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30 Simple Things You Don’t Realize You Do That Impress Everyone Around You

30 Simple Things You Don’t Realize You Do That Impress Everyone Around You

One the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to impress someone is that they assume people only pay attention to the important or “big” things they do. But the reality is that the little things are what matter most. It’s the little things we do or don’t do every day that shape us in to who we are. The little things determine how we respond when big things come in to our lives.

The kind of image you present to the world is determined by your actions, comments, attitude, behavior and even appearance. These things can be noticed within the first few seconds of meeting someone. So, how do you let people know who you really are? How do you impress everyone around you without big gestures or a lot of time? These 30 things might be simple, but they have a big impact. Their effects are lasting. People will remember the little things you do and that can make the difference you’re looking for.

1. Dress the part

Your appearance is the thing people see first. They look at your clothes, hair, shoes, etc. They make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth. If you want to impress people, dress for the occasion. Take time to get ready in the morning.

2. Be on time

If you’re late for something, you’re giving someone the opportunity to judge you without you even being there. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, then be there at that time. Waiting for someone when they should already be there is frustrating and annoying.

3. Don’t break your promises

There are too many people out there making promises they know they can’t keep. They promise something because it makes the other person feel better in that moment. The problem with that is that down the road, when you don’t follow through, the comfort that person felt turns into discouragement, frustration and even anger. If you can’t keep a promise, don’t make it. If you do make a promise, do everything you can to keep it.

4. Respect others

This includes your elders, minors, co-workers, family members, etc. This can be hard when you have to be around someone who has differing opinions than you, or who acts in a way you don’t approve of. But you can still be civil. If you look for attributes you respect in people, you will find them.

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5. Be involved

If you support going green, then go green in your life. If you support your local government, then attend community meetings. Be a part of the things that matter to you.

6. Say, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” often

These are small words, but they go a long way. Expressing your gratitude to people, even for the smallest acts of kindness, shows that you see the good in people; it shows that you pay attention to the things people around you are doing and saying.

7. Smile often

Smiles are contagious. If a stranger walks past you at the store and smiles, it is a natural response to smile back. Seeing someone smile can remind others that there are things to be grateful for, that life is fun and exciting.

8. Don’t be constantly using your phone

When you are with someone, be with them. Phones are an amazing piece of technology. But they are also a distraction. Use your phone when it’s appropriate. You don’t need it out every second of every day.

9. Be faithful to your partner

We hear story after story about divorces and infidelity. It’s everywhere. By being honest and true with your partner, you are showing that you know where your priorities are. You understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

10. Support your children

Take time to be involved in your kids’ lives. Know what they’re interested in. Go their games, recitals, competitions, parent-teacher conferences, etc. Listen when they talk to you. Be the kind of parent they know they can go to when they have questions.

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11. Personal hygiene isn’t an option, it’s a requirement

Have breath mints handy. Wear deodorant. Brush your teeth. Wear clean clothes. These are things that should be common sense, but some people really struggle with them. Talking to someone with bad breath is gross. It’s distracting. All you can think about is that you want to give them a mint. Take care of your personal hygiene and people will be more focused on what you’re saying and doing instead of how you smell.

12. Speak clearly and make eye contact

Let the person you’re talking to know that you are engaged in the conversation and that you care about what you’re discussing. Don’t mumble or look around, keep your focus on them.

13. Don’t chew gum

This can depend on the type of situation you’re in. If you’re with family hanging out or with close friends at the movies, gum is fine. But in a professional situation, gum is distracting.

14. Use humor

This can lighten the mood and bring people down from a tense state. Just make sure you’re using this at appropriate times.

15. Greet people with a handshake or hug

Determine what type of situation you’re in. You probably don’t want to go in to an interview and hug your potential boss, but you should offer them a firm handshake. With close friends and family members a hug shows a level of intimacy. It shows that you love and care about them and gives you a way to physically express that.

16. Be true to yourself

Know what you want out of life and do everything you can to achieve it.

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17. Listen to others

When someone is talking to you, listen to what they are saying. Don’t be thinking of a response while they are still talking.

18. Perform acts of kindness

Open the door for someone, collect your neighbor’s mail when they go out town, make dinner for someone who just had a baby.

19. Be organized

Have a schedule and know what you have going on. Know where things are in your house, at work, in your car, etc.

20. Compliment people

Look for the good in people around you and take the time to let them know you noticed. Compliment them on their clothes, their work, their attitude, anything you can think of.

21. Share knowledge and information with others

When you have a skill or talent, share it. Teach others and share what you know and have learned.

22. Be positive and focus on the good

This can be hard when times are tough, but it’s possible. Look for the solution instead of focusing on the problem. Stay positive.

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23. Help others

Help when and where you can. In most cases, chances to serve aren’t always at the most opportune times, but sacrificing your time to help someone in need says a lot about you.

24. Keep a clean car

Take your car through the car wash every so often. Clean out the inside. Don’t let garbage pile up. You never know when you’re going to have to give someone a ride.

25. Care about people

Don’t build up a wall to “protect” your feelings. Let yourself feel, let yourself care for people.

26. Don’t take offense

Things will be said and people will do things, purposefully or accidentally, that could hurt you. You can choose to be offended or to move past it.

27. Own up to your mistakes

When you make a mistake, admit it, own up to it, do what you can to fix it and move on.

28. Take advantage of experiences life has to offer

If you get the opportunity to go somewhere new, learn a new talent or try something new, do it! Enjoy life.

29. Know what’s going on in the world

Be up to date on recent news, both local and global. Be informed.

30.  Travel

The world is a big place. Take the time to go out and meet new people, learn new cultures and make new memories.

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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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