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14 Things to Remember if You Love A Spontaneous Spirit

14 Things to Remember if You Love A Spontaneous Spirit

Exhilarating, isn’t it?

The energy of a spontaneous person can be wondrous. You wonder why they don’t collapse from fatigue. At the same time, you want to collapse from exhaustion just watching them. They can be dynamos.

Then, why are you so frustrated? Could it be their lack of organizational discipline? Could it be their ability to turn the most somber of places into a playground?

Your loved one is definitely a paradox. Be confused no longer.

Here are 14 things to remember about why the charms of a spontaneous spirit outweigh his or her idiosyncrasies.

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1. They are optimists.

They don’t take criticism to heart. They look at disappointments as learning experiences and plan on improving going forward.

2. They make their own fun

This does not entail prior planning. They know life may have other plans. Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, The best laid [plans] of mice and men often go awry. Spontaneous people know this better than anyone. For this reason, the ability to be flexible, to “roll with the punches,” is one of their many strengths.

3. They have a need for spontaneity.

They feed that need like a fix. The definition of spontaneity is the quality coming from natural feelings without constraint. The sooner you stop trying to constrain them, the easier you will make them feel understood and get along with them.

4. They are observant.

As a result, they are able to find fun in unusual situations. Their curiosity is an asset to them.

5. They enjoy spur-of-the-moment activities.

They don’t need expensive concert or theater tickets purchased ahead of time to have fun. They make their own fun. Besides, what if something else came up in the interim?

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6. They are flexible.

They know how to roll with the punches. Rigid people could take a lesson from them. According to writer Henry Miller, “All growth is a spontaneous unpremeditated act.”

7. They are not boring.

According to football coach Lou Holtz, “If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up with a burning desire to do things, then you don’t have enough goals.” Spontaneous people have a zeal that propels them. Articles are even written about how to be spontaneous and less boring. These qualities are viewed as polar opposites.

8. They don’t over analyze.

For this reason, they don’t get on people’s nerves for being too serious.

9. They are leaders.

People look to them for guidance. On a rainy day, on a scorching day, on any day with nothing to do, it is the person with spontaneity that group members look to. They know which friend will be able to show them ideas for a good time.

10. They are popular.

People want to be in their company. They might have an entourage full of groupies. Who wouldn’t want to be in the company of a flexible person who has good ideas when they want to have fun?

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11. They have high self-esteem.

They like themselves despite the naysayers and critics. They know they are not boring and rigid and can’t understand why anyone would find those qualities appealing.

12. They are creative.

They can find an opportunity for fun even in the most mundane. Could an empty box serve as a pretend stage and an empty paper-towel roll a pretend microphone? Absolutely. Oscar Wilde said, “Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.” Your spontaneous loved one is an artist, according to Wilde.

13. They are tomorrow’s stand-up comics.

If you need proof, just look in improvisation classes. You will find them there. Legendary comic genius Robin Williams became famous turning the mundane into the extraordinary. Comedian Steve Martin made a name for himself as a “wild and crazy guy”.

14. They are romantic.

Who wouldn’t want to be swept off their feet by someone who made them a last-minute late-night supper or surprised them for lunch or with flowers?

Are you ready to accept your loved one?

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Spontaneous people face disapproval they don’t understand. They have a reputation for not thinking things through and wanting a good time above meeting their responsibilities. As soon as people realize they’re spontaneous, this is how they get pegged.

It is important to realize that your loved one is not going through a phase; spontaneity is an attitude, a personality characteristic as much a part of them as their eye color.

Spontaneous spirits need understanding and acceptance, not criticism.

Spontaneous people are flexible. Can you be flexible? Are you ready to learn from their example and be open to the idea of accepting them for the endearing people they are?

Related post: 20 Things to Remember if You Love a Highly Creative Person

 

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via gratisography.com

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Janice Wald

Teacher, Author, Blogger, Freelance Writer

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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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