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15 Things Happy Couples Talk About That Draw Them Closer Together

15 Things Happy Couples Talk About That Draw Them Closer Together

The more you get to know a person, the easier it becomes to run out of things to say. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to give your partner the silent treatment. Without intellectual stimulation, your relationship will quickly grow stagnant. If you’re in need of a new conversation starter, try out one of these fifteen things happy couples talk about.

1. They talk about vivid memories.

Are there any memories that you can recall so vividly that you feel like it was yesterday? It could be something funny like the time you got busted making out on a Ferris wheel, or something romantic – like your surprise trip to a bed and breakfast. Reminiscing about your greatest hits will help you remember why your relationship is so special.

2. They reminisce about their childhoods.

Snuggle up on the sofa with your partner and a photo album. Tell them a story about the photos that grab your attention (and don’t forget to ask them to do the same!).

3. They laugh at inside jokes.

Tell your partner about the silly little things that make you smile. An ability to make you laugh with nothing more than a glance. A pet name so adorable that it makes your friends groan. A tone of voice or physical attribute that sends your mind straight to a naughty place.

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4. They share their feelings.

It’s unfair to hold a grudge over an issue that you’re unwilling to discuss. Your partner doesn’t have psychic powers. Be upfront if you feel confused, neglected, or upset. Talking through your feelings will help you identify the root of the problem.

5. They deal with their problems.

If you’re a superhero, your partner is your trusted sidekick. Don’t be afraid to ask for their input when you face problems in your professional life. They might think of a brilliant solution that you never would have imagined by yourself.

6. They talk about their role models or heroes.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn’t just a fictional character in my mind. She is a personal hero whose story helped me through some difficult times when I was a teenager. If you want to learn something interesting, ask your partner about their role-models or pop culture heroes.

7. They tell stories about embarrassing situations.

Slip on a puddle and fall on your butt? Forget about it. Blurt out an awkward comment that makes you blush? Laugh it off. These little things aren’t worth your concern. Turn an awkward situation into a comedic moment by telling your partner a funny story about it.

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8. They discuss about difficult decisions.

Big decisions like choosing a honeymoon destination, how much to save for your retirement, and where to send your children to school should be discussed in depth. Don’t delay. Procrastinating will only make your life more stressful, since you’ll have less time to deliberate.

9. They debate on world events.

Healthy debates about world events will keep your mind sharp. It’s human nature to be stubborn, so I doubt you’ll change your mind. But you’ll come away with a better understanding of why your partner believes the things they do, helping you grow closer.

10. They discuss about the little things.

You don’t need an earth-shattering idea to start a conversation. All you have to do is observe something interesting, point it out, and ask your partner a related question. To test this theory, take your partner to the mall and see how many things you can observe. It’ll be fun!

11. They confess their struggles.

You’re not kidding anybody when you tell your partner, “Nothing is the matter.” There is nothing strong about choosing to fight your battles alone. Humble yourself. Ask for help (maybe just a hug?). A tight squeeze and listening ear can make any situation seem more bearable.

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12. They share their ambitions.

It’s unhealthy to become completely dependent on another person for your happiness. Tell your partner about the ambitions you have that don’t involve your relationship. You’ll be able to keep each other encouraged while you pursue the things that captivate your interest.

13. They give each other honest feedback.

Communication is often the difference between a successful relationship and a rotten one. Being able to provide direction to your partner about the things that turn you on (and off) during a romantic romp, for example, will make a big difference in the quality of your sex life.

14. They admit their shortcomings.

It is okay to make an honest mistake, but it’s not okay to pretend it didn’t happen. If you do something inconsiderate or hurtful, admit your fault. Don’t judge yourself, but do explain yourself. Address the character flaws responsible for the poor behavior to strengthen your relationship.

15. They talk about their future together.

Happy couples plan ahead so they don’t run into unpleasant surprises. If you don’t express how much you want to have a family, you could get attached to a person who has no interest in having children. Compatibility isn’t guaranteed to be a permanent thing. Periodically ask your partner detailed questions about their future to make sure you have a place in it.

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Happy couples communicate (that is the important part!). What would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments!

Featured photo credit: series. a love story. couple runs in the wheat field and smiling. summer. via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

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

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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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