9 comebacks for dealing with a liar

“I think 80 percent of the population are really great, caring people who will help out and tell you the truth … and I think 20 percent of the population are crooks and liars. It’s just a fact.”

~ Tom Hanks

Okay, so all of us at some point have told a lie or two. Even the “Honest Abes and Annes” amongst us have said a little white lie, right?

But you are not a liar; not really. Not when we consider that some people continue to spew lies over the course of an entire lifetime. These are the folks slapped with the “LIAR!” label – and deservedly so.

Consider this: in a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, some people tell as many as three lies every 10 minutes. How a person manages to do this is beyond us. These folks are liars of the pathological variety.

It is only out of respect for the liar’s humanity that we approach this topic from an even-keeled perspective. Make no mistake about it: liars can be infuriating to deal with. Not to mention, deceivers can extract every thread of our energy and patience if we’re not careful.

So we did some research and came up with nine ways to effectively confront liars without losing your mind.

If you think you’ve been lied to, it is easy to get worked up and abandon logic for emotions. But if you think you’re upset now, how would you feel about yourself accusing someone of something they didn’t do?

Research shows that paying attention to a person’s baseline habits – how they conduct themselves when they’re not lying – and comparing them to their present behavior is the best way to find out. For example, if they appear anxious, avoidant, or uneasy, it may be time for a talk.

Put on your investigator cap and uncover and document all of the pertinent facts (Who, What, When, Where, Why). Facts are crucial when confronting a liar; if you don’t possess objective, hard information, then don’t bother confronting them at all. (They’ll just slither their way out of it.) Oppositely, if you’re diligent about collecting the necessary facts, you can confront the liar with confidence.

At this stage, you know with near-to-absolute certainty that the person lied.

After you’re reasonably sure someone is fibbing, it’s time to consider your approach. Only you know the context of the situation and the severity of the lie; so it’s up to you to determine how you’ll go about handling it. Is this a first offense or is it a pattern of behavior? What effects did the lie have? Was this a personal or professional incident? All of these factors must be taken into consideration.

This step can be difficult for some of us, especially those who are conflict-avoidant. To overcome this hesitation, it may be necessary to remind yourself what is personally at stake (reputation is a big one.) If your character is being called into question, especially in a workplace environment, you need to call their B.S.

how to confront liars

When You’re Ready to Confront:

As you may know, dealing with a chronic fabricator is often a maddening experience. But you haven’t come this far only to stoop to their level. Always be above personal reproach. Before confronting the liar, remind yourself who you truly are. Rigorously adhere to your principles, and you will maintain your integrity.

Once you are in the appropriate environment, calmly state “Something is on my mind and I wanted to discuss it with you.” Afterwards, present your case. “Here’s what I heard” or “Here’s what I know” are possible openers.

Maintain a calm, composed tone at all times. There is no need to escalate things unless absolutely necessary.

Once confronted with hard evidence, liars will do one of three things: deny, admit, or defend. Admitting what they did is the only acceptable solution in all likelihood. Provided that you gathered the facts, maintained your composure, and kept things civil, there is no excuse for the person to act defensive, deny their actions or play dumb.

Provided the person doesn’t get out of hand, you can end the conversation after the next step.

Make no mistake about it, you are a victim of someone else’s lying or manipulation. Quashing someone’s propensity to lie about you requires a firm (yet calmly stated) message. Take a few moments after your case is presented to express that you do not appreciate lying from others; that you expect the person to be open and honest, and that you will always do the same.

After someone lies to you – especially if it’s a person who you trust – a period of reflection may be necessary. The truth of the matter is that most people are honest – for better or for worse.

Take heart in the honesty of most people. Regarding the offending individual, reevaluate the relationship, if necessary, but forgive them, if only for your own peace of mind.

But always remember this: You are a good, honest, and strong person. Your character will never fail to rise above the situation, provided you keep heart!


The Gentle World of Sensitive People

Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they will end the friendship. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.

They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing and the ones that often become activists for the broken-hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved. — Shannon L. Alder


Today should always be our favorite day

Life can be a very funny thing, and often times the best approach is simply to laugh.

I strongly believe that if we can learn to laugh at our follies, and find a way to chuckle in spite of the hardships we face, we would be able to finally begin experiencing the true joy that is living. I myself may not have the best life in the world, but I make the most of what I’ve got.

