Advertising
Advertising

The 5 Types of Friends You Will Have in Your Lifetime

The 5 Types of Friends You Will Have in Your Lifetime

Before I start, we need to untangle the definition of what a friend is. Many people consider acquaintances, colleagues, neighbors or associates as friends, but a friend is something greater than just a chit chat buddy.

A friend is a person who can understand the “skeletons in the closet.” They are those with whom we can share that which we might not even be able to share with our parents.

These are the five types of friends we encounter through our life experience. It is not easy to find the authentic ones, so we often experience a few that fall into each category. In each of the types below, you may recognize people you have experienced friendships with in the past, and may friend currently.

Advertising

Here are the five types of friends you will encounter in your lifetime.

1. The Mistakes

The mistakes are friends who we thought they were friends, but they weren’t even close. When it comes to friends, we always have to sense them from the gut. Mistakes are the ones who disguise, the ones who have the power to reconsider our gut. If we weren’t lucky enough to meet our real friends during childhood, we will have a hard time with these so-called “Halloween friends.”

Always listen to your gut and you will never befriend someone by mistake.

Advertising

2. The Pessimists

These friends are a bit hard to handle. I had a few friends and, as a motivator, I couldn’t get them to find a job, work on their dream, work on their success and lurk out of the comfort zone. I did reconsider them for a few months, but as I started working on my own achievements, they all returned to the comfy and safe territory. I was just spending time with people who don’t really want to be more than average.

These are also people who are hard to communicate with. You always feel tension around them and can’t be yourself. If by any chance you have these people in your life, try to help them for a while. If they still continue the non-action process, remove that toxicity from your life. Our brains are more than 80% formed by the people we are around. Make sure to find your bright niche.

3. The Scars

Have you ever had a friend you enjoyed spending time with, but your crossroads never seemed to meet? I have a few that I have to say I enjoy every second of our friendship, but I always get to see them by accident. I am always busy when they aren’t, and vice versa.

Advertising

With these people we can have the best memories, but never get to share our skeletons. It becomes more like a flat connection, just happiness and joy.

4. The Optimists

These are rare people that you want to surround yourself with. The optimists always seem to look on the bright side, like the Monty Python song. They always give great ideas; they are always cheerful and never have judgments for the people that look strange to society.

These friends are warm and will always keep up a good mood around the entourage they are surrounded with.

Advertising

5. The Soul Mates

Going from from the worst to the best friends we will meet or have met, we have the soul mates. These authentic friends are the ones we should never let go of. These are the people who know our body language.

Soul mates are limited edition. We cannot have more than a couple friends who know our deepest skeletons and yet share a perfect energetic bond. Soul mates are like magnetism, a force that can attract two souls that have magnetic energies.

Listen to your gut. You don’t need any more mistakes or pessimists in your life. The connections to the scars, the optimists, and–of course–the soul mates are the ones that will enrich your life.

Featured photo credit: Friends/Gerry Balding via flickr.com

More by this author

I Am A Real Gentleman. That’s Why I Am A Winner In Love. 7 Practical Life Lessons From Albert Einstein 15 Healthy And Delightful Recipes Of Berries You Can’t Miss 5 Pieces of Practical Advice You Should Take to Master Anything Increase Your Willpower With Just Three Simple Steps

Trending in Communication

1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next