What Your Body Language Says About You

It’s a “Secret” confidence game-changer

We only get one chance at making a good first impression and we all want to be perceived positively by a potential new employer, client, family member or even a blind date. Most of us know how to make our first interactions an intelligent discourse. We may even stop and look at the mirror for last minute adjustments to our clothes, hair and makeup—accepting that looks are all part of that all-important equation. But social science tells us that there’s one more thing to be aware of –and it can be a game changer—and that’s posture. Did you know that the way we carry ourselves, the way we walk across a room, stand, sit and use our hands influences how others perceive us?
 
Body language speaks for you and instantly conveys how confident or powerless you feel about yourself at that moment. People who are unsure of themselves during stressful, uncomfortable events, may slide into a room, eyes down, shoulders hunched forward. They are generally unaware that they are ‘hiding in plain sight’ as they cave into a chair, with one leg twisted over and around the other, covering their neck or face with one hand, or fidgeting nervously. If you’ve ever caught yourself in any of these unattractive moves, you know all of the effort being used to go unnoticed makes you feel emotionally lousy, too.
 
To get our bodies to tell others that we are competent, confident and we really do want others to get to know us better, Harvard psychologist and author of Presence, Bringing Your Boldest Self To your Biggest Challenges (Little Brown) has researched all the right moves for success.
 
For starters, Cuddy reveals it’s important to know that it’s a fact that our body speaks to the mind and has the ability to change what’s going on inside of our heads. So with a change of positions -- head up, shoulders back, walking with a wider stance and taking up more space as you sit, keeping hands comfortably at your sides, for instance-- we immediately send a message to the brain, that we have energy and we’re feeling up to the occasion. It also helps us make immediate connections with others by visually showing them that we are open and interested in the goings on around us.
 
So make an effort to assess your moves and posture every now and then, and tweak and adjust subtly them to up your chances of success during those important situations when first impressions count.

Detox Your Relationships

Take the poison out once and for all

Whether it’s a partner, friend, coworker, parent or even a fellow member of the PTA, just about everybody has experienced a relationship they just can’t seem to navigate properly. The relationship might even feel, well, downright toxic. Go searching for advice on toxic relationships and you’ll find plenty, most of it involving ridding toxic people from your life, though.

But what if ridding toxic people from your life isn't so simple? Like, for example, what if the toxic vibes are coming from your boss, your spouse or your relatives? Those people are not so easy to ditch. Los Angeles psychotherapists Barry Michels and Phil Stutz, authors of  The Tools, say you don’t necessarily have to get rid of the person. But you do have to do a little work on yourself. The New York Times best-selling authors have come up with this three step anti-poison approach:  
 
Stop the judgements now
 
Think your boss is a total idiot despite a fancy degree? Hate how your partner chews? Each and every time you allow yourself these (usually silent) judgments, you’re poisoning the relationship. If you have a negative judgement on a person, the psychotherapists say it’s like you’re telegraphing negativity. So keep this in mind: everybody knows you’re thinking bad things about them, even if you plaster a smile on your face. You have to stop the judgements by literally mentally tagging them as poison as they come up. Then – and this is crucial—intentionally create positive appraisals of the person. It will take effort, but focus as much energy as you can muster on the positive appraisals.
 
Validate
 
Michels and Stutz says that a relationship winner is the person who gives –not gets—the most validation. This might sound cheesy, but it works. Tell your boss how much you like how he runs the weekly staff meeting, tell your partner how grateful you are that he helps around the house, tell your kid how wonderful it is that she practices piano without being asked or whatever you can find to use as a validation. It’s hard to spew poison when you’re being validated. Simple as that.
 
Get a life
 
That is, make sure you engage in plenty of fulfilling activities beyond the relationship at hand. No relationship will meet all of your needs. By intentionally cultivating a full life you take the pressure off of your key relationships. Pressure is sure-fire poison, warn Michels and Stutz.

This Self-Sabotaging Behavior May Surprise You

How Facebook triggers it and what you can do

Many women know exactly what they want in life - career success, a fit body, great relationships, and some of them even have a pretty good idea of the behaviors and habits it takes to get what they want. Yet why don’t they do it? Oftentimes, it’s self-sabotage. That’s the process whereby we do (or don’t do) something that’s completely counterproductive to our goals and desires. It happens often on a small scale – skipping meals, though you know that’ll just make you overeat later—and sometimes on a much larger scale as well (i.e. you want a happy marriage, but you have an affair).
 
You don’t have to be rocket scientist to know that overdrinking, drugging, gossiping, cheating, overeating and procrastinating are all examples of self-sabotaging behaviors.  But another key way women self-sabotage might very well surprise you.
 
“The biggest way women self-sabotage is by getting into a cycle of comparison and assessing themselves negatively - internalizing negative beliefs about how they fall short in their careers, relationships, attractiveness or what have you,” says Andrea Bonoir, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based licensed clinical psychologist. “This is especially dangerous in this age of social media, where everyone appears to have lives that are more perfect than they really are.” See, when you obsess over how everyone else has it made, you put yourself into the “poor me” mindset, and if you stay there long enough, you’ll convince your poor little ‘ol self that you have no power and no choices -the epitome of self-sabotage. Besides, what you’re really doing is comparing your insides to other people’s outsides – hardly a fair comparison.
 
To help mitigate self-sabotaging triggers, stop studying your neighbors and friends on Facebook and start thinking about your own goals and how you can structure your daily life to support those goals. Do this enough and you might just get everything you want, or at least get very darn close.

4 Signs He’s Not the One For You

Your breakup cheat sheet

You’ve probably heard and have maybe even said the phrase “you’ll just know” when somebody is right for you a few times in your life. But does this phrase also mean that you’ll know when somebody isn’t right for you? It goes without saying that the vast majority of us in the active dating pool go from one date to the next overlooking the negatives, according to relationship expert, Kathryn Alice.
 
“It's really hard to break up,” says Alice, author of Love Will Find You: 9 Magnets to Bring You and Your Soulmate Together. “But it’s even worse to get hung up on someone who is clearly not right for you.” If you truly want love for the long haul, look for these warning signs that you and your current partner need to uncouple:
 
The spark is gone
 
There's no spark – “you DO get crackling chemistry with the right one,” says Alice.
 
Overcritical, and…
 
When your partner doesn’t uplift you, they need to go. It’s also time to rethink your choice of a partner if their criticisms make you feel demeaned and start to eat at your self-esteem. Take a second look if your partner doesn’t make you feel special, isn’t that interested in what you’re about, disrespects you and is emotionally abusive towards you. “Of course, physical abuse is an absolute deal breaker,” says Alice.
 
Excitement has left the building
 
When your partner’s enthusiasm about you has dwindled to an unrecoverable level, be on notice. You should never have to guess if your partner is interested in you. “If you're anxious to get every text, if you go long periods of time without hearing from the person and are looking for signs that he or she is into you, that's not good,” says Alice.
 
More fighting, less smiling

When you do more fighting than smiling, Houston, we have a problem. A relationship where there’s little harmony and no peace isn’t a relationship, it’s more like an extremely lengthy and excruciating breakup.
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