Advertising
Advertising

7 Signs You Should Move On From Your Relationship

7 Signs You Should Move On From Your Relationship

Can you salvage anything from the wreckage, you ask yourself? Is it really time to move on? These are all tricky questions to answer. One of the biggest problems is that we become so attached to routine we cannot envisage even moving out of familiar territory and into unexplored lands. Here are 7 signs you might want to consider before making the big decision to give up on a relationship and move on.

1. The joy is gone

If you find that the joy has disappeared, there must be a reason. Every relationship cannot be euphoric all the time, but there should be plenty of contentment and laughter. If you find that you are suffering or that your potential to be happy is continually thwarted because of your partner’s actions and words, then it may be time to think this through. If you are often resentful or weepy, there are cracks in your relationship which may be beyond repair.

Advertising

“Sexiness wears thin after a while, and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” – Joanne Woodward

2. You are replaying too many conversations

You know the scenario. You go over and over again in your mind and listen to all those replays! You know the ones where you lost it and shouted or the ones where you were perfectly reasonable and calm. This is a sure sign that shame and regret have crept into the relationship and are becoming leading actors.

Advertising

3. You are no longer a team

It is a bad sign if you get the feeling that you are making all the effort while your partner has opted out. Actually, being in a well-functioning team of two is essential for any relationship to thrive. When you realize that you are the one who is going the extra mile, resentment begins to seep through the cracks. You rightly feel that it should not be all one-way traffic.You are the one who is always punctual, patient, understanding and helpful. How come?

4. Your partner tries to please others, but not you

He or she goes out of their way to be generous and patient with other people. It is when you realize that you do not get a fraction of that attention and loving care that you begin to wonder why you are in this relationship at all. Your contact with him or her is becoming sporadic. When you start hearing excuses about work commitments and other engagements, it may be a sign of distancing before the actual break up.

Advertising

5. Small skirmishes turn into a full-scale war

Remember those times when your tics and fads were always a bit of a joke and you both tolerated them? When these little issues turn into major drama and end in fights all the time, it may be a sign that you should be thinking of moving on. Before you know it, you find that even the little things like the way you dress and how you look are becoming war zones. Why is this now an issue? You seem to spend more and more time recovering from the bombs dropped by the drones. What is the hidden agenda?

6. Trust has been eroded

When a relationship is flourishing, love, security, and peace are the fruits of complete trust. If the trust has been eroded or damaged in any way, fear and suspicion take over. Perhaps the trust has been irrevocably damaged because of infidelity, hurt, or separation. This may occur when lying takes over or honesty is questioned. Being completely transparent in any relationship is the foundation stone. Once that is altered, the building starts to shake.

Advertising

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey

7. The relationship has turned toxic

We all avoid toxic environments, food, and people. There is a very good reason for this, as these things are harmful to our health. When a relationship turns toxic, it drains you of all the energy and joy of living. You are derided and mocked. You certainly do not feel that you can act in a relaxed and carefree way when you are in their company. There is far too much walking on eggshells. The worst part of a toxic relationship is when you feel trapped by your partner’s judgements and never feel supported.

These are the 7 signs that you are not reaching your full potential for happiness in a relationship which is holding you back and suffocating you. It may well be time to move on.

Featured photo credit: No matter what happens in life … if you will learn to let it go and move forward, then your past doesn’t have to poison your future /BK via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

Write A Personal Mission Statement to Achieve Your Goal More Easily 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People 10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next