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25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people can often be seen as weak, but that’s not the case. More often than not, they are stronger than the average human being, and have the capability of letting their protective walls down when building personal and professional relationships. Developing a relationship with someone who is highly sensitive can help you become more in touch with your own feelings  as well as help you see life’s messages that you may be missing. It may take patience to understand the inner thoughts of a highly sensitive person however you should feel honored that they are choosing you to be a part of their life.

1. They think with their heart

They follow their heart’s desire with ease when it comes to thinking ideas through. However, this can become a problem when they leap off the deep end without considering the logistics of a situation.  

2. They talk everything out

They need to express their thoughts and feelings freely about everything, in order to feel heard and appreciated. Ironically, highly sensitive people can sometimes have a hard time listening to advice from others due to their sensitivity to words, and can often be offended if the wrong words are used during conversation.

3. They don’t rush through life

They know how to enjoy life’s moments by taking their time with everything they do. The pressure they may sometimes feel from others to hurry along, only adds stress on the relationship at hand, and not the trust that they require. Highly sensitive people enjoy taking in the scenery, and strive to keep stress to a minimum.  

4. They appreciate time alone

With being so sensitive, it’s important for highly sensitive people to have time alone to decompress. Its amazing how quickly they can absorb any and all negative energy from the people in which surround them.  

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5. They strive to only do good

They truly want to do great things in this world and put their whole hearts into whatever it is that they are doing. However, they are easily discouraged when the great things they are working on don’t shape up as they had envisioned. Such as an unappreciated homemade gift, and/or gestures.  

6. They pay attention to details

They can sometimes over think details to a point of driving everyone around them mad, but their observations usually payoff greatly. They naturally pay attention to the body language and emotions of everyone and everything around them. From nature, to animals, and people, they can predict something is not on point before it’s even been revealed. Such as someone lying about something, a sickness someone may be carrying, a pregnancy, a job promotion, or even a natural disaster!  

7. They can give great advice

People who are highly sensitive are great at analyzing situations and offering up the best advice. They love feeling needed and can struggle when that great advise that they had given is not put to good use.  

8. They display a tough exterior

Sensitive people tend to display a strong exterior with a stiff upper lip, and can be unknowingly mad at you for months. They may be hurt by something extremely small that you did or said, and will sometimes hold onto it to instead of expressing it, to avoid jeopardizing the chance of hurting you back. They recognize that it’s something they need to work on because of their high sensitivity, not something for you to deal with.  

9. They know their worth

Sensitive people know when they are not being valued, and have the strength to walk away from any toxic situation. Others may not understand their reasoning looking at the whole picture, but the build up of bad habits in any given relationship will have them naturally walking away in search for greener pastures.  

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10. They are well mannered and polite

You can pretty much always expect a highly sensitive person to be aware of their surrounds by showcasing their expert manners. In return, they expect the same politeness and well-mannered behaviors from others, and may see you as rude if you don’t.  

11. They are passionate

Whether it’s with their family, their friends, their love interest, or even their career, passion never falls short in their day-to-day lives. Sometimes if the energy is not reciprocated back to them, they can be become hard on the people they are putting so much energy into. With their passionate personalities on the line, they thrive on appreciation from others.

12. They are spiritual

They believe in karma and how everything happens for a reason. They believe that the universe works in a particular way to always make full circle. They like to live a life in harmony, even though they tend to struggle to find it internally. Highly sensitive people are likely to try activities such as meditation and yoga, at least once in their life, in search for that higher connection with their body and mind.  

13. They have strong intuitions

They usually know something is going to happen before hand. Sometimes this may initially come across as if they are accusing or blaming, when in fact they just want to express and advise others of what they are feel may happen, and soon.  

14. They trust their body

When making big life decisions like signing a legal binding contract, their body may alarm them that something is not right. To some this may seem frustrating, but they have learned from experience to trust their body when something doesn’t feel right.

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15. They are empathic towards others

They can always put the shoe on the other foot, and understand what it must be like for someone else to go through certain struggles in life. This habit really plays a role when there’s an argument at hand, because it doesn’t take highly sensitive people long to see their self inside of someone else’s problem and instantly want to help or lend a hand. However, they sense too often that people do not replicate this emotion, which can sometimes reactive their initial anger.

16. They are compassionate towards others

They can truly hold concern for other people when they see others in a difficult situation. A highly sensitive person doesn’t need to know the person in harms way on a personal level, but can instantly feel compassion for the child who just fell off their bike, the shop owner who was just robbed, or even the character from a movie who just had their heart broken.  

17. They put others before themselves

They sometimes get so wrapped up in the needs of other people, they can forget about their self. However, it’s a hard pill for them to swallow when they feel unappreciated for their effort and time. Not that they only help others for recognition, but a simple, “Thank you” will keep a highly sensitive person pleased.  

18. They read people well

Within moments of meeting someone for the first time, they can gather a very accurate story of who a person really is. As time unravels, a highly sensitive person can surprise people with fun facts, which the person didn’t even realize about their self.  

19. They love animals

They have a special bond with animals in whereby animals trust them completely. Not only do highly sensitive people appreciate the mutual respect that animals give without conditions, they are also sensitive to the needs and wants of each and every animal, and make a point to pay extra attention to all forms of communication they animal may or may not be giving.  

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20. They ask a lot of questions

In order to make sense of the world, they ask a lot of questions. Sometimes these questions can get them in trouble when they get too political or emotionally deep, but the questions they ask always leave us thinking in a positive light.  

21. They make very calculated decisions

Highly sensitive people naturally think with their hearts, they make decisions based on the details of their emotions. They usually ask them-selves many internal questions like, “Why do I feel this way?”. Their decision-making is almost as calculated as a game of chest, and everything needs to have a reason and purpose before the next move is made.  

22. They gain satisfaction with decision-making

They love knowing that their strategic planning paid off in the end, which it usually does. However when it doesn’t, they can be extremely hard on themselves with self-doubt.  

23. They are problem solvers

They may be highly sensitive but they are not ones for thinking linearly. They hold many emotions, and this drives their many ways of thinking out solutions to their problems. Highly sensitive people like to map out all possibilities in order to solve each problem as best, as they know how and then execute!  

24. They stand up for what they feel is right

When they have a thought, a vision, an idea, or a feeling, they will voice it, even if they may be standing alone. However, they can sometimes feel as if they are too different from the rest of the world and become disheartened at times, when they see how insensitive some people can really be.  

25. They can admit when they are wrong

Highly sensitive people know how important it is to be recognized for the things that they do correctly. Therefore, it’s easy for them to admit their mistakes and give credit to others who deserve it by saying, “I’m sorry, you are right.”

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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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