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8 Signs You Have Found “The One”

8 Signs You Have Found “The One”

Is there someone whom you are seeing at the moment? Are you wondering if he/she is “the one”?

In your journey through love, you are going to meet many prospects. Some of them may seem really great at first, but turn out to be jerks later on. Some may be fleeting encounters, such as one-night-stands and flings. Some may be solid individuals with great personalities, great minds, and a genuine interest in you — who may make you stop and wonder if he/she is “the one.”

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I finally found “the one” for me one year ago — after years of no luck in love — and we’re getting married in less than a week’s time. :) As it turns out, he is someone whom I knew ten years ago, and we only realized we are meant for each other after nine years. After several bad and fruitless experiences with love, including a toxic connection that didn’t work out, it became extremely easy for me to tell when someone is “the one” for me.

The funny thing is that between my fiance Ken and I, I was actually the slow one to realize that he is the one. Ken himself realized — without a single doubt — that I’m the one for him by the third day we got together! In fact, he already felt this way during our first few weeks of contact and was 100% affirmed of his feelings after we got attached. Previously, he had been with many girls —  with some relationships spanning for years — but his feelings for them never amounted to anything close.

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8 Signs He/She is “The One”

If you’re wondering if someone is “the one” for you, I have eight questions for you to consider:

  1. Does this person love you for who you are? Your one should love you for who you are. He/she doesn’t judge, compare you with others, or criticize you because he/she understands you are an individual of your own, second to none. He/she celebrates everything about you and sees beauty even in places where you don’t see it.
  2. Does he/she inspire you to be more than you can be? Your one should inspire you to be more than you can be. Being with him/her elevates you rather than holds you down. When you’re with him/her, you feel like a better man/woman and you want to be even better for him/her (as well as yourself).
  3. Is he/she there for you in times of need? Your one should be the one who’s always there for you: day or night, rain or shine. He/she will never leave you to face your problems alone. He/she cares for you deeply: perhaps even more so than he/she cares for him/herself.
  4. Does he/she make you happy? Your one should make you happy. When you’re with him/her, you’re constantly smiling, laughing, and happy. When you think about him/her, you smile, not cry (even if you cry, you’re shedding tears of happiness not sorrow). While there may be conflicts at times, they are quickly resolved and not dragged out into week/month-long wars. Your happy times together far outweigh any unhappy moments. He/she is, without a doubt, a positive light in your life.
  5. Do you feel excited to see him/her? Your one should be someone you are excited to see every time: even when you guys had just met. No meeting is too soon between the both of you; you can never wait till you meet again. You always make time to meet him/her — even in your busiest times — because that’s how important he/she is to you.
  6. Can you be yourself around him/her? You should be able to be yourself around your one. Be it being goofy, crazy, kiddish, wimpy, sulky, or morose, you can be all these and more in front of him/her without worry about judgment. You never need to dial yourself down or put on a different persona to fit him/her and he/she doesn’t require you to do so either.
  7. Do you love him/her? There is no relationship without love. Your one should be someone you love unconditionally with all your heart. Your love isn’t contingent of his/her good looks, personal success, wealth, family background, social status, or career accomplishments (i.e. “what” makes up him/her). Rather, your love is the result of “who” he/she is: his character, values, and ethics.
  8. Do you see yourself with him/her for the rest of your life? Your one should be someone you see yourself with forever: for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, or in health. No matter what happens, you will stick with him/her and stand by his/her side.

8 Signs He/She is Not “The One”

On the other hand, here are eight signs you are with the wrong person:

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  1. He/she doesn’t love you for who you are. There are often conditions and expectations you have to live up to before he/she will be happy. Criticism (from him/her to you) isn’t uncommon. Neither are comparisons made with other people. No matter what you do or how hard you try, there always seems to be something wrong (with you) that you need to fix.
  2. He/she doesn’t inspire you to be more than you can be. In fact, you feel weighed down sometimes with him/her. You feel like you can’t talk about or pursue your higher goals without losing him/her. It’s as if he/she is holding you back and preventing you from moving upward and forward in life.
  3. He/she isn’t there for you when you need him/her. Be it excuses or actual reasons, there is always one thing or another that keeps him/her from being there for you. Instead, it’s your other friends who are with you during your difficult moments. He/she is with you during good times but never the bad times.
  4. He/she makes you more sad than happy. Whenever you think of him/her, you feel sad, worried, stressed, scared, or even angry: anything but happy. When you’re with him/her, you argue more often than not. While you may have had happy times together before, they seem like memories of yesteryears.
  5. You don’t feel excited to see him/her. Bored maybe, nonchalant perhaps, jaded even, but not excited. Sometimes you may rather do something else rather than meet him/her.
  6. You can’t be yourself around him/her. You have to constantly change to fit him/her. You can never behave as your real self out of fear of judgment/criticism by him/her.
  7. You don’t love him/her. You may have some good feelings towards him/her but you’re not sure whether it’s love. Or maybe you love him/her but this love is conditional on certain factors (in which case it wouldn’t be real love).
  8. You can’t see yourself with him/her for the rest of your life. Maybe one year, two years, three years or even four, but you’re not sure if you want to be with him/her for the rest of your life.

Remember that having a great relationship doesn’t stop after you’ve found the one. While being with the right person gives you a huge head start, there are other things involved to create your best relationship, such as being mindful of your partner’s needs, finding synergies between your relationship and your life, and resolving conflicts in a healthy manner. Just as a big part of a relationship’s success comes from finding the right person, another big part comes from you putting in the work to make it happen.

Read the original article in full: How to Know When You Have Found “The One”, part seven of How to Find Your Soulmate (series) | Personal Excellence

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Featured photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via flickr.com

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Celestine Chua

Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life.

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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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