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10 Things You Can Do If You Feel Lack Of Support

10 Things You Can Do If You Feel Lack Of Support

At some point, everyone feels like they aren’t getting enough support. Whether it’s support from their friends, from their family, or from someone whose opinion really, really counts (Generally they don’t. More on this momentarily.), lack of support can be a devastating feeling. The urge to scream, “You don’t understand what I’m doing/feeling/going through!” can be absolutely overwhelming. Luckily for us, there are ways to counter this tendency. These 10 things you can do if you feel lack of support will not only help you achieve more and feel better, but can also help you communicate your needs and goals better.

1) Expand your support network.

Networking Tips For People Who Hate Networking

    Sometimes we make the mistake of trying to seek help from people who don’t know the first thing about what we’re trying to do. This leads to a situation where neither side feels good about the outcome. Going to the same friends to address the same basic problems can be just as bad. In these situations, a change of perspective might be needed. If you’re a writer, you should seek out other writers who don’t have a vested interest in you to discuss your problem with. The same goes if you’re a carpenter, a lawyer, or a computer programmer. This can put you on the right track and help you gain some new friends at the same time!

    2) Sharpen your own coping skills.

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    This is NOT what coping looks like.

      This is the OPPOSITE of what coping looks like.

      Think for a second about how you deal with disappointment. Do you take it on the chin, or does it send you running into your bedroom with a “migraine” that lasts three days? If it’s the latter, you probably need to develop some better coping skills. Maybe you need to be a little more physical, by punching a soft pile of pillows, for example. (It is definitely not recommended that you take your frustrations out physically on the object of your frustrations. This is a great way to land in jail.) You can also try meditation, deep breathing, or walking. Sometimes we just need a little distance to reflect on a situation before we can find the best way around it.

      3) Try keeping a journal.

      Lack of support often comes from lack of effective communication. Write down what’s frustrating you and why you feel like you aren’t getting the support you need. Then try writing down possible solutions, such as: “Talked to Mitch about my worries about the wedding. He doesn’t like my fiancee, so he was pretty unsympathetic. Maybe talk to Trish or Richard instead.” If nothing else, the act of writing it down will eliminate some of the immediacy of the problem, letting you look at it more calmly.

      4) Analyze the reason you don’t feel supported.

      Most people have pretty rigid conceptual models of what can and cannot be done, and they tend to look at anything that crosses these boundaries askance. Are you trying to do something so far out of the ordinary that most people cannot comprehend it? Or are you simply asking for too much from the people around you? You can’t expect everyone else to take care of your business while you chase a dream. If you’re trying to do this, then you need to start giving back before you can expect any support in return.

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      5) Keep it simple.

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        Lack of support often equals lack of communication. The other person just doesn’t “get it.” If you’re describing your great new invention in terms that would make Tesla blink and ask for clarification, the reason they don’t get it is likely that you’re overcomplicating the matter. “This device will make bread hot and crispy at extremely high temperatures extremely rapidly” is a poor way to say what you really mean. “This will toast bread in 2.5 seconds.”

        6) Listen to what you’re told.

        It’s entirely possible that you already have the information you need to make a decision, but you aren’t listening because it’s contrary to what you want to accomplish. If enough people tell you the same thing, it’s time to stop and mull it over. Chances are, they are speaking from experience that they are trying to help you benefit from.

        7) Ask yourself if your goal is really attainable.

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        quote-Bruce-Lee-a-goal-is-not-always-meant-to-89079

          The hardest thing in life to hear is, “You’ll never ___________ because ___________.” However, if you are told this, stop and think. Are you trying to do something that goes beyond the norm but you can realistically expect to achieve, or are you trying to do something utterly preposterous, like become a neurosurgeon even though you have palsy in your hands? Sometimes we have to switch directions or settle for something less. In this case, it’s not that your friends and family don’t support you, but they are being more realistic about how far you can go than you are.

          8) Try to understand why they don’t support you.

          Sometimes people say one thing, only to have someone hear something entirely different. This is where establishing a dialogue comes in. Getting to understand where the other person is coming from is a key factor in learning what you can do to obtain their support. This requires some empathy and maybe even a little salesmanship, but it’s well worth it in the end, and will strengthen your relationship, too.

          9) Ask yourself what you would tell you if you were them.

          quote-Bruce-Lee-mistakes-are-always-forgivable-if-one-has-332

            One of the most difficult things to admit is that we all sometimes give good advice, but are rubbish about taking it. Put yourself in the other person’s position and ask yourself, “If I saw So-and-so doing this, would I support him/her or warn against it?” This may not be a fun way to understand others, but it can help you see the issue from the other side.

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            10) Change your approach, your goals, your behavior, or all three.

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              No one wants to hang around with a self-aggrandizing jerk. If you come off as arrogant, if your goal is set too high for even gods to achieve reasonably, or if you demand support and assistance instead of asking for it, it is past time to make some changes. People appreciate being asked for help, but no one likes to have their help simply assumed. Understanding how, when, and who to approach for help is important to getting the support you need to achieve your goals!

              More by this author

              J.S. Wayne

              J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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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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