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12 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learnt After A BreaK Up

12 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learnt After A BreaK Up

Breakup is hard, but its lessons are enlightening. That is the beauty of life – you always find a truth in paradox.

1. Actually, it’s not about them

It’s about us. Break up exposes lots of insecurities that have been residing inside us. Once you make an effort to tackle your inside babies, you actually realize breakup is all about us – not about them. It gives you scope for personal growth and makes you a lot stronger as an individual. However, never repeat the same mistakes again.

2. You lose in heart, but you gain in soul

Break up is devastating and heart wrenching. Nevertheless, like every failure – you may lose in heart, but you gain in soul. You will be much more convincing as an individual and learn to deal with the melancholy of life with dignity. It gives you enormous strength to face life, even if it hits you hard. After all, you survived a breakup.

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3. Breakup has a reason

We all know that every cloud has a silver lining; break up is not an exception too. As Steve Jobs said, you cannot connect the dots by seeing forward, you can only connect dots by seeing backwards. So trust in life’s timing, you’ll surely find answers for all the predicaments of your life. All you have to do is just to wait with hope to find answers.

4. Resentment is stupid

Nothing is more dangerous than your unguarded thoughts. Resentment is common but if you let that occupy your consciousness – the result will be too horrible even to imagine. The heart with resentment that had been the victim of unrequited love is the reason behind most crimes. So be cautious of your thoughts. Invest in yourself and believe that, if it is not mutual – it is not love.

5. “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Thanks to Maya Angelou. You might have ignored what your partner has said, just to convince you enough to be in “love”. So, when people show you who they are, believe them. It saves a lot of time and aggravation. If you pay attention to someone’s actions, and not their words, you will see the real person. I’ve learned this lesson in a hard way but you don’t have to after reading this.

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6. I just loved the idea of being in love

I love being in love even when I’m not actually in love. I was craving for a secured person to fill up my empty heart by looking for love in all the wrong places. Mere attention, mixed signals would be enough for me to fall in love because I love being in “love”. Few breakups led me to realize this drawback. So withdraw from the temptation of being in love; if you are alone, it doesn’t mean you are ready for a relationship. Love yourself first – then give your heart to someone else.

7. There is life outside love

You might have set aside all the beauty of life chasing love. I’m not denying the importance of love but chasing at the expense of life will leave you clueless. Do not ever frantically search for love to make your life complete. First, live life consciously – love comes to you on its own and makes your life complete.

8. Blaming is immature

Blaming is a coping mechanism to feel better about ourselves to the extent of masking reality. Do not blame, your partner has taken the choice – accept it. Being responsible for the happenings is scary but being responsible is also a power that steers you towards enlightenment and thorough understanding of your inner self. So stop blaming and start taking the responsibility for your own good.

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9. Forgiving is strength

We all would love to show our greatness to our ex and make them lament over leaving us. I’ve passed this phase too. My question is, “Why?” Simply forgive them and move on, it’s a sign of strength. Forgiving is strength. Not everyone can forgive, it requires lots of courage and maturity to grow beyond silly manifestations of greatness. Trust me – you gain everything by forgiving them.

10. Never go back to your ex

Surviving a breakup is hard. We sometimes tend to feel so low that we call up our ex and share our feelings. However, do not do that – your ex is your ex for a reason and you should never want to poke the past expecting to ignite the flame of love again. It simply doesn’t happen. Moreover, it tells you a lot about you and your insecurities; clinging to the love that is unrequited makes you bitter. Remember you create your own reality.

11. Lessons learnt should be kept

Whenever life teaches us lessons, we tend to ignore them and repeat the patterns in our next encounters. The truth is, life goes on teaching you the same lesson if you repeat the same mistake. So keep the lessons and never repeat the mistake twice. If you do so, people consider your repeated mistakes as your behaviour and you will never move forward.

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12. None of these lessons would be learnt without a breakup

Break up is actually a blessing, its just a conspiracy of the universe to lead you to your soul mate. So, happy breakups folks till you find the One.

Featured photo credit: Tanner Almon via flickr.com

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KAMAL SUCHARAN BURRI

Founding Director, Newlight Cinemas

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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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