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10 Ways To Stop Lying To Yourself

10 Ways To Stop Lying To Yourself

Getting caught up in your own lies can devalue your sense of self-worth, distort your view of reality and negatively affect your close relationships. Here are 10 ways to stop lying to yourself and become a better, more honest you!

1. Stop taking constructive criticism as a personal attack.

There is a difference between being an overly critical bully and an honest and helpful friend. If someone you consider a friend gives you a bit of honest, somewhat critical advice, you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it. The issues we are most unsure about tend to be the issues we get the most defensive and emotional about when confronted with ideas that challenge our opinions.

2. Stop trying to convince everyone that you’re right.

Some people can be swayed on some opinions some of the time. But if you believe something passionately that someone else passionately disagrees with, you are never going to change their mind. Maybe if you talk about it long enough and with enough research backing your statements, he or she will say they agree with you. But they’re probably thinking to themselves that it’s not true, and resenting you for not letting them have their own opinion.

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3. Realize that the fun is in the effort.

child having fun

    Face it: very few people get to claim they are “the best” at something and really mean it—olympic athletes, perhaps, and maybe some classically-trained musicians or chefs at three-star Michelin restaurants. However, most of the time, there’s always going to be someone better than you at any task you may try to accomplish. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Even if you are not the world’s best pianist or even the biggest wine connoisseur in your hometown , it doesn’t mean there’s not still enjoyment to be had in that activity. And if things were only worth doing if you’re the best, how would you ever try doing something new?

    4. Take chances.

    Everyone gets scared sometimes, and that’s not a bad thing. Fear keeps us from doing stupid things or getting into situations that may harm or kill us, and it has been essential in our development as a species. But fear can do more harm than good when we’re artificially creating it to avoid unpleasant situations. Next time you start to worry about something, take a deep breath and decide whether or not it’s something worth getting worked up about.

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    5. Stop putting things off until tomorrow.

    Really? What’s going to change? And how? If you don’t set out concrete steps for yourself and really narrow down exactly what is going to change and how, tomorrow will be exactly the same as today. Don’t let yourself fall back upon old habits instead of striving for the change you wish to embody.

    6. Quit doubting yourself.

    Age is what you make of it. Are you really too old to make new friends or take up a new hobby? Chances are, you’re not, and you would be happier if you made the attempt. Don’t start telling yourself you are too old to try new things; if you live for another decade or more, that’s over a decade that you’ve been telling yourself you’re too old to do them.

    7. Consider others’ points of view.

    It is easy to develop a kind of selective understanding of reality that allows you only to believe what you already suspect to be true. Before you get upset at someone for doing something you wouldn’t have done, stop and try to consider their reasoning. You can even ask them for their side of the story. Chances are, they had a good reason that you simply overlooked.

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    8. Realize when you’ve taken on too much.

    Learning when to say no is an important skill and happiness tool. Some of us are driven to take on more than we can quite chew—whether that means at work, or perhaps even in helping organize an event for a school fundraiser on your own. Truly acknowledge whether or not you have the time or energy to take on a task before accepting it, and if you can’t, don’t be afraid to say no. Chances are, you’re not going to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying no every now and then.

    9. Don’t give up.

    climbing up

      Sometimes we can be a little quick to admit defeat. Before giving up, stop to consider your options. There may be another way.

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      10. Don’t ignore your feelings.

      If you have to tell yourself you don’t care, chances are, you do. Instead of turning a cold shoulder on a friend or loved one, admit that you are hurt. While you may not change their mind, you may find an unexpected compromise.

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      Courtney Gordner

      Courtney is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle 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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