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7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Without communication, trust issues can develop. Without talking, you eventually lose touch with your significant other even when you live with them. It’s ironic really because there aren’t words to describe how important it is to communicate. Even something as simple as a well-timed question can save your relationship. Here are some powerful questions that could do just that.

1. What made you feel good about yourself today?

Asking this question can change someone’s entire mood. It makes your significant other think about the good things that happened to them today and that can take their minds off of the bad things. If you’re significant other has been in the dumps lately, they may be thinking of making drastic changes. Drastic changes may or may not include re-thinking the status of your relationship. It’s always good to remind your loved one that you care and that you want to be there for the bad times.

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2. What has been making you feel alone and unworthy?

Save Your Relationships

    Experience dictates that the answer to this question is something that’s very simple to fix. For instance, in my own current relationship, my girlfriend told me she feels alone even when I’m in the room because I play on my phone too much. When I do that, I don’t pay attention. When I finally asked her this question and she told me, I simply started putting my phone down when I spent time with her. Problem solved! A lot of relationships experience turmoil over small lapses in judgement like the one I made. If you figure out what’s been eating at your boyfriend or girlfriend, chances are you can fix it before it’s too late.

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    3. What have I done recently that helped you feel loved and appreciated?

    Much like the first question, this one allows your loved one to think about the good things you do. This can derail bad feelings, end arguments, and put things back on track. When a relationship is going sideways, it’s really easy to point out the bad things but sometimes that gets in the way of remembering the good things. It sounds bad, but sometimes you do need to beat your own drum to let your lover know that you do good things also. The trick is doing it so that they don’t feel guilty about not thinking about it more often. That can just lead to more fighting and more issues. When couples are in bad relationships, they obviously need to talk about the problems to fix them. However, it’s also important to bring up the good things so that you two aren’t just putting each other down the whole time.

    4. What scares you about our relationship?

    Commitment is a big deal, especially for men. However, don’t think that there aren’t women out there who also have commitment problems. Sometimes it helps to ask this question to find out what the deeper problems are. Maybe s/he doesn’t think you’re parent material. Maybe they are scared of commitment. Maybe they simply can’t see themselves spending their entire life with you. If there is a fatal flaw in your relationship, this question can usually flush it out. The best you can hope for is that the problems are something that can be fixed.

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    5. How much have you loved yourself lately?

    Save Your Relationships

      This is also another one that’s happened to me personally. Last year was a tough year for me and my girlfriend went above and beyond to help me through the tough time. Of course, that meant that she ended up neglecting herself. When we started fighting about it, she told me she felt smothered. This can happen to you too! If your significant other cares more about the relationship than him/herself, then they may neglect their own needs. Ask this question so you can figure out if that’s happening to you. If it is, then it’s time you stepped up and started giving back to your partner. It’ll make them feel better and it may very well save your relationship.

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      6. What can I do better?

      Sometimes the problem really is you. It may not be your fault. There may be a habit or a behavioral trait that just drives your man or woman up a wall. A good way to figure out what that thing might be is to simply ask. Pretty much everyone has a laundry list of things they dislike about their significant other. If you can get a peek at that mental list, you can work on not doing those things anymore. Or at least work on not doing them when s/he is around.

      7. Is there anything we need to talk about?

      This is an open ended question but it’s one you should ask fairly frequently. You shouldn’t ask it every day or even every week but you definitely should every few months. Life is an ever-changing ball of chaos and things just go wrong. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may be experiencing a tough time at work or a family member may be ill. It’s important to find out what the problems are as soon as possible. There are some things you can’t fix but you can be there for them while they deal with it. Relationships are all about sharing the joy of life but also sharing the pain of life. If you’re not sharing their pain, your lover is handling it all on their own. Eventually that’ll lead to problems.

      Relationships are fickle things. There are ups and downs and it’s a general roller coaster ride of chaos. Your only defense against things going totally out of control is the ability to open your mouth and aurally express your feelings so that everyone in the relationship knows what’s going on. If you don’t do that, your relationship will inevitably fail.

      Featured photo credit: Yayo MG via yayomg.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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