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10 Things Only People Who Have A Clever Girlfriend Would Understand

10 Things Only People Who Have A Clever Girlfriend Would Understand

Having a self-assured woman by your side has a lot of benefits and makes you motivated to be the best version of yourself everyday. Here are a few other reasons why you are glad to be with a woman who is not afraid to be herself.

1. You know that you will never be bored

Having a clever girlfriend by your side means that life will never be dull when you are together. She always knows about the best movies to watch or a music venue where you are bound to have a blast. She is highly creative and know how to help keep your relationship from slipping into a predictable routine.

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2. You know that you will always have someone to push yourself to be your best

Sometimes you need someone from the outside to encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up. This is your girl. Her confidence in herself carries over to you and inspires you everyday to stay motivated and keep your head up during hard times. That one time that you lost your job? She was by your side, cheering you on and helping you polish your resume.

3. You know that life together will be full of thoughtful surprises

It’s notoriously hard to shop for your significant other, especially if they seem to have everything they already want. Luckily, your girl knows how to be creative with her gift-giving and always has something epic up her sleeve. Your last birthday? A road trip down to a nearby city to see your favorite band was one of the most thoughtful things that anyone has ever done for you.

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4. You know that you will have different opinions on things and that’s OK

She has strong opinions on a wide spectrum of topics and this is why you love her. You also know that sometimes your ideas are bound to clash, but what’s important is that you both have a mutual level of respect for each others’ viewpoints. She also knows when to stop and agree to disagree about a certain subject, whether it is about politics or a TV show.

5. You love how she pursues her own passions

She knows what her interests are and makes sure to dedicate her time to them, whether they are writing a blog or learning martial arts. You know that it’s important for your relationship to have time away from each other and you have been inspired by her to pursue your own passions, like learning a new language or picking up a few songs on the guitar.

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6. You are not afraid to tell her your dreams

She is supportive of your dreams big and small and you always feel comfortable telling your life’s aspirations to her, even if you never told anyone else before. She knows the importance of confiding your dreams to someone else who you trust, because she does the same with you, telling you about her dreams to be in a band or do research in Antarctica.

7. You love how she demands respect of herself

She is self-assured and expects everyone to respect her and treat her equally as a woman. She stands up for herself, whether she is in the workplace or out with her friends. She expects no less from you and you are always willing to support her with no exceptions.

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8. You know that when you fight with her it will always be a fair fight

She knows how to stand-up for what she believes in, but she also know what not to say during your arguments that bring up sore points. There are some things in a relationship that are meant to stay in the past and you love her because she is able to get up and move past these issues and focus on the present disagreement.

9. You had to prove that you were worthy of her time

When you first started dating she made sure to take things slow and really get to know each other before being in a committed relationship. You love this about her and are willing to do anything to prove that you were meant to be, from leaving little love notes to spending time getting to know her friends. She is completely worth it.

10. You feel comfortable admitting your fears and getting real feedback on them

She is good at giving an honest opinion on things that scare you in a supportive, but constructive manner. She pushes you to face your fears, but also lets you know that she is right by your side supporting you all the way. In turn, she tells you her own fears and shows that she is not afraid to be vulnerable with you.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.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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