I’ve been unemployed for over a year now, and the job market only seems to be getting worse. All my bills are past due, and next month I have to figure out some way to pay for my books for school. I’m seriously considering selling most of my possessions just to make ends meet. But none of that really matters. What matters is that I do what I can, and laugh at the rest. And when I’m laughing, people know it. I don’t try to hide my laugh, or laugh at only an appropriate level. I laugh as hard as I feel merited, and it feels great!

I know that no matter what problems I may face, the end result doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I walk through my life with a smile on my face, and try my best to put a smile on every face I see. The funny thing about life is that too often we take it far more seriously than we should. I know many people that stress about every aspect of their life if it’s not going exactly how they expected it to. But really, why worry about it?

Life is chaotic, and beautiful, and it doesn’t run on any of our schedules. Yet I constantly see those who continue to struggle to keep life comfortable, which is an oxymoron. Being comfortable shouldn’t be a struggle, and also, being comfortable shouldn’t be the goal.

Knowing where you want to be is not a bad thing, and trying to live an organized life isn’t bad either, it’s trying to steer life and control it that weighs down the most on people. It’s like swimming upstream, it’s hard, and it wears you down.

We have to learn to let the river take us when our struggles aren’t fixing anything. Our problems are our own creations. I’m not referring to illness, or disease, or any issues that our just beyond our control, I mean most people who are constantly stressing over life. Also, all the time spent trying to change the course of something that is so natural, takes away from the time they could be spending enjoying their lives. How often do we hear the stories of a life that passed someone by because they were too busy doing something else?

Life can be busy, and it can be hectic, but there is always a way to take some time out of your life and enjoy being alive. Being able to step back from the world for a moment, turning your mind off, and just simply feeling life is one of the most freeing experiences in the world, and it can be done anywhere by anyone!

All these plans we make, and the jobs we have to buy the things we think we need, are all meaningless. In the end, none of that matters. We should be teaching our children that living and loving life is just as important as responsibility. We place too high a value on the things that don’t really matter, and it’s killing our spirits. We are caging ourselves with our schedules, and all our stuff, that we aren’t able to experience the freedom that every man woman and child is inherently entitled to. You came into this world with that freedom, and society slowly starts changing your mind, it should then become your life’s purpose to reclaim that freedom.

Don’t be afraid to live, because if you don’t then what’s the point of our time spent here? Conquering that fear can be done, but the regret of missing out on such a beautiful gift is a much harder feeling to overcome.

Every day is a gift that should be embraced and never taken for granted. Live your life every chance you get, because you will never have these moments back. They are here and now, there is no yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. The problem in planning our lives out is that we are planning all these tomorrows, and we forget about the importance of today.

One of my favorite quotes is actually a Winnie the Pooh quote:
“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh

As simple as it is, it really encompasses the beauty of today. Today should always be our favorite day. We should always be making the most of today, and letting tomorrow take care of itself. Tomorrow will get here, and it will pass, but what you do today is what really matters. Our lives are composed of nothing more than a constant series of todays. Today I laughed a lot, smiled even more, and spent time with people I love.

What did you do today?


10 anxiety management tricks that make you feel calm again

“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Dorothy M. Neddermeyer

Anxiety is much more common than people want to believe. If you suffer from anxiety, don’t worry. You’re not alone, but do not repress anxious thoughts. “Repressing anxious thoughts won’t work; they will just pop up again, sometimes with more intensity,” says psychologist, life coach and author Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.

There are ways to help yourself feel calm again when you feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Here are some of the best anxiety management tricks to help you calm down, approved by therapists and mental health experts.

This may seem like a no brainer, but when the anxiety hits, it can be difficult to remember to breathe. Focusing on your breathing is a sure-fire way to help yourself calm down when you’re feeling anxious. Author Robert Cooper, Ph.D. says, “Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly.”

Breathing in for a count of five and then out for a count of seven will help you focus your mind and relax your body. Deep breathing will also help get rid of the flight-or-fight response that anxiety often triggers in our bodies.

Anxiety is hard to deal with on your own. It’s best to make sure that you have people in your life who will support you when the anxiety gets to be overwhelming. “Research shows that people who encounter major life stresses, such as the loss of a spouse or job, come through the ordeal more easily if they have an effective network of friends or family for social support,” says psychotherapist Ben Martin, Psy.D.

