Advertising
Advertising

15 Things Happy Couples Do Differently

15 Things Happy Couples Do Differently

Not all relationships are created equally. If you’d like to spice up your relationship with a dose of fun, consider the following 15 things happy couples do differently.

1. They care about each other’s day.

It is easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we forget all about our partners’. Before going off on a rant about what a stupid jerk your boss is, give your partner a hug or kiss and ask, “How was your day?”

2. They embrace trust and avoid jealousy.

Our schools and workplaces aren’t segregated by gender, so how could we expect a person to not have friends of the opposite gender? Recall the tried-and-true statement innocent until proven guilty. If you accuse your partner of cheating without cause, what incentive do they have to be faithful when they feel like you don’t trust them no matter what? 

Advertising

3. They find common ground.

That initial spark is a glorious thing but there’s no denying that it can be fleeting. To keep your relationship interesting, find common hobbies and interests to pursue. If you don’t have much in common, explore something that is new to both of you.

4. They compromise.

We can’t have everything we want. If your boyfriend took you to a romantic movie he wasn’t that into, snuggle up with him during Game Night to return the favor.

5. They listen.

Do you really listen to your partner or are you just waiting for your turn to speak? Let them finish their thoughts and paraphrase them to make sure you understand by saying something like, “If I’m hearing you right, you feel like ______. Is that right?”

Advertising

6. They deal with confrontation.

Fights are no fun but there is no point in delaying the inevitable. Putting off a confrontation will merely extend the duration (and unpleasantness) of an argument. If you did something wrong, damage control is best performed as fast as possible, so admit your wrong and explain yourself ASAP.

7. They help each other grow.

One of the most hurtful things in the world? When a person you love takes no interest in your personal hopes and dreams. If your partner is exploring an exciting job opportunity, support them. If your partner is training hard to become super fit, cheer them on. Be excited for your partner’s achievements as if they are your own.

8. They don’t hold grudges.

We are all human, and we all make mistakes. A bad day at work, nasty illness, or personal stress could make any of us say hurtful things we don’t really mean. As Marilyn Monroe said, “…if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Advertising

9. They express love.

“I love you” is a powerful expression that needs to be said daily. No matter how long you have been together, those three words will make your partner smile.

10. They compliment each other.

When is the last time you told your wife how sexy she looks in that red dress? Have you told your husband that he looks like a real stud in that super fine suit lately? Without the occasional compliment, it’s easy to feel unattractive and under-appreciated.

11. They flirt.

Flirting isn’t reserved for high-school teenagers or the early stage of your relationship: it should be a regular occurrence. When you have kids, sex might not be a regular event, but remember that everything is better when you have to wait for it. You could send a text detailing the things you plan to do to them this weekend or simply exclaim how hot they look today.

Advertising

12. They have inside jokes.

There should be things about your relationship that no one else “gets.” A sweet pet-name that everyone else thinks is icky. A ridiculous joke that no one else thinks is funny. An embarrassing story about a date-gone-wrong in your relationship’s early days. You get the idea.

13. They make time for each other.

No matter how busy you are, remember that your relationship is a priority. Just like a plant will rot without water, your relationship will grow stagnate without time together.

14. They value alone time.

This might sound strange since I just told you to make time for each other, but there can always be too much of a good thing. You should never be dependent on your partner for your happiness. Time alone will allow you to explore your own unique passions. A girls’ or guys’ night-out will give you a much-needed break from home life. The best way to grow sick of a person is to spend every waking moment with them. Maintain a little independence and your relationship will be stronger for it.

15. They do new things together.

A person can only do the same thing so many times before they get bored with it. If you go on the same date over and over again, you are setting yourself up for a moldy relationship devoid of fun. Go to a different restaurant that offers a delicious cuisine new to your taste-buds. Avoid the temptation to go to the same town or beach every year for vacation. It is a big world out there full of places to go and things to do. Life should be an exciting adventure, not a choreographed routine.

If you have any additional thoughts on things happy couples should do, please drop them in the comments!

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today How To Hustle: 10 Habits Of Highly Successful Hustlers 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day facebook addiction 5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next