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15 Amazing Strengths Of The Middle Child

15 Amazing Strengths Of The Middle Child

Are you a middle child? Having both a younger and an older sibling will shape you as a person, making you emotionally strong in ways you never expected. There are some amazing benefits to being the middle child, but you learn these over time.

Check out 15 strengths of middle children.

1. They Are Responsible

The oldest child made mistakes, the middle child watched the mistakes being made, and the youngest child was somewhere else, probably playing with toys. This taught the middle child to be responsible and not make the same mistakes – well, most of them, anyway.

2. They Are Good At Negotiation

The middle child learnt to negotiate with their parents and siblings, while the oldest demanded and the youngest whined. They grow into master negotiators, often able to get their own way.

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3. They Are Great Empathisers

After feeling overshadowed as a child, the middle child can always relate to an underdog. They will often go out of their way to cheer up someone who is feeling low.

4. They Make Good Leaders

Middle children spend a good chunk of their childhood in the middle of a screaming fight between their siblings, so they quickly figure out how to fix the problem and appease everyone, meaning they often make great leaders later in life.

5. They Are Focused On Fairness

Due to the injustices they have experienced – getting unfashionable hand-me downs and having to share all of their favorite toys, middle children really care about being fair and equal.

6. They Don’t Have Huge Egos

The order of birth means the middle child can have slightly lower self-esteem, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it is rare for a middle child to have a huge ego.

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7. They Are Often Easy Going

Middle children learn to go with the flow at a very young age, as they spent their childhood in the middle of their siblings’ battles. The battles seem kind of pointless now; they were mostly about which game to play or whether they would play inside or outside, but they helped shape the middle child as a person.

Middle children may seem indecisive, but they are normally just more relaxed and flexible than the average person.

8. They Are Willing To Rebel

Being the middle child often means you get less attention, so at some point most children in the middle will rebel, even if that rebellion is just dying a purple streak in their hair.

It is normally a harmless rebellion for some much-needed attention, but it teaches them to not fear being controversial, and to take chances later in life.

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9. They Are Independent

The middle child spends their whole childhood surrounded by siblings, and while they adore their siblings, they really appreciate any alone time they get. They don’t need people around them all of the time, and they understand the importance of solitude.

10. They Are Great With Children

The middle sibling helped to raise their younger sibling, even when they are just telling them to not actually eat the mud pie they just made. Because of this, middle children are often great around children – whether they like it or not.

11. They Avoid Conflict

After years of being in the middle of their sibling’s fights, middle children learn to avoid conflict. This means they are likely to be kind and generous, but don’t try to take advantage of them – they won a few fights with their siblings, too.

12. They Make Great Decisions

Middle siblings were old enough to be curious, as well as young enough to not know better. They have witnessed their older sibling’s errors, but enjoyed their younger sibling’s curious naivety at the same time.

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As they factor both mind-sets into their decision, they normally make pretty awesome decisions.

13. They Are Loved By Their Siblings

Being in the middle meant they had a lot in common with both of their siblings; they could play make believe with their youngest sibling, and they could watch TV shows with their oldest sibling. So the middle child is everyone’s favorite – secretly, of course.

14. They Are Patient

After spending years patiently waiting for their turn to play on the PlayStation/go on the swing/any other activity they had to do with their siblings, middle children have seriously mastered the art of patience.

15. They Are Creative

It took a lot of creativity and planning for the middle child to actually get a significant amount of attention from their parents. From taking a weird, interesting class to creating your own secret language, middle children were creative from the very beginning.

Can you think of anymore strengths a middle child has? Comment 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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