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4 Things You Should Never Tolerate

4 Things You Should Never Tolerate

Compassion is an important (and incredibly sexy) trait – it’s the basis of tolerance, which everyone should have for each other. It’s difficult having a blanket of compassion and tolerance for people, but it’s necessary in order to create a world in which we can all live in harmony. While we should all practice compassion in all of our dealings, here are four things you should never tolerate under any circumstances:

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    Hatred

    Sexism. Racism. Ageism. Religious persecution. It’s amazing how many ways people find to label and hate each other. What’s the point of hate? Has hating someone ever accomplished anything for you? I’ve never thought to myself, “It’s a good thing I hated ___, otherwise, I never would’ve ___.” Hatred contributes nothing to the human collective. Consider the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “A man is but the product of his thoughts—what he thinks, he becomes.”

    If you fill your thoughts with hate, there won’t be room for love; even if you find someone to love who’s willing to love you back, your hatred will eventually replace the love you have for each other. It works like this: if all you think about is negative, you’ll become a negative person. While you’re out with your friends, you’ll be focusing on what’s bothering you instead of experiencing and enjoying the present moment. Just because you’re lost in your thoughts doesn’t mean the entire world suddenly stops—you’ll exist in everyone else’s present moment as a downer who’s frowning, angry, and dragging the energy down around them. Nobody wants to be around a negative person.

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    To make matters worse, your hatred will manifest itself in all the wrong ways. You may be mad at your mom for breaking up a party, but while you’re sulking about it in public, you’ll encounter random strangers. These people have no idea who you are or what you’re going through; all they see is some angry person walking down the street. One of them may greet you, but you’ll be too wrapped up in your thoughts to notice. The person you ignored may think they’re the strange one and stop greeting people. You may even be curt or flat out rude to someone you normally wouldn’t if in the right frame of mind.

    Not only should we all stop the hatred in our hearts, but we must not allow external hatred affect us either. Every time a gathering is attacked, the intention is to make us all fear or hate other people. We must never allow ourselves to fall victim to hatred. The correct way to live is to encourage others to be kind through our own actions.

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      Personal Attacks

      Debating whether or not illegal immigration can be curbed is one thing—insulting someone’s character because you don’t agree with them is unacceptable. There are billions of us sharing this planet, and it’s a rather enclosed space. We don’t always have to agree or work together, but there’s no reason we can’t all coexist.

      It’s ok to disagree; nobody should mind if you are passionate. At the same time, you need to ensure you are only countering someone’s ideas. You should also be mindful of not getting offended when someone “attacks” your ideas. As long as everyone can keep a cool head, our interactions will flow much more efficiently. Remember to be the change you want to see in the world, and stop making personal attacks right now, regardless of whether or not anyone makes a personal attack against you. Take a look at the person staring back at you in the mirror, and never do anything to make that person feel ashamed to look back at you.

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        Violence

        There are a lot of situations we face in life, and sometimes it can feel like violence is the only answer. No matter what scenario you can imagine in which violence is necessary, you’re not correct. It’s unrealistic to believe that we could exist in total peace, but humanity should strive to condemn violent acts. This is already happening on social media and throughout the internet. People are speaking up against those who perform egregious and despicable acts against humanity, nature, and anything else. Rape, murder, beatings, bullying—none of it is tolerated in the digital world.

        Although society has evolved technologically over the last two millennia, nothing much has really changed. Human beings are a hive mind, and the mob mentality is only accentuated by the speed and breadth in which information can be dispersed on the internet. We need to be careful not to allow our passion for peace to instead bring violence to the world. Instead of inciting violence, condemn it. Don’t spend all your time condemning it though. It’s not enough to simply not be violent; we should strive to promote love as well.

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          Inequality

          The United States, like many other countries in modern society, promotes freedom and equality for all. A lot of people rest on their laurels and assume their freedom and equality is all that matters, but there’s an inherent flaw in this logic. You can never truly be free if everyone isn’t also free—that’s how freedom and equality work.

          In order for us to progress as a society, we need to ensure that everyone progresses. It’s important that every human being of every sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, and age, is treated equally. This may seem like a pipe dream, but it’s very achievable, and it can be accomplished by each and every one of us. If you take nothing else away from this post, understand that the way you treat people matters: if you treat people the way you want to be treated (with respect, courtesy, and integrity), they will be more likely to treat you the same way. If they don’t, suck it up and move forward to the next person. Every single choice you make in your life contributes to the whole of humanity—make them all count!

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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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