figure what you could have done different. Well, it makes sense if you are a person with heightened sensitivity, since you take every respective consequence to heart.

Advertising

Yet, as a strong person, you realize that this will pass, and that it’s not at all a reason to halt your future endeavors. If anything, it will only help you improve next time, as you will learn much more from each badly made decision.

Being a strong person with heightened sensitivity is truly a rare quality.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Warning Signs That Your Body Desperately Needs More Water How You Spend The One Hour After Work Is What Determines Your Success 6 Things I Am Too Old For (But That Means I’ve Matured) 3-Day Detox Plan To Remove Fat And Excess Water In Your Body 6 Signs You’re A Strong Person With Heightened Sensitivity

Trending in Communication

1 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 2 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 3 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 4 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 5 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About

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