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15 Great Things You Know If You Have An Older Sister

15 Great Things You Know If You Have An Older Sister

Sometimes she annoys you. Sometimes she is overprotective. But for nothing in this world would you give her away. An older sister is precious and people who have an older sister know following15 great things.

1. She is your personal life adviser

Whenever things get tough, you can always turn to your older sister for a glass of something strong and a heart-to-heart. From your first boyfriend to how to pay taxes, your older sister often seems like an infinitely wise guru who you can turn to when you don’t know what to do.

2. You’re used to being second in command during play time

When it came to playtime, your older sister was always in control of the games. She played the parent and you played the child, or she played the teacher and you played the student.

Basically she was completely in charge, but it was totally worth it, because she came up with the best games.

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3. Your older sister made the decisions

Now you’re a grown adult, and you probably make all of your own choices, but it wasn’t always this way. As a child you were always the assistant to your older sister’s pranks and food experiments – and it was awesome. Leading on to…

4. Your older sister was always responsible

Even when you did join your sister in one of her zany food experiments, you didn’t have to worry about getting in too much trouble. After all, she was the older one – she should have known better than sweet, naive you. Older sisters all around the world, we thank you.

5. You know the pain of sharing a bedroom

Most people with older sisters understand the struggles of sharing a room with one. The lack of room, the mess, no privacy. But it’s all worth it for the times the two of you stayed up late giggling while your parents thought you were sleeping.

6. She knows how crazy your family is

Everyone’s family is a little crazy, but there aren’t many people with whom you can have a good moan about them. You might have the right to call your dad irrational, but none of your friends do. The only person who can really relate to the madness of your family is your older sister, so vent as much as you want.

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7. She is always honest with you

If you’re wearing anything that doesn’t suit you, the first person to let you know is your older sister. Sometimes it hurts at the time, but you’re eternally grateful to have someone totally honest in your life. She has your best interests at heart – which is why she told you to never wear light-up trainers again.

8. She made school easier for you

Starting high school is a daunting experience for even the bravest people, but having an older sister really helps to soften the blow. Before you started, she gave you the low down on the teachers you would have, and where to get lunch. More importantly, you spent years hearing “Is so-and-so your older sister?”, helping you to make friends and seem (slightly) cooler.

9. She prepared your parents for you

Late nights, drinking, smoking, bad grades, bringing around your first partner – she did it all first. So if/when you had to go through the same stuff, it didn’t even faze your parents. Throwing up in the toilet after your first heavy night drinking? Pssh, it’s fine, your sister threw up in the bathtub when she did it.

10. You always have someone to borrow from

Whether you need clothes for a night out, money for rent or food so you don’t starve, your older sister will help you out in this area. She is more reliable than a friend and less judgmental than a parent, making her the perfect person to borrow from. Respect the rules, though, and return anything you borrow to avoid a (possibly painful) sibling fight.

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11. Someone always has your back

Even though your sister can be honest to a slightly painful point, she always has your back. She might insult you, but if your boss/partner/best friend insults you, they will have to deal with the wrath of your sister.

12. She is someone you aspire to be

As a child, you aspired to be as cool as your older sister – and she taught you everything you knew, from making mud pies to teaching you how to style your hair. As an adult you still admire her strength, personality and kindness – you’ve just figured out your own style.

13. What’s hers is yours

Whether it was toys, clothes, make-up or a car, you always had someone else’s stuff to uses. She gave you lifts before you could drive, and lends you clothes for nights out. With an older sister, you basically have double the stuff… although she may not see it that way.

14. She toughened you up

Every time she stole the remote, confessed your crimes to your parents or fought with you over your favorite toy, she was toughening you up for being an adult. At the time you probably felt like you hated her, but she helped shape who you are as a person.

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15. She is the best friend you ever had

No matter what, your sister has always had your back in times of need. No one quite compares to an older sister. You have been friends for as long as you can remember. From being eight to eighty, she will always be there for you.

Featured photo credit: chelsea chen via flickr.com

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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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