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How to Forget Someone You Really Hate

How to Forget Someone You Really Hate

Not being able to get something that bothers you out of your mind can be very annoying! It can be doubly annoying if that something is thoughts about someone you hate. Wouldn’t it be better if you could forget that person, and so free yourself from these thoughts?

It is often said that love and hate are the two sides of the same coin, and although love may seem too strong an emotion to consider having for a person you hate, there is often an emotional attachment that stops you from just letting go of all thoughts and feelings, as you would for someone you didn’t care about. So, how to forget someone that you have such strong emotions about?

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Lose the Hate.

To forget someone you really hate requires taking the emotion out of the equation. Hate is a strong emotion and when focus is put on it the mind believes and accepts it as real, and the more real it feels the more time you will find yourself focusing on it. Emotions are created by the thoughts we have, but thoughts are not necessarily facts: we choose which thoughts we accept as being true. Be mindful of the negative thoughts you have for that person, and when you become aware of them entering your mind, allow them to pass, without engaging with them. With practice this will become a subconscious action, requiring no conscious awareness or cognitive effort.

Question Your Behavior.

Why do you hate the person? Have they really done something so abhorrent that it entitles you to bestow such a strong emotion on them? Or, is it possible that the hate is more a result of where you are in your world? Are you a happy person, easy going and laid back, or are you quick-tempered, easily annoyed, and always ready for a fight? If the latter sounds like you, then maybe the problem is more about your behavior, beliefs and interpretations to what happens around you, and less about the other person. Changing the way you react may help resolve your feelings towards the other person, making it easier to move on, and forget about them.

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Find Closure.

Resolve to accept what has passed: you can’t change the past, and negative emotions—such as hate—damage the future. Decide to forgive them, and also forgive yourself for holding negative thoughts about another person. Place yourself in their shoes and consider how things could look from their perspective. In their shoes, would you agree that they should have such a strong emotion attributed to them? Also, put yourself in the position of an impartial observer; someone who doesn’t know either of you. How would they interpret your actions? It’s a lot harder to hold such extreme views when you look at something from the perspectives of others. Is it possible to talk to the person? Often differences, however big they seem, can be resolved by talking with the other person. Misunderstandings can be discovered, compassion can be given, and the person’s good qualities can become apparent, if given a chance. You may not become friends, trust or respect the person, but it’s possible to achieve a healthy downgrade from hating them.

Reminders of the Person.

Do you have any reminders of this person? Photos, clothes, etc that can act as a stimulus to thoughts being created about the person. Maybe its worth removing them from sight, either putting into storage or disposing of them entirely. If there are places that the person frequents, consider going or being somewhere else if that doesn’t have a detrimental effect on you. This might not be possible if you work with them, for example, but often the anger and hate we feel for a person can draw us to places we think they might be. Sometimes, something as simple as a song being played on the radio, or a smell of a particular food can trigger the thoughts. Although its not possible, or healthy, to try to avoid everything that acts as a reminder, removing obvious reminders will reduce the amount of times these trigger your thoughts of the person. Avoid creating more reminders by writing about them online on social networks or keeping a journal. Sometimes, writing about a problem you have can help release the attachment you have with them, helping put your thoughts into context in order to get closure. Just be sure to not keep reliving these thoughts by keeping what you have written. Disposing of the pages can be a physical way of getting rid of those thoughts, and remember that once you’ve posted something online there’s more chance of what you’ve written being viewed and discussed by yourself and others.

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Refocus Your Energy.

Aim to get on with and progress in your life. Use all the energy wasted on hate to pursue new interests, career progression at work, and people you care for and enjoy spending time with. Remind yourself that you are wasting time and energy hating that person—time and energy that could be put to positive use, focused on people you think are better deserving of it.

“That’s the best revenge of all: happiness.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

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Jennifer Smith

Life Coach & Personal Growth Blogger

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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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