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15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

With age, your BFF becomes your most trusted and treasured friend. You not only appreciate each others similarities, but also each others differences. You know way too much about each other but love each other even more, and time has done nothing to put a dampener on your friendship; you’re both just as crazy, as silly and have just as much fun as ever. You don’t know what your life would be without them. From lost loves to lost jobs, you’re there for each other, and nothing or no one will taint that wonderful bond!

So here’s to BFF’s, and here’s to what makes you guys so great!

1.  You don’t have to be perfect

You're Perfect

    The best friend who takes you as you are, no questions asked, is the greatest! You don’t have to have everything together, or even know where you’re going to nab that first class buddy. They respect your journey, whatever that may be, and will happily travel alongside you. Travel companion for life!

    2.  You don’t have to walk on eggshells

    Overreaction

      Respecting your friend and being considerate of their feelings shows great love and care, but if you’re always having to tread carefully, afraid of their [over]reaction, or mind what you say lest you anger the beast, then you won’t be able to build anything real. Not only is this boring, but means you can’t be honest with each other and that’s a sure fire way to lead to a superficial friendship.

      3.   You don’t have to be identical

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      Differences and Similarities

        You don’t have to always agree or you may not always see eye to eye, but that’s actually a great thing. You love each other’s differences just as much as your similarities! Plus it’s the differences that keep things fun and interesting.

        4.  You have each others back

        Got your back

          When someone has wronged your bestie in any way, you’re right there, prepared to kick-ass! You know how great your best friend is so are prepared to take down anyone who fails to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Not to worry, they’re sure to see the light soon! And when all has been, ahem… taken care of, you’re right there to comfort your friend and remind them how wonderful they are!

          5.  You lift each other up

          You Lift Me Up

            The beauty of a true friendship is that no matter what is going on in each others life, no one feels superior to, or better than, the other. Instead you go out of your way to lift each other up. Thinking you’re better or superior to your friend is a sure way to kill any friendship. Regardless of what is going on in their life, they are still the awesome person you met all those many moons ago.

            6.  You can laugh about things

            Laughing

              One of the best ingredients for a long-lasting friendship is laughter. Not only will it help to keep both of you young, but it works to unite you over things that would’ve otherwise broken you. Being able to laugh off things shows you don’t take yourselves too seriously, you’re relaxed and comfortable in each others company, and are able to enjoy and deal with the downright craziness in this topsy-turvy world; all while sporting Cheshire cat grins!

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              7.  You become stronger during adversity

              Here for you

                When the load gets too heavy for you to carry, your BFF is right there! Through the good, bad and downright unfair, they are there for you! There’s no greater test of friendship than when someone is faced with unfortunate circumstances, or events that are complete back breakers. However, coming out of anything tough, with your best friend at your side, you guys will be unbreakable!

                8. Your family loves them

                Family

                  They are practically part of the family! Your siblings treat them like one of their own, and you’re almost certain that your parents like them better than you! But that’s okay with you. You wouldn’t change that bond for the world. Especially since your family pretty much hates everyone else!

                  9. You get each others weirdness

                  Weirdness

                    You both do weird-weird so well, it’s the norm for you. Others don’t seem to get you, and people are just freaked out by how weird you both are, that you often have to suppress the weirdness. But when you two get together, it’s all good! There, in your safe and weird environment you two get it all out. And you know what, being weird has never felt so awesome!

                    10. You know when something’s up

                    Something's Up

                      You’re best friend has gotten quite good at telling when you’re all out of sorts. It’s almost scary! They’ve sussed it out, and all the lying and covering up in the world does nothing to hide the reality that you aren’t yourself. So quit faking!

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                      11. You are genuinely happy for each other

                      Happy

                        You are each others biggest fan, and the ultimate cheerleaders when something amazing happens for either of you. You’re right there celebrating when they succeed, and they’re proudly telling others of your achievements and successes. Simply put, you’ve got being happy for one another down to a fine art.

                        12. They push you to be more, and to be better

                        Believe

                          They’re like a personal trainer: they want the best from you and believe you can do it! They’ll urge you on, push and pull you to be the best version of you they know you can be. Their belief in you is infectious. How can you not believe in yourself the way they do?

                          13. You are comfortable with silence

                          Comfortable Silence

                            You can be with each other in total silence and be having the time of your lives. To everyone else, you may look as though you’ve had some kind of falling out, but you both know it’s just because you’re so comfortable around each other, you have no need to fill otherwise uncomfortable silences with noise. Plus, this a great episode so…

                            14. Your lips are sealed

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                            Sealed

                              You know you can trust your BFF with anything, and it will go no further. They are a volt when it comes to those things you’ve shared with them, and you, too, are a safe haven for their… unmentionables. No amount of prying, prodding or trickery will get you to reveal the things you two talk about in confidence, so everyone might as well just stop asking.

                              15. You make time for each other

                              Getting Together

                                Work, studies and family commitments are just some of the things that take away from time spent with your BFF, but you try and make it a point to schedule some time to see each other as much as possible. Sure, you may talk daily, even for a few minutes, just so you can catch up, but when you do get together, it’s simply the best! You talk and laugh for hours, getting silly and reminiscing about the good times, whilst having the time of your lives.

                                And when you part, you’re reminded why they are, your BFF!

                                Featured photo credit: Grace and Frankie/Melissa Moseley for Netflix via blogs.indiewire.com

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                                Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

                                Writer, Poet, Marketer

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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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