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9 Things You Need to Know Before Dating A Lawyer

9 Things You Need to Know Before Dating A Lawyer

When someone tells you dating a lawyer is just like dating anyone else, they are lying! This might be too straightforward for you, but after dating a lawyer for a year and a half, I know that lies have no room between you and your legal expert. Because they are so used to people who tell hundreds of lies, lawyers are able to sniff a lie from a mile, so there is no point in trying to hide something from them. On the other hand, you will notice how objective and sincere a lawyer is in a relationship.

Lawyers are stubborn and they are used to finding arguments in everything – and this is just the start of it all. Here are the main things you need to know before diving into a relationship with a lawyer.

1. Lawyers think differently.

This is the starting point: lawyers and law students think completely different from the rest of us. They are trained to think differently from the first day they decide to become a successful lawyer, so you will have to get used to this. Lawyers can be highly objective in the most subjective situations, which is a double-edged sword. In critical situations, this is an advantage, which enables your date to act quickly and correctly.

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But in love… it’s another thing. Because they are used to being objective, lawyers might be cold and lack affection sometimes, but this doesn’t mean your date doesn’t like you. It’s just he/she is very objective about it.

2. Legal field is filled with parties.

Dating a lawyer? You must have a killer party wardrobe because lawyers attend a lot of events and most of these are high class. Prepare to meet people from Congress, politicians, celebrities, and many more public personalities at these parties. Despite what most people think, lawyer gatherings are never boring, so you will have a lot of fun!

Another thing you need to know about lawyers is they get over-excited over free-time plans, simply because they have so little free time.

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3. You will be alone a lot.

Dating a lawyer sometimes feels like dating a ghost because they work a lot. A whole lot! You will often find yourself alone while your lawyer friend is at the office preparing a case. If you are the kind of person who likes to go out at 6 PM in the evening, you will be disappointed, because lawyers often work late hours. You will probably find yourself first going out on the town around 9 or 10pm.

Another thing you have to get used to when dating a lawyer is cancellations: don’t be surprised if your date cancels all your plans because he or she needs to go through a massive pile of books and laws, in order to build the case they are working on. Of course, this is one of the main reasons law is among the most swiped professions on Tinder.

4. You will learn legalese.

One of the perks of dating a lawyer is you will learn legalese. This is also valid if you are dating a law student, who is going to practice his/her speeches around the house, forcing you to hear those legal terms over and over again. The next time you are confronted with reading a contract, you will notice you understand it a lot better, which is a huge advantage.

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5. You will never pay full price again.

Lawyers are great at negotiating, which means you will never have to pay full price again. For anything! Your date is always going to make use of the proverbial lawyer charm and get some freebies or discounts. If you pay enough attention to them, you will also be able to negotiate next time you go shopping. But lawyers use their charm for a good reason…

6. Lawyers have a huge student debt.

Lawyers not only practice their skills for work when they negotiate, but also to make their life easier because they can’t afford too many things in the first few years of practice. This is due to the huge student loan debt a lawyer has, and he or she is forced to use all their skills to make a living so they can manage to repair their debt.

7. You will never win another argument again.

Lawyers argue for a living, so there is no way they are going to lose back home, on their own “field”. Also, if you propose white, they will instinctively reject it and propose black instead. They can’t help it, so don’t be mad about it.

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8. Lawyers love commitment.

This one is big: lawyers love hard facts both in work and love, so they want to be in a solid relationship. They love to be clear about their dating status and will want to have their significant other write on the calendar when their anniversary is. As a rule of thumb, keep things as clear and solid as possible in all areas of your relationship.

9. Your friends will look up to you for dating a lawyer.

As strange as it sounds, no one will ever look at you the same again after hearing you are dating a lawyer. I don’t know why this happens, but it does happen. My friends are now a lot more polite (not that they weren’t before) and their entire attitude towards me has changed. They somehow make me feel like a celebrity since I started dating my lawyer.

Bottom line, there are pros and cons to dating a lawyer, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the trouble. Or you could leave it to the jury. :)

Featured photo credit: Cosmopolitan UK via cosmopolitan.co.uk

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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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