A support network of people can help distract you, calm you down, or give you a reality a check when you really need it. You don’t have to deal with anxiety alone. There will always be people who are going to love you and accept you, so make sure you reach out to them during your time of need.

Anxiety can occur when negative thoughts start to seep into our day-to-day lives. Stopping those thoughts before they cause anxiety is the key to staying calm. One of the best ways to stop negative thoughts in their tracks is by focusing on the positive.

Purposely focusing on positive thoughts will help you calm down by keeping the negative thoughts at bay. The power of positive thought shouldn’t ever be underestimated. It can even help to write out all of the positive things you experienced that day, or the positive things happening in your life.


If you’re prone to anxiety and also drink a lot of caffeine like coffee or soda, you may want to cut back on those types of drinks. “If you’re feeling keyed up all day and having trouble sleeping, look at your caffeine intake,” says wellness expert and health coach, Dr. Susan Biali Haas.

Since caffeine is a stimulant, it’s prone to making anxiety disorders worse. Keeping your caffeine intake to a minimum will help you deal with flairs of anxiety when they do happen. Instead, make sure you’re drinking enough water and staying hydrated. Speaking of…

When anxiety starts to spike, make sure you’ve got a glass of water nearby. Oftentimes, our bodies have what’s called a “diving instinct” that will calm us down so we don’t drown when we are submerged under water. Like with diving! Many people with anxiety have found that drinking a cool glass of water can have the same effect when they’re feeling anxious. Not only that, but staying hydrated is good for your body and your brain, helping your anxiety.

Anxiety usually happens for a reason, with what mental health professionals call “triggers.” A certain situation or event can trigger you into feeling anxious. One of the best ways to handle your anxiety is to learn exactly what those triggers are. If you don’t know what you’re anxious over, it can be harder to calm yourself down. But once you learn your triggers, you’ll be much more likely to be able to calm yourself down when the anxiety starts to spike.

Getting a good night’s rest will help you combat your anxiety before you even start to feel the symptoms.

“If you’re sleeping less than 6 hours a night, you’re probably looking at a prime cause of your anxiety. True, anxiety can make it hard to sleep, but if there’s any way you can get eight hours of sleep a night you should notice an immediate difference in your mood,” says Dr. Haas.

Getting ahead of the game is a great way to make sure that you can find ways to calm yourself down again once anxiety starts up. When you’re sleeping well, you’ll be able to stay calm and keep your head clear.

Yes, exercise can help deal with anxiety. It can help you before the anxiety hits, but it can also help you even out your anxiety when it starts. Go for a jog, or even just a brisk walk around the neighborhood if you can.

“The key is to get up and move,” says Dr. Cooper. Sometimes, all you need to do is get your blood pumping so that you can give all that excess energy some place to go.

There’s only so much that you can control in life. You can’t control other people, or most situations. Instead, you can only control your own actions, and your response to situations.

“Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you’ll be much more effective,” says psychotherapist and author, Amy Morin, LCSW.

Anxiety often happens when we feel out of control. Take what you can control and allow yourself to let go of the things that you can’t. Doing this can help calm you down when anxiety gets to be too much.

Coping mechanisms can help with anxiety, and many mental health professionals swear by them. A coping mechanism is something that you can do when you start to feel anxious that can help you ground yourself and deal with the anxiety. “Engage in an activity that brings you joy or requires all of your attention,” says Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH.

Some coping mechanisms include writing, drawing, singing, exercise, talking to someone, cooking – anything that doesn’t include maladaptive activities is a good thing when it comes to anxiety.

Final thoughts

Anxiety is no fun, but no matter what, you will be able to find a way to calm yourself down when it starts to happen.

“Learn how to recognize worry, and then replace it with thinking. Worry is when your thoughts are stuck on the problem. Thinking is when you are focused on finding a solution. Worry is useless and counterproductive—thinking is progress,” says time-management coach and author, Kimberly Medlock.

Keeping a positive outlook and learning how to deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety will lead you to be able to deal with the mental symptoms. And don’t forget, your support system is always there to help you.


9 things that happen when you meet the woman of your dreams

Some people (men and women alike) may know right away when the woman that they’re seeing is the One. Others may be a bit slower on the uptake. Some may not know the signs to look for.

