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13 Things You Can Do To Make An Introvert Feel Loved

13 Things You Can Do To Make An Introvert Feel Loved

Extroverts and introverts have different needs. Where extroverts are social creatures, introverts are most certainly not. Extroverts may love small talk, but introverts hate it. It is important to be mindful of these differences so we can treat people well and be sensitive to their needs and feelings. If you know an introvert, do these 13 things to make them feel loved and appreciated.

1. Let them unwind before you ask questions about their day.

If you’re dating an introvert and they don’t seem talkative, please be patient with them. Let your partner rest in silence for an hour or two before you ask about their day. They will be able to respond more thoughtfully after they recharge.

2. Consider their schedule before you make plans.

If your partner is an introvert, then she probably won’t want to go to the bar after a busy day. Don’t be offended if she turns down that invite. Instead, ask her if she would be interested in going out on the weekend – or whenever she happens to be off.

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3. Send them a meaningful email.

If you really want to get to know an introvert, send them an email. Introverts are bored by small talk, but love deep discussions. Most introverts are better writers than speakers. Thus, email trumps every other mode of communication for this personality type.

4. Ask for a table on the outskirts of a restaurant.

If you take an introvert to a packed restaurant, then they could feel uncomfortable due to all that stimulation. Avoid the center of a dining room. Ask the host or hostess if a window seat is available. Being away from the chaos will remove some pressure.

5. Slow down your speaking rate so they have time to process.

If you talk really fast, then you could accidentally overwhelm your introvert friends. Extroverts like to speak as thoughts occur to them. Introverts like to let a thought settle for a moment before they respond. Simply pausing for three seconds will give an introvert time to digest your sentences.

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6. Don’t call them “shy” or “antisocial.”

If you label introverts in this way, then you obviously don’t understand them. I’m an introvert who acts in community theater and there’s nothing shy about that! Most introverts love to meet people. It’s just that while extroverts enjoy small talk, introverts would rather discuss deeper issues in a more intimate setting.

7. Find out what they are passionate about.

If you think an introvert is boring, then you haven’t dug deep enough. Introverts can be profound when you get them talking about their passion or purpose. They might even care about something so intensely that they view everything else as a distraction. And yes, this could make them appear to be aloof at times too.

8. Get comfortable with moments of silence.

If you want to show an introvert you care, do it with silence. It is possible to enjoy the presence of another person without filling the air with meaningless words. Greet a friend with a smile and gentle hug. Get in the car, turn on the radio, and enjoy the music. It’s time to let go of your need for constant conversation.

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9. Be quiet during movies and television.

If you can’t resist commenting on every scene of a film, then you will drive introverts insane. Remember that they need silence to process information. Even if they seem quiet, their brain is busy formulating theories about where the story could be going. Save the commentary for after the movie. They will appreciate it.

10. Stop acting like something is “wrong.”

If you try to “fix” an introvert, then it will backfire. This especially occurs when extroverted parents assume something is wrong with their introverted children. They mistakenly label these kids “shy” without truly understanding them. Treating them like a project will only make them feel inferior. Accept them as they are.

11. Don’t leave them hanging at a social event.

If you abandon an introvert at a party, then they won’t be happy. You might be a social butterfly, but your introvert friend isn’t. It was scary enough for them to go to a crowded place where they don’t know anybody. If you leave them by themselves, they will feel highly intimidated, and maybe even go outside where it is less noisy.

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12. Do invite them to small group gatherings.

If you think introverts don’t like people, then you’re misunderstood. They might not feel comfortable at a big party, but they typically enjoy low-key gatherings that involve five or less people.This gives introverts opportunity to have deep conversations and make new connections without draining their energy as much as a big party would.

13. Explain how you perceive the world differently.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t think I forgot about you. It’s interesting how two people can experience the world so differently. Introverts love to listen, so why don’t you tell us all about it? We would both benefit if we learned from each other. Maybe it will be easier to work together in harmony when we have a better understanding of our differences.

Tell us what you would add to this list in the comments. I’m just one person, so it’s impossible to speak for all introverts. Will you help me out? Tell us what you would add to this list. If you’d like to invite your friends to the conversation, please share this article on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured photo credit: back view of lovely young couple hugging in winter via shutterstock.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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