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It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

Relationships are a part of everyone’s life. As humans, we crave for companionship; a person to share experiences with, a person to touch and to be touched by, someone who will listen and someone who can make you laugh. Often, when we first meet someone, everything seems to click and that feeling of elation which seems to only exist in romantic comedies, becomes real life.

However, real life has ups and downs, and these can affect your relationship negatively. So, how do you know when the going is rough, but better times are around the corner, or if the relationship you are in is rearing its ugly head as a bad match? When your heart is invested, are there signs that your head should be able to see? The 14 signs listed below should aid you in figuring out if you need to make the tough decision of ending your relationship, or if grey skies are going to clear up.

1. You don’t want the same things in your futures.

It is certainly possible to be in love in the here and now and that is a wonderful thing. However, it is important to be able to talk about what you and your significant other want in the next few years. Where do you want to settle? Do you want children? Are you the same religion and if not do you care? If you find that you have opposing, non-negotiables that neither of you are willing to compromise on, it’s time to have an honest conversation about whether or not a prosperous future is realistic.

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2. Nothing you do makes your significant other happy.

If you are trying your hardest to make someone else happy and nothing you do is good enough, then you are giving your best to the wrong person. Time, energy, effort and love should not go unnoticed. It is not your fault if someone cannot see how wonderful and giving you are. If you have been in your relationship for a long time, try having an open and honest conversation where you express that you are trying your best and you feel like your efforts are going unseen. See how your mate responds. Perhaps he/she was just going through a selfish phase and the confrontation will snap him/ her back to reality. On the flip side, if you keep trying, and you are communicating but your attempts are not being reciprocated, its time to reevaluate. You deserve to be happy and to have your partner recognize you. Stand up for yourself and what you deserve. Respect and love yourself first! You will be a better person to the other people in your life when you feel happy and not defeated.

3. You constantly feel insecure.

Innately, we as humans go through insecure times. The people we are closest to, should be the one’s to remind us why we are fabulous! Thus, if your girlfriend/ boyfriend is the cause of your insecurity this is not a healthy relationship. Take a moment to write down a list of at least five things you believe you should be receiving from a healthy relationship. After you have done this, ask yourself honestly if your current partner is providing you with your list. Be aware of defense mechanisms! Are you making excuses for your woman/man? It will be important to be honest with yourself so that you can know if your relationship is healthy. Remember, being in a relationship doesn’t make you who you are. You have a right to feel secure and happy every day.

4. You find that you have nothing nice to say about your partner, when you talk about her/ him to your friends or family.

Depending on how long you have been together, the honeymoon period may by long gone. That being said, do you want to be in a relationship where you can’t find redeeming qualities to still rave about even after all these years? It may be a sign that you have grown out of your relationship if you (perhaps without noticing,) are always speaking negatively about it. Ask your friends and family for a reality check. They can tell you if you don’t seem happy anymore. Look at your life, are you content in your career and home? Are there changes in your life that you can have control over? Ask if the problem is you, or your relationship. Perhaps you are not in a good place in your life, or perhaps your relationship is no longer working. Listen to what you’re saying and decide if your pessimistic comments are a true reflection of your companion or is the attitude adjustment one that needs to come from within.

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5. You’ve been setting deadlines for your relationship to get better by and they keep passing.

You shouldn’t have to set deadlines for your relationship, you should be able to communicate and get on the same page at any time. Setting deadlines creates for unwanted insecurity. By putting a date in place that you need a verdict or an action by, you are creating a waiting time where you are likely to not be living in the moment but rather counting down until the zero hour. Life should be about gratitude for your current moment. Of course a sense of direction is important, but if we are living for a time and unknown answer, then we are missing the joys of daily ins and outs. Drop the deadlines, and get to the point. Live your days to the fullest and choose happiness today. If you both are focused and happy in the moment then the future deadline is unimportant.

6. You fight all the time.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that fighting for weeks on end is not healthy. Your relationship should be a wonderful part of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life. If simple things like, what to have for dinner, or what movie to see, are turning into fights, it’s time to ask what is really going on? Usually, there is a deeper issue. Communication is the key to success. Be adults and talk about your feelings and thoughts in a calm manner. It’s often not what you are saying but how you say it. So if your relationship is important to you both, you should be able to have an honest and productive conversation without the neighbors wondering if they need to call the cops.

