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19 Things Highly Sensitive People Do Differently

19 Things Highly Sensitive People Do Differently

I’m what you would call a highly sensitive person. I cry at the drop of a hat and I can’t even watch movies that focus on animals “in case they get upset at some point.” Don’t even get me started if the animal dies; I’ll go into a meltdown for about a week. Maybe that’s more about me being a Crazy Person than sensitive.

When it comes to being sensitive, it isn’t all bad. There are even some significant benefits. You have to take the bad with the good, and either way it becomes obvious that there are a lot of things that highly sensitive people do differently.

1. They Feel More Deeply

This is simple and self-explanatory. They simply feel things more deeply than some other people.

2. They Cry Easier

The downside to the above is that they’re also more likely to cry easily.

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3. They React With Their Emotions

Someone who feels deeply and cries easily is naturally also more likely to think with their emotions. Even those who are incredibly capable of utilising logic and reasoning may have an initial instinct to go with how they feel.

4. It Can Take Longer For Them to Make Decisions

Those who are acutely aware of the way they make choices may take longer to eventually come to a decision. This is most likely due to the above; they’re weighing up their emotions with logic.

5. They Can Get Upset Over a Poor or Wrong Decisions

Because highly sensitive people tend to be intuitive (more on that later), they can get incredibly upset if they make a bad decision or poor choice. As people who feel things more deeply, this is hardly surprising.

6. They Are More Prone to Anxiety and Depression

One of the biggest downsides to being highly sensitive is the higher likelihood of having a predisposition for anxiety and depression. Although these can also be hereditary, feeling things deeper and stronger than others means that these illnesses are all the more likely to occur. If you feel like you’re suffering from either, make sure you talk to someone and seek professional advice.

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7. They Can Be More Detail Orientated

Highly sensitive people are generally quite aware of their surroundings and thus notice fine details.

8. They’re People Magnets

People tend to be drawn to those who are sensitive, as they tend to have a kind of draw power, whether they wish to or not.

9. They’re Listening Magnets

People also tend to want to talk to highly sensitive people about their problems. Perhaps its the aforementioned intuition or the fact that they are so in tune with how people feel.

10. They’re Advice Dispensary Magnets

Listening tends to go hand in hand with advice. Again, highly sensitive people are so in tune with others, observant and empathetic that they’re the perfect people to offer life advice.

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11. Animals are Drawn to Them

Animals also seems to be drawn to sensitive people. They can sense love and empathy and are thus drawn to the people who care deeply about all creatures; they will love and look after them better than anyone else.

12. They’re More Intuitive

As previously mentioned, highly sensitive people seem to have a predisposition for intuitiveness. Particularly if they’re aware of it; they can sense when something is awry with someone and can see problems coming in relationships before anyone else can. The slightest look or seemingly unimportant comment can enable them to predict the outcome of a situation.

13. They Can Read People

Being more intuitive means that highly sensitive people can also read people far easier than most. This means that it’s difficult to lie to them because they’ll see right through it. This skill can also be quite handy during poker.

14. They Can Sense and Feel the Pain of Others

Because of their intuitiveness, empathy and attention to details, they can also feel the pain of others. Not literally of course, but they care deeply when someone (especially if they’re close to them) is hurt or upset. If a sensitive person ever says “I know how you feel”, they probably truly do.

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15. They Love Passionately

Highly sensitive people will love with every fiber of their beings. Whether it’s familial or friend related emotions, they will love those closest to them for life. When it comes to romance, they will love profoundly. particularly when it comes to their chosen life partner. The downside to this is that they take loss particularly hard.

16. They Can Also Hate Passionately

It isn’t all sweet-smelling roses though. Although it’s an ugly word, highly sensitive people also have the ability to hate, or at least dislike passionately, too. If you hurt, offend or betray one of these people they will feel it deeply and are not likely to forget, even if they do eventually forgive.

17. The Problems in the World Profoundly Affect Them

Highly sensitive people will be more likely to take note of the problems in the world and take them to heart. They will truly worry and care about world issues and may even go so far as to get involved in organisations or protests in order to help.

18. They’re More Spiritual

This doesn’t necessarily mean that sensitive people are likely to be more religious; quite the contrary. Instead of following mainstream religions, highly sensitive people tend to be spiritual in terms of their relationship with themselves, those around them and the world. It’s more this reason that these kinds of sensitive people will lean more towards Buddhism or Wicca if they choose to follow a particular religion.

19. They’re in Tune With Their Bodies

Sensitive people tend to listen to their bodies more and are aware if something is wrong or off balance. It’s for this reason that many sensitive people turn towards spiritual exercises such as yoga and tai chi as they get older; these pursuits teach them how to be even more in tune with their bodies, as well as how to keep them fit and healthy. These kinds of sensitive people are also more likely to abide by a ‘clean eating’ lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: Sensitive via allthingshealing.com

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips 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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