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5 Types of People You Love to Hate But Probably Shouldn’t

5 Types of People You Love to Hate But Probably Shouldn’t

We often throw the word “hate” around and use it too lightly. We say we hate people we don’t understand, or people who frustrate us with their behavior. However, we don’t really hate these people. The term “hate” should be reserved only for the most unacceptable human behaviors, like violence or prejudice.

There are five types of people that I thought I hated for a long time. Then I realized that they were simply people dealing with their own weaknesses and fears. Maybe they were dealing with those fears much differently than I thought they should. But I realized it’s a far better idea to try to understand and sympathize with them, rather than say I hate for them.

Here are those five types of people, and what I learned about them.

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1. The bragger

This person has to be number one on almost everyone’s list of “hated” people. No one likes a bragger, and I’ve especially detested the act of bragging for as long as I can remember. I knew a guy who seemed to have it all figured out, or at least he thought he did. On one occasion at a social event, his extroverted attempts at charming everyone really started to annoy me. I bluntly made a few remarks, thinking I’d put him in his place.

The result was actually surprising. He became quiet for several minutes, even appearing somewhat anxious. At that point, I realized something that I should have known much sooner. This guy wasn’t full of himself. He was just the opposite, and his attempts at charming everyone in the room were really just pleas for acceptance. I immediately felt guilty for being rude to him because he was dealing with insecurity the only way he knew how. His behavior still seems like show act at times, but I don’t hassle him now. It’s just a part of his journey to becoming more sure of himself, and that’s ok. 

2. The selfie queen

This is another character you often hear people complain about. One particular friend of mine fits the bill perfectly. I’ll admit, we only know each other through mutual friends, and probably wouldn’t otherwise, as we’re not much alike. However, there is something in her that is relentlessly benevolent. She’s kind and accepting of just about everyone. Much of her selfie-snapping, I believe, can be attributed to her need to feel liked and accepted. Once we see the reason behind annoying behaviors like this, all of our “hate” for them suddenly seems cruel.

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While there will always be a part of me (a fairly large part of me) that finds her a bit annoying, and sometimes shallow, I find myself wanting to support her. I’ll even “like” a few of the not-so-interesting photos she regularly posts of herself, her house, her food, etc., just to make her feel good. Of course, she doesn’t need it. She has plenty of friends and family members who adore her. But I think it’s important for me to remind myself to be accepting of things that bother me, and accept someone who is clearly asking for a little validation now and then.

3. The perfectionist

You know those people who say, “Lets go with the flow and see what happens?” Perfectionists are the opposite of those people. They believe there’s only one “right” way, and they don’t tolerate variations or gray areas. Since I’m relatively easygoing and open to change, perfectionists have hassled me quite a few times. Someone in my close circle is like this, and accomplishing things with them often feels like wading through honey. We repeatedly have to stop in the middle of a task and regroup to do things as by-the-book as possible. 

While I constantly fought this perfectionist to loosen up, my efforts were always futile. But maybe I was pushing too hard. After all, is it really such a bad thing to want to do everything to the best of your ability? When you think about it, that’s all a perfectionist really is. The trait is actually somewhat admirable.

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4. The pushover

While it may seem harsh to hate on a pushover, it’s also difficult to watch them be continuously stepped on without getting frustrated. One of my closest friends seems to have a little problem with letting things slide. People take drastic measures to inconvenience him, and he doesn’t give it so much as a thought. Many times, he’s even stood up for people while I angrily express how out of line they are.

The thing to recognize is, people who are perceived as pushovers often have a valuable trait that most of us lack—patience. These people can have their tolerance tested time and time again, but never run out of reasons to be understanding. Instead of regarding these people as weak, we should consider what we can learn from them.

5. The crazy girl

Calm down feminists, I know there are crazy guys too. However, one particular girl I met years ago really struck me. She was notoriously known as the “crazy” one who was to be avoided—and certainly not to be invited to parties. She was rude, inconsiderate, volatile at times, and an emotional wreck at other times. On more than one occasion, I found myself trying to set her straight for the rude things she’d say to me. She would casually apologize, then seem to forget all about the incident seconds later.

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Looking back, it’s obvious now that trying to reprimand her was a ridiculous and misguided approach. All of her behaviors were symptoms of major troubles she was having at home. She projected the chaos onto everyone she came across, and they promptly rejected her in response. Thus the more I thought about it, the more I felt sorry for her. It doesn’t seem fair to hate others with so many problems, when we have so few to complain about.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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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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