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13 Quotes About Love That Reveal the Meaning of True Friendship

13 Quotes About Love That Reveal the Meaning of True Friendship

No one cares how many Facebook friends you have. The quantity of your friendships will never make you happy. What’s the point of being connected to a bunch of people you don’t trust? These 13 quotes about love will help you understand the meaning of true friendship.

1. “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

A true friendship cannot blossom in the presence of judgement. If you are afraid to tell a person you love anything about your past, then you should consider whether they belong in your life.

2. “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ― André Gide

A true friendship cannot be built on a foundation of lies. Concealing the truth to convince people to like you reflects a lack of self-confidence in who you are. Why should you care about pleasing people who will never accept you?

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3. “There are all types of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

A true friendship cannot be special if it is a mirror image of another. Expecting a new person to replace an old friend is a foolish endeavor that will only result in disappointment.

4. “Love is someone showing you the beauty in things you’ve never noticed before…things in yourself mostly.” ― Mama Zara

A true friendship cannot survive an atmosphere of negativity. While a true friend shouldn’t be afraid to be brutally honest, they should also be a positive influence that inspires you to be better.

5. “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” ― James Baldwin

A true friendship cannot thrive without total transparency. If you can’t reveal secrets without fear of being scolded, then why should you bother spending time with that person?

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6. “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.” ― George Eliot

A true friendship cannot flourish without words of encouragement. People who don’t appreciate you don’t deserve you. When there is an imbalance in kindness between two halves of a relationship, it is time to have a difficult conversation.

7. “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe

A true friendship cannot be sustained if you are unable to forgive the faults of another. A person who hurts you continuously without regret shouldn’t be trusted, but we are all human and make mistakes, so forgiveness should be granted (without any guilt attached!) as long as an apology is presented.

8. “I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.” ― Jay-Z

A true friendship cannot exist without an ability to confront your shortcomings. Before you assume a person is being cold for no reason, perform an honest assessment of how you are behaving. Most people don’t shut down emotionally unless they have a good reason.

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9. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu

A true friendship cannot strengthen you without a readiness to return the emotional investment. Love is a gift that must be given equally between both parties in a relationship.

10. “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ― Mother Teresa

A true friendship cannot be found if you expect all people to mistreat you. A frown is a visual cue that you aren’t interested in meeting others, while a smile is an open invitation for people to approach you.

11. “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’” ― Erich Fromm

A true friendship cannot be all about you. Viewing a friend as if they are a part of your existence, without considering that they have a life beyond you, reflects a self-centered worldview. Just because a person doesn’t want to hang out with you doesn’t mean they don’t like you; maybe they worked all day and need some time alone to relax and recharge.

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12. “The best thing to hold on to in life is each other.” ― Audrey Hepburn

A true friendship cannot serve you if you don’t seek support when you need it. Being vulnerable will help you relieve the burden you carry, and a single hug is often more soothing than a thousand words.

13. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” ― William Shakespeare

A true friendship cannot be gifted to everybody you meet. While it is good to love people without question, it is silly to believe all people will care about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to open up, but protect yourself from betrayal by only revealing your deepest and darkest secrets to true friends worth having.

Featured photo credit: with love always/Beverley Goodwin via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at 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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