7. You Cry All The Time

If you wake up every day with sorrow in your heart and tears in your eyes, something needs to change! Make a list of things that are bothering you. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I so sad? What is making me feel this way? How can I change?” If you find that your answers are revolving around your relationship then it may be time to choose happiness for yourself. You can only change yourself, you cannot change someone else. Make the choice to feel good inside and to cut out the things or people who are making you feel bad.

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8. Your Relationship is Negatively Impacting Other Areas Of Your Life

Do you find yourself being less productive at work? Are your friendships and family relationships suffering? Is your boyfriend or girlfriend at the base of these issues? A relationship is supposed to build you up, not drag you down. You should not find work, or friendships suffering due to your companion. Ask yourself what is more important, how you want to live your life, or how someone else tells you to live it. When we are kids we don’t like to be told what to do  by our parents. It should be the same when when you are in a an adult relationship. A partner shouldn’t be controlling you or decisions. In addition, the way you feel about your life shouldn’t be negatively effected by your significant other. Remind yourself what kind of relationship you want to be in and ask yourself if you are really living that. Don’t let your work suffer because of the mood you feel. Negativity feeds more negativity. You have to find a way to pull yourself out and that may be by starting fresh without a lousy partner.

9. You Never See Each Other

For some people long distance relationships work, but if you live in the same area and you can’t find time to see each other this may be an issue, especially if only one person is making all the effort. You should never have to put time and effort into a relationship if it isn’t being reciprocated. This causes for resentment, stress, anxiety and angst. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly making excuses as to why he or she can’t see you, then ask yourself if this union is really a fit for you. Some people have an understanding with their companion that they only see each other a few times a week, as long as neither person feels let down by this, then that is great. However, if one person is feeling neglected, a conversation needs to be had, and a re-evaluation should be placed. Relationships take time, energy, effort and a mutual desire to want to spend time together. Make sure you’re the priority you want to be.

10. You Are Flirting With Someone Else

Some of us are naturally flirtatious people and it really means nothing. It is simply a banter or a way of expressing oneself. However, if you find that you are flirting and this is out of character, ask yourself if you are lacking attention in your relationship? Is your person making you feel special?  Or are you looking for attention from other people to fill a void. Have an honest conversation with yourself and then with your significant other. If you can’t be made to feel special then it could be time to change your status.

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11. You Don’t Trust Your Partner

Relationships should be built on trust, so if you are even questioning if you trust your spouse than you probably don’t. When we don’t trust people we can grow insecure and ultimately drive ourselves crazy creating realities in our minds that may or may not be true. No one needs, or deserves to spend their days consumed with questions about what their significant other is doing. Not trusting your partner will certainly cause you to drive yourself into a tizzy and will effect other areas of your life. You deserve to be in an honest and open relationship, make sure you’re getting the answers you need.

12. You’re Living On A Future Idea

There is no time like the present! If everything in your relationship is built around a concept that has never actually occurred then you are not living in the moment and merely consumed with an idea of what could be. You may never get that idea so be sure that you are happy now. You never know what would happen tomorrow.

13. You Find Yourself Lying

Having to create alternate realities to mask the one your in, is not ok. Eventually lies catch up with you and they certainly seep into other areas of your life. You should be proud, confident and secure enough to live in the life you are in. You shouldn’t have to make up lies and create a facade. If you’ve noticed yourself lying frequently about your relationship or your partner ask yourself why you are doing so. Maybe you are lacking some excitement, or perhaps you are covering up your unhappiness. Be honest with yourself and then be honest with your man/woman.  Remember too, he or she should not want you lying either!

14. You constantly say, “When X Happens, Everything Will Be Fine”

Assuming that when you buy a house, have a baby, get engaged or whatever major event your waiting for, will make your relationship better,  it’s not true. Major life events cause stress. You need your relationship to be strong and communicative before you step into a major event. Big changes can make everything seem better, they can also make life much harder. You need a strong foundation before you ‘build the house’. We cannot control tomorrow, but we can control today. So look at the here and now, and don’t assume that an unknown future is the solution.

Featured photo credit: Bad relationship- Po Yang via flickr.com

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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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