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15 Traits Of A High-Quality Best Friend

15 Traits Of A High-Quality Best Friend

Friends – how many of us have them? I have a lot of contacts in my phone, but there are only a small handful of people I consider my friends. They’re the ones that stuck with me as I transitioned from corporate shill to antihero, the ones who picked up the phone when I lost everything and desperately grasped for normalcy. I don’t call anyone my bff unless they meet these criteria.

1. A best friend listens to you.

ron harry hermione bff lifehack versability
    …so I said, “Rectum? Damn near killed him!!!”

    It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve said the same asinine thing – a true best friend never tires of hearing your ridiculous stories. Your best friend is one who listens to your work gossip, even if he or she doesn’t understand it.

    2. A best friend always has your back.

    Lethal Weapon lifehack versability
      Stop, or my mom will shoot…

      Some people act friendly to you, but when the chips are down, they turn their back. A high-quality best friend is always there. If you walk into a Hell’s Angels clubhouse to explain motorcycles are for pussies, your best friend is waiting outside with the engine running.

      3. A best friend accepts you at your worst.

      ren stimpy lifehack versability
        It’s log – log. It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s wood. Log. Log. Better than bad; it’s good…

        Ever wonder if your friends are real? You’ll find out when you do something bad. Fake friends can’t deal with your vices, addictions or bad decisions. A real best friend loves you when you’re in the gutter with your middle finger in the air.

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        4. A best friend loves you.

        JD Turk lifehack versability
          I love you like a fat kid loves cake…

          I have to admit, I have a few bromances – they’re those guys I hug a little longer, make an uncomfortable amount of eye contact with at parties, and have licked for a variety of reasons. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for these people because they’re high-quality best friends.

          5. A best friend can talk about personal things.

          sheldon leonard friends lifehack
            Some secret handshakes are complicated; some are simplistic…

            The most substantial and sincere friendships you have are with people you can talk openly with about all your personal business. High-quality best friends can take a conversation from breakfast to work to your diarrhea without batting an eye.

            6. A best friend knows how to make you smile.

            will carlton bff lifehack versability
              It is unusual to see black folk living in such expensive digs…

              We all have certain triggers that make us smile or laugh. Friends have inside jokes – best friends reference those shared moments anytime you’re down to make sure you have a smile on your face.

              7. A best friend gives an honest opinion.

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              Tina Amy Lifehack Versability
                CAT FIGHT!!! 

                Any stranger can be polite – as a decent human being, you should be polite to people as a default setting. What makes a high-quality best friend is their authentic voice. They’ll tell you when you look a hot mess instead of smiling to your face and telling everyone else.

                8. A best friend sticks by your side.

                stan kyle bff lifehack versability
                  It’s a new world, Charlie Brown…

                  You’ll go through some crazy things in life. I’ve found people start to avoid you when you become too much of an inconvenience. Anyone who’s ever been through a major medical condition can tell you acquaintances sign a card, friends visit you in the hospital, and best friends sit with you while you sleep.

                  9. A best friend helps you even when he or she doesn’t agree.

                  Jay Silent Bob Lifehack Versability
                    Ride the pony, Bob…Ride it all night long…

                    Whistleblowing taught me a lot about relationships. A lot of my friends and family didn’t agree with my decision to butt heads with the man, especially in such a public manner. My high-quality best friends were the ones who accepted me and my life decisions, whether they agreed or not.

                    10. A best friend encourages you.

                    troy abed bff lifehack versability
                      Say it with your chest…

                      We have those people in our lives who want to outdo, outshine or down us. It’s OK to be competitive, but people who don’t have your best interests at heart aren’t your friends. An actual best friend encourages you in your endeavors.

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                      11. A best friend knows your secrets.

                      Cheech Chong BFF Versability Lifehack
                        I’ve seen bigger…

                        Co-workers, classmates and clients all have their places in our lives. We share time, space and experiences with these people. Your actual friends have been there when you’ve done things you don’t necessarily broadcast to the public. A solid best friend knows all your dirty little secrets, and keeps them that way.

                        12. A best friend traverses time and space.

                        bill ted lifehack versability

                          My president is black…soon Keanu Reeves will be in charge…

                          I spent the last week crashing on the couch of one of my high-quality best friends. We hadn’t seen each other in three years and talked maybe two or three times in that period. There are a lot of reasons for the original distance, and when I showed up on her doorstep, none of those reasons mattered; we hung out as though it was just yesterday we last saw each other.

                          13. A best friend is dependable.

                          Bert Ernie Lifehack Versabiliy
                            Bert…are we…more than just friends?

                            A high-quality best friend is one you can count on. My best friends know what they can expect from me, and I know what I can expect from them. We don’t cross each other’s boundaries, and we go out of our way to accommodate each other.

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                            14. A best friend never judges you.

                            Farley Spade Lifehack Versability
                              We lost the wrong one…

                              Everyone hates being judged when it’s bad, but we all judge people. A high-quality best friend already judged you a long time ago when you met, so they have no need to do it ever again.

                              15. A best friend celebrates your success.

                              Matt Damon Ben Affleck Friends Lifehack Versability

                                Sometimes I’m the Robin – sometimes Ben is…

                                One of these days, you’re going to succeed at something in life – that’s when the haters come out the woodworks. Some people you thought were your friends turn out not to be. Your high-quality best friends are the ones who celebrate with you, rather than let their envy get the best of them.

                                A friend bails you out of jail, but a best friend is in the cell next to you. Quality always comes before quantity, and in order to find quality best friends, you need to be a high-quality best friend yourself. Be the change you wish to see in the world, and go make quality friends.

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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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