What exactly should you be looking for when it comes to making sure you’re dating the woman of your dreams? According to wedding officiant and author Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, “There is usually a telltale sign that lets you know when true love has arrived – a voice in your head, a sense of recognition or a gut feeling that this is someone special to you.”

If you’re connecting with your soulmate, there are certain things that you’ll experience that are out of the ordinary from all of the other women you’ve ever dated.

These feelings will come hard and fast, and you’ll be completely surprised by how quickly you’re developing them. You may be slower to fall in love with other women, but when you’ve met your soulmate you’ll be floored by the strength and depth of your feelings. Despite how quickly it happens, you’re not going to feel intimidated at all. In fact, it’ll feel like the most natural thing in the world.

Obviously, you’re going to feel attracted to her right off the bat. But the thing is, that attraction is only going to keep growing every single day. You’re never going to even want to look at another woman. Her personality and her looks are only going to keep growing on you. You’re also going to feel totally and completely satisfied. There’s nothing about her that you would change.

In some relationships, an argument can be the end. However, when you meet the woman of your dreams, you won’t be afraid to have an argument or disagreement with her. You’ll know that your love is strong enough to survive any spat. In fact, you’ll find that your arguments are over quicker, and you’re more easily able to reconcile and apologize to one another.


The woman of your dreams will never leave you feeling unloved or underappreciated. Some relationships are more casual, and can leave us wanting for emotional connection. However, you’ll know that she’s the One when you feel emotionally fulfilled and appreciated. She makes you feel special every single day, and never takes you for granted.

An important part of any long-lasting relationship is having goals and visions of the future that complement one another. When you meet the woman of your dreams, you’ll realize that you never have to sacrifice your vision of the future, because she’ll have similar goals in life.

Clinical psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Carmen Harra states, “More diminutive opinions will differ, but soulmates generally have the same virtues and values and see the world through a similar lens.”

Therefore, while you may not have the exact same goals, the things you want to achieve work side by side to make a happy life.

Maybe she takes too long in the bathroom getting ready in the morning, or leaves her hair ties lying around all over the apartment. It doesn’t matter – you’re going to find those little quirks to be some of the best things about her that you love.

Brockway adds, “Soulmates often feel a sense of the familiar and a sense of comfort around each other. Many people say it’s easier to relax into that person and allow themselves to be vulnerable.” When you meet the woman of your dreams, you’re going to love every single thing about her … even the things that you disliked in past partners.

Nothing about how you feel will be surprising or scary to you. If you’ve never been the type of man to commit to a woman before, you’ll suddenly find yourself totally ready to be with her for however long she wants you. And the best part is, these feelings will be entirely natural.

Contrary to popular belief, even men need to feel safe and secure in a relationship. And when you meet the woman of your dreams, she’s going to make you feel entirely safe. You’ll be able to tell her things that you’ve never told anyone else.

Author Karen M. Black states, “If you’re fortunate enough to meet someone with whom you have a natural, loving relationship from the get-go, then you’re going to feel this as an unusual comfort level. A low hum. A peace and calm in your heart. A quiet certainty. A curiosity. Safety in their presence.”

Oftentimes, men have a harder time sharing their emotions. It won’t feel difficult with her – you’ll find yourself opening up and sharing things with her you haven’t told any of your past partners.

If you’re still hanging around with single guys who don’t have an interest in a relationship, you won’t tolerate taking any jabs about how deeply you feel for your partner. You may find that you’ll want to protect your relationship more than you’ve ever wanted to before. The truth is, your relationship means more to you than any other relationship, and you’ll want to protect it – and her.

Society often finds ways to make men feel like they can’t experience the full range of emotions that come with falling in love. However, men have all the same feelings that women do, and they’ll experience all the same emotions when they meet their soulmates. Finding the woman of your dreams is going to be one of the most amazing things that ever happens to you. You’ll find yourself putting more time and effort into this relationship than any other – and the results are going to be phenomenal.


These things happen to your brain when you eat a pickle every day, according to science

These results suggest that consumption of fermented foods that contain probiotics may serve as a low-risk intervention for reducing social anxiety. – US National Library of Medicine

It turns out that eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt may help ease certain types of anxiety along with general neuroticism. This development was discovered some time after scientists and other mental health experts discovered that the stomach may also play an important role in mental health.

In one study undertaken of 700 students at the College of William and Mary, those that ate higher levels of fermented foods had fewer social anxiety symptoms. One professor explained it this way: “It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorable changing the environment in the guy, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety.”

