Advertising
Advertising

15 Ways to Rebuild a Broken Relationship

15 Ways to Rebuild a Broken Relationship

Despite what people tell you, burning bridges is a great way to keep pace in the rat race – dancing in the flames of a burnt bridge is great motivation to work faster and keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to go back and rebuild a broken bridge for the sake of the better good. Here are a few ways to rebuild a broken relationship.

1. Initiate a Friendly and Polite Dialogue.

When you initiate a conversation, a simple “Hi” or quick invite is enough. Just the fact that you sent them a message may be enough, but, depending on how they’ve blocked you, you may need to also mention who you are. This is all that needs to be said, and do not say anything else (or send more than one total message) until he or she responds, or you will come off as annoying.

2. Be Clear About Your Intentions.

Once there’s a dialogue open, utilize it for what it’s worth; be open, up front, and honest about what you want. This will signal to the other party that you respect him or her and help rebuild the trust that was previously broken. Never expect anyone to read your mind, because the fact of the matter is, nobody can, no matter how much you focus on transmitting thoughts.

Advertising

3. Love is All You Need.

The reason you’re rebuilding a broken relationship is because you either need something or care about the person. Even if you need something, focus on the other person, not what you want. If you show that you care about him or her, he or she will be more receptive to helping you.

4. Build a Bridge, and Get Over It.

Drop whatever issues you used to have in the past – it’s not the past anymore. You can discuss the issues you had in your previous attempt at a relationship, but dwelling will only make things worse. Bridge the gap between the two of you, and get over your rift with a quickness.

5. Be Honest (In a Nice Way).

Always be honest, even when you disagree. Deceit may not have broken your relationship, but it’s certainly not going to fix it. Just make sure you’re neither defensive nor offensive, and if you can’t keep it civil, shut up.

Advertising

6. Brainstorming

Involve the other person in your attempts to rebuild your relationship. If he or she is talking, he or she is at least interested in hearing what you have to say, put the onus on them and ask for their contribution.

7. Release Control.

Always remember to detach yourself from the results in life. If you put all your eggs into this person’s basket, his or her rejection will shatter you. Instead, define yourself and how you react, but don’t expect your ideal result.

8. Apologize.

There are few conflicts in life that can’t be resolved with an apology. At the very least, it’ll give you an opportunity to forgive yourself and move on, even if the other party isn’t interested.

Advertising

9. Take Responsibility.

Always accept responsibility, even if you don’t believe you were at fault. The other person clearly believes you are, and accepting responsibility will help you bridge the gap between your perceptions.

10. Avoid Pushing Buttons.

Remember that both you and the other party have animosity toward each other (or at least used to). You know there are certain triggers that get to that person – be an adult and avoid pushing those buttons, no matter how badly you’re tempted.

11. Think Positive.

It’s always a good idea to think positive in life. Even if things don’t work out, you can think positively about the next experience. Keep looking forward, and you’ll exude confidence, which is attractive to other people. This will draw the other person to wonder why he or she doesn’t have a relationship with you.

Advertising

12. Be Genuine.

Always be the real you, no matter what happens. You’d rather fail your way than succeed as someone else. Don’t bother pretending to be what the other person wants – it’s not a competition, and you’d be surprised at how much honesty will open doors for you in life.

13. Enforce Your Boundaries.

You have personal boundaries, and you’re going out of your way to not overstep other peoples’ boundaries so you deserve respect as well. Be sure to politely and gently remind the other person whenever they’ve overstepped a boundary you established. But be sure it’s one you’ve both acknowledged exists so you’re not falsely accusing anyone of crossing a line he or she didn’t know was there.

14. Keep Steering the Conversation.

No matter where the conversation goes, try to keep it moving toward your goals. If the conversation is going well, invite the other party to another conversation or meeting in the future. Otherwise, ask him or her for whatever it was you contacted him or her for in the first place.

15. Sometimes You Have to Let Go.

Despite your best intentions, there’s a chance the other person simply doesn’t want to reconnect. If he or she doesn’t respond or seem aggressive, forget about it. There are billions of people in the world, and there’s absolutely no reason to waste your time on one who doesn’t like you.

Rebuilding a broken relationship is difficult – both parties have to face the animosity and distrust that drove you apart in the first place. If you’re looking to rebuild a broken relationship from your past, reconnect with the person through text, email, or online. If he or she responds, there may be interest. If not, you have the closure you need to move on.

More by this author

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods 20 Awesome Screensavers that Make your Desktop Delightful

Trending in Communication

1 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 2 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 3 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 4 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 5 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About

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