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12 Things Only People Living Alone Would Understand

12 Things Only People Living Alone Would Understand

1. You Can Be As Clean (Or As Messy) As You Want

Most people have experienced living with someone who is either extremely tidy or untidy, often resulting in silent battles and feelings of resentment. Living alone means you can keep your home as clean or as messy as you like, without ever feeling guilty. If you want to leave a bowl of food out for a week, you can. If you want to wash your curtains every other day, you can. This is your home, and you get to decide how clean it is!

2. How Much Fun You Have Alone

Even though spending time with your friends is a lot of fun, sometimes spending time alone can be just as awesome.  You can choose everything, from the television show, to the snacks and the drinks. Or you could read. Or you could bake – either way, the choice is yours!

3. Sometimes You Don’t Wake Up On Time, Because There Isn’t Anyone To Make You Get Up

When you live alone you have to rely on yourself completely, which is extra hard when it comes to getting out of bed. When you live with other people, they can often help to (forcefully) motivate you to get out of bed. Now you live alone? You could sleep for 30 hours without anyone worrying – except your boss.

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4. Clothing Isn’t Essential

Once you are through the door, clothing becomes optional. Nudity is always more comfortable, and you can barely remember risky naked runs to the bathroom from back when you lived with other people. Avoid the windows and enjoy your freedom!

5. The Tired Feeling You Get When You Think About Cleaning

Most people understand the concept of tidying up, but you became a cleaning expert when you started living alone. Everything repeatedly needs cleaning, from the taps, to the oven, to your clothes – and you have to do it all yourself. However, you never have to clean up anyone else’s mess, for which you are eternally grateful.

6. All Of The Food In The Fridge Belongs To You

One of the main problems with sharing your home is having to also share your fridge and cupboard space. But if you live alone, all of the delicious food in the fridge belongs to you – and you no longer live with the fear that your housemates will eat some of it while you’re not looking. That bag of mozzarella? Safe from prying hands.

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7. Being Ill Is Somehow Much Worse

Living alone has lots of benefits when you’re not sick, but it can be a lot harder when you’re ill. You have to make your own hot drinks and soup, and there isn’t anyone who you can vent to. Although it feels very lonely at the time, when you’re better you feel proud that you can look after yourself. If you’re feeling particularly sorry for yourself, try making yourself this quick and easy chicken soup.

8. If You Forget To Pay For The Internet, You Won’t Get The Internet

One of the best parts of living alone is not having to rely on anyone – until it comes to bills. Living alone means if you forget to pay the bills, things start getting cut off. Thankfully, the fear of not being able to shower means you actually become great at keeping track of payment deadlines.

9. Talking To Yourself Is Totally Normal

Before you lived alone you rarely spoke to yourself, but now it is a daily routine. You’re happy to talk to yourself, or a spider, or your washing machine – anyone who will listen. There is never any fighting, and you agree with everything you say. Ideal!

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10. Sometimes, You Miss Your Housemates Or Families

Even though you love your independence and freedom, you often find yourself missing snuggling up on the sofa with your family. One part of you loves having control of the remote (and the interior design), and one part of you misses the good-natured playing with your family. Oh, the conflict!

11. You Can Do (Nearly) Anything    

During the time people live alone they often learn lots of new household skills. During your time living alone you may have learned how to repair broken appliances, or how to decorate a room. Toilet won’t flush? You know how to deal with that. Lightbulb needs changing? You could do it in your sleep! Living alone often teaches you useful life skills, while making you more self-reliant.

12. If You Don’t Make Dinner, You Go Hungry

One of the more challenging parts of living alone is having to cook every meal for yourself. While this often starts with burnt food in the bin and a chocolate bar in your hand, it eventually progresses to you learning how to cook some tasty dishes. Now you can cook whatever you want for tea, and the feeling of independence is nearly as good as the food.

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Can you think of anything else that you experienced while living alone? Comment with your ideas below!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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