The biological connection between the gut and brain has been known for a while. In relation to anxiety, scientists believe that good bacteria in fermented foods increases levels of a chemical called GABA – a neurotransmitter that has an anti-anxiety effect on the body. In other words, good bacteria that accumulates in the gut by eating fermented food may have a direct anti-anxiety, sedative effect.

It is worth noting that the gut’s ecosystem varies from person to person, so it is difficult to predict the necessary amount of pickles or other fermented food to achieve a sedative effect. On the same token, it is difficult to predict the degree of “anti-anxiety” effects by eating such foods.

While human studies linking fermentation and the brain are few in number, scientists have studied such an effect on animals. Previous studies have discovered a link between probiotics and depression or anxiety. In such studies, manipulation of fermented food intake had a direct impact on both personality and social anxiety.

According to Dr. Matthew Hilimire, a professor of Psychology at William and Mary, “Giving these animals these probiotics increased GABA, so it’s almost like giving them these drugs but it’s their own bodies producing GABA. So your own body is increasing this neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety.”

Scientists at the University also note the link between GABA levels in the brain and decreased permeability and inflammation of the gut. On this end, scientists discovered the lessening of adverse gut reactions – including gut leak and inflammation – and the consumption of fermented foods.

The study’s researchers explain this gut/brain connection further:

“The fermented foods so often included in traditional dietary practices have the potential to influence brain health by virtue of the microbial action that has been applied to the food or beverage, and by the ways in which the fermented food or beverage directly influences our own microbiota…this could manifest behaviorally…”

Fascinatingly, the number of neurons in our gut are roughly the same number of neurons located in our spinal cord. There is actually a term for this neuronal arrangement in the gut, the enteric nervous system, which is often called our “second brain.” Because of these neuronal firings, our gut is capable of reacting without communicating with our brain. In fact, it is said that cravings for certain foods may not come from the brain at all, but from the gut.

Our microbiome, the community of bacteria that resides in our gut, is influenced by our age, genetic code, stress levels, and where we live. Furthermore, this microbiome is capable of communicating with our Central Nervous System (CNS) and influencing our behavioral traits.

In the relationship between probiotics, fermented foods and behavioral changes, other studies have been conducted that appear to demonstrate a link between the gut/brain communication network and other changes in behavior. In one study, participants were split into two groups, one that took prebiotics every day and one that took a placebo. After just three weeks, the group that took prebiotics had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and in tests they paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information.

The bottom line is that consuming fermented foods – pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, etc. – can initiate a gut reaction that may relieve stress and anxiety in the brain. Also, we’ve learned that the gut does indeed have a “mind of its own,” and one that can influence our thoughts and behaviors. If we’re willing to eat healthy, exercise and do the advantageous things necessary to promote gut health, we may just find we’re better off in terms of our mental health as well.


11 traits of a quality woman

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring ~that she lovingly gives; the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

There are good women everywhere, but this isn’t always apparent when we’re in the dating phase. In fact, dating one woman after another can lead someone to believe that quality women are few and far between. (The same can be said for dating men as well.)

If you’re “on the market,” it’s likely that you’ll meet and interact with all different types of women – and most of them are good-hearted. Sure, a few bad eggs will rear their not-so-lovely heads, and this too often leads to stereotyping. Intelligent as human beings are, many of us are rather clueless about the opposite sex.

In this article, we focus on some of the common traits of quality women. We hope that the content is entertaining and insightful; perhaps even useful.

A woman who takes pride in her herself garners immediate attention and respect. She’s responsible and accountable for what she does and doesn’t do and refrains from undeservedly blaming anyone for anything. This kind of woman is reliable, hard-working, and confident.

That sort of woman knows her own self-worth and has the confidence to back it up. Though she may be insecure at times (she’s only human), she’s able to look into the mirror with pride. This woman is also intelligent enough to realize that her opinion about her appearance is the one that matters.

In other words, she doesn’t NEED you – and this is a positive thing. An independent woman isn’t reliant on anybody for her personal needs. She hasn’t fallen for you just so that you could provide for her financial, mental or physical necessities. The woman has entered the relationship as an equal partner – and is willing to shoulder the burden at any time if need be.

Of course, a quality woman is not self-absorbed or self-centered. Quite the opposite, actually – she often gives more than she takes and puts others before herself. In a relationship, this woman’s selflessness is evident. She wants love, honesty, and respect for you.

