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How To Stop Lying And Be Honest To People

How To Stop Lying And Be Honest To People

Everyone lies; as a whistleblower and supporter of Anon, I’ve learned that fact repeatedly and explored the applications of both honesty and deceit in decent society. It’d be nice if we lived in an ideal world in which honesty was the only way to roll, but it’s only by accepting ourselves as capable liars that we can begin to understand the real meaning of truth. Here’s how to stop lying and be honest to people:

1. Accept Yourself.

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    Freddy K got burned so often, he eventually lashed out…

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    Let’s be honest – you don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, and you’ll never have their looks, talent, or money. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be happy. If you have a dream, work toward it, and accept who and where you are in life. You don’t have to exaggerate your circumstances. What you’re going through is enough on its own; we all understand how annoying it is to change a flat tire without ninjas attacking you.

    2. Respect Yourself.

    There’s no need to pretend you’re someone you’re not in order to impress people. Have a little self-respect and do what impresses you. Historically, it’s those who stick out that make it into the history books that those who fit in read and write. Those boring encyclopedias and other annals of human history aren’t listing off people like Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon because they fitted in. Respect who you are – you ain’t gotta lie to kick it.

    3. Dancing in the Frying Pan.

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      In the land of the blind, Captain Obvious is a true hero…

      Some people lie because they’re just used to using deceit as a way to hide or get out of trouble. Their parents likely abused them, and they had to hide their true selves as kids, so now they’re hiding their true selves from everyone. Being yourself is something you learn through experience, so if you’re always hiding what you really think or feel behind a veil of deceit, maybe it’s time you learned to take the heat from your decisions and choices.

      4. Protect Yo Neck.

      We used to live in a society where you could lie your way out of trouble on a massive scale. These days, however, it’s not going to happen. There are too many citizen journalists, whistleblowers, and other societal disrupters who love catching people in the act of deceit. The media loves braiding nooses to string up liars, so if you allow your web of lies to grow beyond your control, watch out!

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      5. The Other Shoe.

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        Learn to differentiate the gray areas from the black and white…

        Take the perspective of the other person; how would you perceive yourself? This simple exercise in your relationships and dealings with people makes it easier to understand where they’re coming from and adjust yourself accordingly. Think of it this way: Do you enjoy being lied to? Do you like that feeling where you know someone is misleading you? If not, then don’t do it to someone else.

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        6. Stop Being Yao Ming.

        I hate my birthday; I don’t mind the reminder of my inevitable aging or practically daring myself to get diabetes through overly sweet cake. What’s annoying is being the center of attention. Being in the center means all the focus is on you. While some people lie to hide from attention, others do it to gain exposure. Both issues boil down to the same thing – you need to stop basing your worth on what others think of you.

        7. Courage under Fire.

        It’s important to understand that both deceit and honesty are choices; in order to be honest, sometimes you’re going to face some tough times. This is normal, and choosing honesty in those times when everyone else is following company policy or adhering to the mythical code of the streets (which isn’t legally binding on any streets) is a really difficult thing to do. Learning to stand alone against all odds builds character so you can become the person you honestly should be.

        Honesty isn’t always the best policy (telling a loved one on their deathbed that really you always hated them probably isn’t the best idea), but it’s one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Learning to overcome the shame and stigma around deceit and accepting that everyone does it will make you more aware of how often you actually lie in your daily life. From there, all you have to do is start being honest with yourself, and you’ll eventually be honest with others.

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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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