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10 Things Nothing Else But A Heartbreak Will Teach You

10 Things Nothing Else But A Heartbreak Will Teach You

A heartbreak can act as a brake to your sweet fleeting life. And even the inundation of expert advice from your close ones, in such situations, proves ineffective because the one going through hell at that time is you, all alone, right? And this short journey through hell ultimately leads you to things that otherwise are “esoteric” (only meant or understood by a special group of people). So read on and acquaint yourself with these 10 things that only a heartbreak can teach you.

SPOILER ALERT: If you have previously gone through a heartbreak, you may empathize with the following given points.

1. Relationships cannot survive on love alone.

You might think that love is all you need in a relationship, but ask someone who has been rejected or heartbroken. Love is not the only key for a good relationship; there are various aspects to it. You might have heard people saying, “we both love each other so much, yet our relationship is on the rocks” or, “in spite of loving each other, we have decided on a mutual break-up.” Such statements might have confused you, but a person who has gone through a heartbreak very well understands it. A heartbreak will practically throw you out of your dreamy zone and familiarize you with reality.

2. Heartbreak is not just a metaphor.

Until you really witness the ordeal of a Heartbreak, you can only mock or sympathize with the people going through it. A heartbreak can only teach you that physical pain is not the worst kind of pain in the world; “heartbreak”is, because it isn’t just psychological—it’s physical as well.

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“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” —Laurell K. Hamilton

3. Feelings are untrustworthy.

Feelings are like vortex of emotions; they draw everything that surrounds them toward the center, sometimes engulfing your own life. So to trust on your feelings completely is not at all safe. And a heartbreak can very well teach you that. It can make you understand that your feelings are mere perceptions experienced by your body for particular situations. The feelings which once made you strong and steady can also make you weak and fragile and vice versa. So a crucial lesson a heartbreak can teach you is to judge people by their actions also and not entirely based on your feelings towards them.

4. Some doors are meant to be shut.

A Heartbreak can teach you the most important lesson of life which otherwise is hard to get: “Nothing in life is immortal.” In life, you might often wish that some good things always continue to exist, but you get all perplexed the moment they seem to cease. You must have dedicated some part of your life to making sure that good thing continues existing, but when such a thing gets lost, you are not able to let it go, and there will always a part in you that longs for it, making your life miserable. But only a heartbreak can teach you that it’s better to close some doors as they don’t lead anywhere.

“Sometimes we need to forget some people from our past because of one simple reason: they just don’t belong in our future.” —Anonymous

5. Self-adequacy.

The feeling of self-adequacy is the most important lesson a heartbreak can teach you. Self-adequacy implies that one views oneself as capable of dealing satisfactorily with problems or in the things one sets out to do. Well, before a heartbreak you think that your loved one is the person responsible for your happiness or either you are the one responsible for his problems or vice-versa, but the trauma of a heartbreak can very well make you understand your own competence or ability towards your own happiness. You realize that no one else but you yourself are responsible to either make or break your life.

6. Life still goes on.

“I love you and I’d rather be happy with you, than without you, but with or without you, life still goes on. I’ll be OK.”

The above quoted lines beautifully explain the feelings known to a heartbroken person. Prior to heartbreak, you cannot imagine a life without your loved one. You might feel that life would stop or everything around you will cease if your loved one is not there with you. But a heartbreak can grimly make you realize that time stops for no one and life goes on even when you are not ready.

7. Good and evil are two sides of the same coin.

From past times, it’s been said that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. Though that statement is quite baffling, a person gone through a heartbreak will definitely approve on that. Anyone who has been abandoned or rejected knows how the same person who was so good and caring earlier can become evil and harmful later. Even the idea of loving and hating the same person at one point that seems so weird to most of us, but it is an actual truth for a person who has been through heartbreak.

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8. Heartbreak illustrates your weaknesses.

“Some people pass through our lives for a reason to teach us lessons that could never be learned if they stayed.” —Mandy Hale

Yes, heartbreak can in a way prove beneficial to you. It can make you aware of your inner weaknesses. People are not able to accept their faults or become sullen if their weaknesses are pointed out by others. But a heartbreak can surely make you aware of your weak points, in a way giving you an opportunity for self-improvement.

9. Life is unpredictable.

A heartbreak can categorically teach you that surprises are a part of life. Prior to a heartbreak, no matter how much you planned for your future love life, it was all shattered into pieces. You received what was unexpected from life. You were sure about your lover and his or her insights, but what happened later was a violent blow on your predictions.

10. Enlightening love.

Last but not least, a heartbreak can enlighten you more about love than anything else in the world. You understand the complexities invoved with it. And no matter how much it might have hurt you, a heartbreak can never wipe out love from your heart. You don’t lose the power of being loved or to love someone entirely.

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“A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.” —Frank A. Clark

Featured photo credit: Alfonsina Blyde via flickr.com

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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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