Theatrics do not interest a quality woman – something that reinforces her high level of maturity. This woman will not play childish games, escalate a conflict, or seek to make you jealous. It’s not an understatement that she probably despises unnecessary drama as much (if not more than) you do.

A quality woman knows what you’re capable of becoming, and will encourage this without making a fuss about it. She desires you to reach your full potential because she both loves and respects you and your abilities.

As a refined, mature, and intelligent woman, she understands the inevitability of occasional conflict. Something that separates a quality woman from the rest is that she remains logical and poised about the situation. She encourages and anticipates an amicable solution to whatever conflict may surface.

She is not afraid to make her opinions known and stick to her guns. She also possesses the knowledge to articulate her beliefs. Perhaps most important, she is tolerant of others and actively listens to what they have to say. In the context of a relationship, her opinionated yet open-minded outlook means she doesn’t require validation; nor does she expect you to appease her.

Quite simply, a high character woman isn’t bashful about intimacy. You’ll know when she’s ready for the next step, and she isn’t shy about stating what she is and isn’t comfortable with. A quality woman approaches intimacy as she does with many other things: with collectedness and maturity.

As mentioned, a quality woman possesses great character. She’s confident, smart, open, honest, and loyal. For these reasons and others, she never ceases to leave a good impression on people. Odds are most – if not all – of your family and friends admires and respects her.

But of course! Why wouldn’t you feel lucky to have a woman with such qualities? You should also feel a bit of pride because a woman of this status wouldn’t date someone who didn’t “measure up.” If she’s willing to share the rest of her life with you, count your blessings.


7 tips for learning to read the minds of others

Understanding what’s going on in someone’s mind is not a supernatural power; it is a skill that can be learned, developed, and practiced. You don’t have to be a psychic or a detective to do it — knowing what to look for is enough. In fact, we all have this ability to tap into others’ feelings and emotions by reading nonverbal cues, and much of the communication between people happens unconsciously through body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

You certainly don’t say everything that comes to your mind, but it shows subconsciously in your gestures and facial expressions. You may not notice it, but someone with developed nonverbal decoding skills most likely will.

These skills can make an individual a more convincing spokesperson, a better salesperson or even a mysterious specialist with a crystal ball and Tarot cards, who earns a few extra bucks by figuring out what a person expects or wants them to say.

Here is a list of 7 tips that will help you notice many interesting things and patterns in the behavior of others:

1. Consider the context.

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Before you read anything on the topic — below or elsewhere — please note that the same behaviors in different contexts can mean different things. For example, people tend to mirror the thoughts, feelings, and gestures of others when they are really engaged in the conversation or finding value in what their partner’s conversation.

In some countries, a handshake is simply not a common form of greeting, so it’s not always a sign of someone’s impoliteness if some people don’t eagerly shake hands. There are many stereotypes about people and their behaviors or body language, and these may vary significantly from country to country. Avoid assuming that a certain nonverbal cue always means the same thing. Context matters.

2. Pay attention to their facial expressions.

A very important part of understanding someone’s mind is watching that person’s facial expressions. This may seem obvious, as all people have the ability to detect and recognize the emotions of others, but subtle emotional changes are not that easy to notice and interpret. They are different from the basic mimicry of frowning or smiling.

For example, telling a real smile from a fake or forced smile is mostly a matter of paying close attention to the appearance of lines near the eyes of the subject. A genuine smile invokes more of these due to the use of more facial muscles.

Face reading involves things such as the position and movement of the eyelids and the brows, as well as the specific appearance of wrinkles and lines when people feel a certain way (sad, for example), or permanent changes when they feel like that for prolonged periods of time.

Learning how to notice the subtle or deeper changes that happen in the face will enable you not only to read people’s thoughts and emotions, but to predict these as well by identifying their first signs before the person even becomes aware of them.

3. Determine what is normal.

Many people have their own irregularities, peculiarities, and habits. Some of these may be red flags alerting you to someone’s nervousness, irritability, dishonesty, lack of confidence or trust.

Others are triggered by a number of things and are normal reactions to different circumstances or ensure the kind of flexibility that allows people to adapt to the changes and stresses in their lives. Depending on the patterns of behavior that are common and normal for a certain person, the deviations and inconsistencies can be very informative.

