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8 Things To Remember Before Moving On To The Next Relationship

8 Things To Remember Before Moving On To The Next Relationship

Are you feeling loss, despair, and sheer pain after a break up? The wounds are open and still hurt a lot. Obviously these will all have to be worked through and dealt with so that you can heal and move on. Remember that you have never loved in vain.

“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart”
-Washington Irving

Here are 8 things to remember to help you move on. Make sure you have all these checked off before you start getting involved again.

1. Stop thinking about what went wrong.

You know the drill. You start to go over again and again what you should have said to him/her. Then there is the whole litany of what you should have done, how you should have reacted and what you should have protested about or changed or …. The lying, cheating, dishonesty and sheer bloody-mindedness still shock you. The softer, romantic, and nostalgic moments of the shared dreams and plans haunt you too.

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The best solution is to accept that it has happened and that you are not a lesser or weaker person. Reflect on what mistakes you perhaps made because, let’s be honest, we can always learn from them. Convince yourself that after closure, you will be stronger, better, and just as attractive, if not more so, than before.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”
-Alexander Graham Bell

2. Promise not to stalk your ex.

Let us hope this is reciprocal! But there is a much milder form of cyber stalking which has you sneaking around your ex’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. You are always there, lurking and watching. It’s toxic, so stop it!

3. Spoil yourself.

This is the best time to start spoiling yourself and do all the things that you held back from doing because you did not want to appear too selfish. Now is the time to splurge on a new car, gym membership, new sports or hobbies, holidays and having a great time. Try to seek out what stimulates you and makes you passionate because these are often brushed under the carpet in a deep and intense relationship.

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4. Take care of your health.

After a break up, you are normally physically weaker and stressed out. The whole situation has drained you mentally as well. This is the time to ease back, if you can, on work and family commitments. Time to put yourself first, get plenty of sleep, eat well and try to get some exercise.

Try to convince yourself that the stronger and healthier you are, the more attractive and fascinating you will become. Things can only get better.

5. Re-connect with friends and family.

Gravitate towards supportive friends and family who will be a tower of strength to you in this difficult transition period. Avoid any friends who are too curious and gossipy. They will want to know the ins and outs of the break up but this sort of post-mortem analysis really needs to be minimal. Sometimes it may help with closure to talk about it. But never let it become obsessive where you and your friend make nasty comments about your ex all the time.

Try to socialize as much as possible as loneliness and isolation are likely to generate too many negative thoughts, worries, fears and regrets. It may be a good idea for you to do charity work or get involved in a project you feel passionate about. It helps to heal wounds and opens up new opportunities for making friends. You are now beginning to move on.

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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
-Albert Einstein

6. Change your routine.

There is always the risk that you may run into your ex and that is not really going to help, especially if you are still in the closure phase.

The best solution is to adjust your routine and also seek out new haunts. That might mean changing your bar, gym and tennis club but it is well worth the effort because they will spur you on to the new chapter in your life. As someone wisely said, “Frequent your possible future, not your past.”

 7. Don’t be too compromising.

When you get the chance to date someone that could be interesting, you need to make sure that you have certain things in order. First, you need to make sure that you are not carrying any heavy emotional baggage from your previous relationship. Second, you need to remind yourself about what you like and expect from a significant relationship. Keep this in the forefront of your mind as you get more and more involved. There is no way you are going to let your standards slip and you know which boundaries cannot be crossed. Been there, done that!

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“Watching you walk out of my life does not make me bitter or cynical about love. But rather makes me realize that if I wanted so much to be with the wrong person how beautiful it will be when the right one comes along.” – Anonymous

8. Start living again.

Look out for the healthy closure signs which mean that you can now really move on. You have to remember that you are stronger, not weaker after a break up. You are still committed to those values and priorities for a really significant relationship. Above all, you realize what skills and talent you possess to move on to the next relationship. Now is the time to start living again, in the real sense of the word.

“I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken, and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken pieces as long as I lived”
-Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With The Wind)

Featured photo credit: a disagreement in the water/Paul Aloe 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.

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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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