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15 Things People Who Have No Regrets Don’t Do

15 Things People Who Have No Regrets Don’t Do

Living with no regrets is freeing. It means not worrying and stressing over every little thing and, most importantly, it means that you don’t look back on something and wish it had gone another way. Living without regrets lets you live in the moment while remembering things that were positive in some way or another. In order to give up a life with regrets, follow these examples of 15 things people who live without regrets don’t do.

1. They don’t give up.

People who have no regrets don’t give up. “Try, try again” is a saying that they live by. Yes, there is a point at which you should recognize if something isn’t working out, but giving up after one try is something you might regret. Persevere and, even if things don’t work out, you at least won’t regret not trying harder for what you wanted.

2. They don’t avoid talking about things.

If something is bothering you, absolutely talk it out with whoever you’re having a problem. Make sure you’re kind and respectful, but don’t think that you need to just ignore a problem because you want to avoid confrontation. If you think you need to talk about something with someone, you should absolutely do it. You don’t want to look back and realize you lost your chance.

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3. They don’t stay home.

I love pajamas and Netflix just as much as the next person, but being a homebody might lead to some major regrets down the road. Whatever age you are now, you’ll never be that age again. You need to live your life to the fullest while you can.

4. They don’t wait for others to do something.

You don’t always have to wait for the other person to text you/apologize/invite you somewhere/call you/visit you. Relationships are a two-way street, so don’t wait around for others to make plans. Make them yourself! There’s nothing worse than feeling like you missed out on an experience simply because you didn’t take the initiative.

5. They don’t strive for perfection.

Perfection is not real. Repeat after me: perfection is not real. Memorize that phrase, write it on a sticky note and put it on your mirror, recite it daily. Strive for excellence in all that you do, but perfection is not something you should concern yourself with. Do your best and take pride in your work, but get that notion of perfection out of your brain.

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6. They don’t get caught up in drama.

Trust me, you will absolutely regret getting dragged into drama. It’s never fun and it never ends well for anyone involved. Just step away from the issue and be the bigger person.

7. They don’t avoid telling the truth.

Eventually, the guilt will make you regret telling that lie. Little white lies are fine, and sometimes necessary, but try to be honest and open with the people you talk to.

8. They don’t ignore their responsibilities.

While it can be nice to shirk on some of your less-than-exciting duties, people who live without regrets are able to do so by making sure they get everything done that needs to be done. This not only instills a sense of accomplishment, but also ensures that nothing goes wrong in the future. After all, responsibilities are important.

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9. They don’t stress out.

Stress can really take a toll on a person. In order to live without regrets, try to focus on the positives in life. Take things as they come and don’t get too overwhelmed.

10. They don’t skimp on their health.

Exercising and eating right are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. You definitely don’t want to regret living an unhealthy lifestyle, especially as it’s bound to catch up to you.

11. They don’t avoid people.

People who live without regrets are often very personable and friendly. This is because they realize that they only have so much time on this earth to meet people and engage with others. Try to talk to people, even if it’s just for a moment, and you’ll be happy you did.

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12. They don’t envy others.

Always look up to other people, but never let jealousy consume your life. It’s not worth your time.

13. They don’t forget the simple pleasures in life.

It can be easy to forget the simple things in life that we take for granted, but living without regrets for many people means stopping and learning to appreciate these things for what they are.

14. They don’t stray from their moral compass.

It’s very hard to avoid regret when you’re straying from your moral beliefs. Whatever they may be, you should stick to them to make sure you won’t make any decisions that might not be in your best interest.

15. They don’t say no too often.

The biggest thing about living without regret is learning when to say yes. Saying no too often leads to missed opportunities and missed connections with others. Learn to say yes to people and you’ll live a much happier life. You won’t look back and think you missed out on something if you make sure you say yes.

Featured photo credit: big mess/M via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on 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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