Advertising
Advertising

8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

Once upon a time, in a planet called Earth, there lived a special kind of species named Humans. They wanted to make their existence profound so that generations after generations they would survive in this big world. And they successfully did. They started to produce more human beings, and at one time, it became natural for a single family to have 7-8 children. Or more.

But as generations proceeded, the number of children decreased. Therefore, from 20th Century onwards, many families have been seen with only one child. The previous generation raised their eyebrows. What disgrace to mankind! They remarked on various disadvantages those family would face if they stick to an only child policy. But is it true what they said? Or is it just myths? Let us find out here with 8 only children myths disapproved by researches:

1. They are lonely, and depressed.

FACT: No, they are not lonely. And they are not depressed. First of all, they get their parents’ full attention. Second of all, they have cousins who fill up the “missing” sibling(s) spaces. Third of all, they have friends. And since they are the only children, parents encourage them to hang out more with their cousins and friends. Thus, they can easily avoid feeling lonely and depressed. Of course, all situations have their pros and cons. But the pros here are heavier than the cons. Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, wrote an article based on The Adolescent only child and friendship. This is a great read for all the parents of single children.

Advertising

2. They have imaginary friends to balance out their loneliness.

FACT: It is a common thing amongst children. All children, regardless of being the only one or being one among five other siblings do it.

According to Jerome L. Singer, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, Yale University: “the imagination required to create make-believe friends is not the exclusive property of the ‘only’ child, the isolated, the ill or the handicapped. Imaginary friends serve a purpose of meeting a need—to confront loneliness, to combat a fear, or to compensate for feelings of weakness in relation to adults or older children. Any child can feel that need.”

In fact, studies have shown how to handle such a situation. Just remember, imaginary friends are as good as real life friends.

Advertising

3. They are violent and pushy.

FACT: Did you know that only children learn quicker than children with siblings? Maybe they are demanding and bossy at home, but they know that such behaviour with their peers produce a negative impression of them. They know they might even be considered as social outcasts. Thus, they adjust faster than other children, making them well liked by their friends.

4. They are selfish.

FACT: It is one of the most common myths, I should say. The answer is, No! Only children are not selfish. You may have every reason to believe in this, because they are the ones who don’t get to share their toys or clothes or chocolates with other siblings, they get their parents’ sole attention, they get a room of their own, they get the best clothes, and what not! For years, studies and experiments have been done on families and the results show that only children scored more in many important aspects than children with siblings. Then again, it is okay to be selfish sometimes. We all are selfish in our own ways. It is a natural habit and has nothing to do with being the only child of our parents.

5. They are dependent.

FACT: It is believed that since only children have no other siblings, they are tend to be dependent on their parents. A survey done in China shows that only children are more independent and self-supporting. They don’t have elder siblings to look after them and are more influenced by their individual experiences.

Advertising

6. They are spoiled.

FACT: Who isn’t? If compared to only children, I would say my two children are equally spoiled. Over the years, studies have found out that there are no such differences in only children being more spoiled than children with siblings.

7. They don’t have their own original ideas and views.

FACT: Since they are the only children, their ideas and views on things are entirely their own and original. They are not sharing their thoughts with their siblings. An article on Why only children are awesome shows that parents tend to talk in an “adult manner” with their only children rather than in “baby talk”. This encourages the children to develop their own ideas and views because they are directly relating to the adult world.

8. They lack talent.

FACT: In fact, they are the ones who are more talented and have more nurtured hobbies than children with siblings. The reason is their parents can give undivided, full attention, entirely to them. Parents encourage them to explore more into different sorts of things, and such encouragements make them talented. Another reason is since only children tend to be closer to their parents, this special relationship can do wonders in building creativity and imagination in the only children.

Advertising

Having only children isn’t bad. In fact, there are many advantages of being parents to an only child. There is an article on Parenting an only child that highlights the positive aspects of having only children. So next time you are family planning, do not hesitate to browse through the option of having an only child.

More by this author

Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

Full Body Workouts To Make You Strong After Weight Loss 15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives 20 Medical Benefits of Marijuana You Probably Never Knew Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses Quotes From Socrates That Are Full Of Wisdom

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