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15 Things You Don’t Need To Apologize For (Though You Think You Do)

15 Things You Don’t Need To Apologize For (Though You Think You Do)

Often, we apologize because we worry too much about what other people think, or because we put their feelings above our own needs. There are many situations where an apology is unnecessary.

Here are 15 things you should never apologize for, even if you think you should.

1. You Should Never Apologize for Loving Someone

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    Celebrate the fact that you are able to love. There are many people in the world too scared to take a chance on love in the first place. It doesn’t matter who you love or if they love you back. The fact that you can love is what’s important.

    2. You Should Never Apologize for Saying No

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      Respecting your own limitations is a sign of self respect. If you cannot give 100 percent to something you should never apologize for saying no. The ability to say no is a sign of a good leader.

      3. You Should Never Apologize for Following a Dream

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        A life lived with regret is yours to miss. Never apologize for following a dream because that dream makes you who you are. You will never fulfill happiness unless you live your dreams instead of dreaming your life.

        4. You Should Never Apologize for Taking “Me” Time

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          You will never be successful and fulfill your happiness unless you first take care of yourself. Always take care of your own needs and take “me time” to do things that make you happy.

          5. You Should Never Apologize for Your Priorities

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            Never allow anyone to make you feel guilty over your priorities. Always take care of your own priorities first. If it’s important to you then it is important. The people who matter will respect your choice.

            6. You Should Never Apologize for Ending a Toxic Relationship

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              You should never say that you are sorry for letting go of someone who hurts you. Understanding an unhealthy relationship holds you back from reaching your full potential is a huge step forward. Be proud and surround yourself with people who celebrate your courage.

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              7. You Should Never Apologize for Your Imperfections

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                Imperfections are what makes you beautiful and unique. They should be embraced. Never say you’re sorry for a quality that makes you imperfectly perfect.

                8. You Should Never Apologize for Standing your Ground

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                  Never say you are sorry for defending your values, morals, ethics,religious or spiritual beliefs. Leaders never apologize for doing what they feel is right.

                  9. You Should Never Apologize for Not Knowing the Answer

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                    The constant quest for knowledge keeps our brains young. Never say you’re sorry when presented with an opportunity to learn.  Being able to admit you do not know is a sign of strength and humility.

                    10. You Should Never Apologize for High Expectations

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                      Never apologize for expecting the same of others as you expect of yourself. Having high expectations only means that you care enough about others to push them to be their best.

                      11. You Should Never Apologize for Spending Money on Yourself

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                        Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. Buying yourself something nice improves your self esteem. Happy and successful people know their own desires are important to a fulfilling life.

                        12. You Should Never Apologize for Someone Else

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                          Everyone is responsible for their own actions and behavior. You do not need to apologize for something someone else did even if you feel their actions reflect upon you through association.

                          13. You Should Never Apologize for Bad Dancing

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                            Never say you’re sorry for not knowing a dance, or dancing it badly. Just dance! The joy dancing brings is worth any embarrassment.

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                            14. You Should Never Apologize for a Delay in Your Response

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                              Successful people understand that prioritizing sometimes means a delay in responding to emails and phone calls. Never apologize for not putting someone’s email or text on a back burner while you take care of more important things.

                              15. You Should Never Apologize for Telling the Truth

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                                Strong people tell the truth. Never apologize for being strong. Even if the truth hurts, the benefits of honesty far outweigh the initial sting of the truth.

                                Be true to who you are and don’t worry about what other people think. Over apologizing or saying I’m sorry when it’s not necessary reduces self-esteem over time. Save “I’m sorry” for when you actually make a mistake.

                                Do you over apologize? Share your experience in the comments below. We all learn from each other.

                                Featured photo credit: by Justin Brown via flickr.com

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                                Missy Yost

                                Missy is a business owner and writes about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                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

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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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