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5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

What really causes you to fight with your partner?  Although the triggers are often superficial, the underlying answers are deeper – which is why most couples are stuck in endless loops where they keep fighting about the same things over and over again.

If you want to really understand the answer to this question, it’s paramount to take some time to understand the real reasons that ultimately cause our repeating patterns of conflict.

These 5 books will teach you new ways to understand both yourself and your partner, and what drives the patterns of behavior you both subconsciously follow every day.  They can shed light on many of your questions, backed by countless success stories from readers who have made breakthroughs in their relationships.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married By Gary D. Chapman

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    To most of us, getting married is just another “official” step forward from our current relationship. No one would think being prepared is necessary since going through a normal relationship already seems to be a prerequisite. However, there’s a huge gap between being in a relationship to actually building a life together. Gary Chapman has put together this practical book to teach readers how to build a healthy and loving marriage.

    “I’m a 30 year old male about to propose to my girlfriend. I picked up this book on a whim. I cannot overstate how much I have learned from this book. I started highlighting things that I thought were important to me or that really hit home or made sense. I wrote notes in the margin. I ordered a copy for my soon to be fiance and she is going to do the same thing with her copy. Then we’ll switch so we can both learn from each other. Anyone that wants to be a better partner, regardless of weather or not that includes marriage, should pick this book up and read it front to back. I really can’t say enough good things about this book.”- Ryan on Amazon Review

    Get Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married from Amazon at $ 8.69.

    The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts By Gary D. Chapman & Jocelyn Green

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      Joined with Joycelyn Green, Gary Chapman has published this book that decodes the secret of love. It’s one of the top selling relationship books on Amazon. Gary talks about what signals us as “love”, how partners can see the same action differently and brings out the importance of understanding your partner’s love language in order to aid better communication. The love language doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, it’s also equally applicable to building sustainable friendships and family relationships as well.

      Get The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts from Amazon at $ 10.99.

      Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Emerson Eggerichs

        Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides advice from a psychological perspective on how to maintain a healthy and loving marriage. In his book, he cracks the relationship secret by teaching readers how to shift their focus from only their relationship to the whole family perspective. He also addresses some commonly experienced marriage problems such as dealing with affairs, how to regain the romantic spark, and how to protect and nurture mutual respect.

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        Get Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs from Amazon at $13.89.

        Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love By Sue Johnson

          Hold Me Tight is one of the most insightful books about human relationships that you’ll ever read, backed by solid empirical scientific proof and a ton of success cases.  In an engaging and easy-to-read style, Dr. Sue Johnson introduces psychological concepts that any lay person can instantly understand.  You’ll gain deep insights into every relationship that you’ve ever had, and understand the underlying forces behind how and why we communicate the way we do.  Filled with simple exercises for practicing better communication and understanding, this book is useful for anyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not.

          Get Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love from Amazon at $17.48.

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          Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love By Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

            Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller (a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, respectively) explain love through the latest scientific theories on attachment.  This book describes the three basic types of attachment that all people have.  These basic types affect relationships at all levels, from how you see intimacy, to communication style, to the types of things that satisfy you within a relationships.  The premise is that understanding the attachment type of you and your partner will help you navigate your relationship with more awareness, avoiding common pitfalls and being able to focus on the right things to nurture a relationship.

            Get Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love from Amazon at $10.84.

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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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