4. Watch and compare.

When you already have some idea of what is normal for someone and what is special about them, keep an eye on their interactions with other people — their eyes, their posture, their body language, and other details. By comparing and contrasting spoken or unspoken cues, you may notice a particular behavior or trait, different patterns in the behavior of the person, as well as habits and attitudes that are out-of-the-ordinary or far from average in some respect.

5. Trust your intuition.

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When it tells you what someone is probably thinking or feeling at the moment, or that something is wrong with them, you may not be sure how to interpret it. However, this sinking or even sickening ‘gut’ feeling we call intuition shouldn’t be ignored, as it can protect you from dishonest, hypocritical, mean, and toxic people.

Your intuition can pick up things that your other senses will miss. Your subconscious mind may detect slight inconsistencies between what a person is saying and how they are saying it or some of the anxiety they are experiencing when lying.

6. Watch their social behavior.

Social behavior is an important factor that can help you see the full picture or get more accurate results when guessing someone’s personality. Does the person often interrupt others or put them down, or display signs of aggression, dominance or manipulative behavior?

Some signs are not sufficient on their own to prove the existence of a certain trait, attitude or emotion, but their combination, progression, order or frequency may provide significant insights when taking into consideration the context of the situation.

7. Take notice of their body movement.

Your emotional state can cause some changes in your posture, body movement, and gait. For example, a person may develop a more bouncy rhythm and looser style, along with upright posture, or they could have stiffer and slower movements with more leaning forward. Confident people usually walk with wide steps, keep their back straight, and they don’t fidget or make clumsy moves like those who are feeling anxious or uneasy.

What’s great about body language is that it can be used not only to read people but also to affect and change your own emotions. Just try to straighten your back, stretch your shoulders, and keep this posture for a while to see what happens. While slouching makes you act and feel like a defeated or frustrated person, while acting like a confident and happy person makes you feel stronger.


7 techniques to be more social if you are an introvert

In today’s world that is laden with technology, the completely uninhibited, pure, face-to-face human connections are what mean the most in life. The bonds that we create over smiles and laughter are special and unique, besides the ones which are shared through tears and during moments of troubles and communities coming together to overcome sorrows.
If you are, however, more of an introvert and not an extrovert, human connections and communication are more difficult to obtain. Listening to someone talk instead of rattling off answers comes easier to you. It would take some great courage for you to enter an unfamiliar social setting, especially in a place where you do not know anyone.
No matter the severity of your introverted personality, or if you are dealing with social anxiety in particular situations, below you’ll find some of the simplest tips for introverts, given by introverts.
1. Take Action
It’s not easy, but force yourself to get out there. Talk with business people or join an organization. Speaking with people over social media first can help you make the transition to real life interactions much easier.
Push yourself to step outside of your comfort zones, and use social media to initiate face-to-face meetings which can give you a level of familiarity and comfort meeting new people.
When we look situations that are uncomfortable or difficult as adventures or challenges, we can cope with our anxiety and stress better.
Push yourself and be creative to go past your boundaries. Look at each new social setting and interaction as an opportunity, adventure and unique challenge for you to meet wonderful, new people. You never know who you’ll meet and what good can come out of that meeting.
2. Get Comfortable and Relax
Before any upcoming social events, go to the venue where it will be held to familiarize yourself with the layout of the place. Getting lost going somewhere new is frustrating, and you might also want to know ahead of time where you can park, especially on a city street.
Before you go, view something on TV that is funny to loosen your mood up.
When you are smiling and happy, your state of fun-loving will carry over to the event and help you to project someone who has positive energy and is attractive, making it inviting for new people to approach you.
3. Simplistic Goals
Concentrate on goals which are simple, such as meeting one new person each day, or even just one person in a new social setting. This will help build your confidence and give your forward momentum, giving you the sense of growth in improving social skills.
4. Have Your Outgoing Friends Help You
Think about who your most outgoing friends are. Tagging along with them to events you might not feel comfortable going to by yourself will really help you to meet new people through these naturally extroverted friends.
Don’t feel bad, however, if your friend attracts everyone in the room and makes you feel like you have taken second place or like a wallflower. Keep smiling and confident. Your friend will happily agree to help you when you directly ask them to.
5. Embrace Your Nervousness
Being nervous just proves you are alive. Socializing, just like any other skill, takes practice and time. You will get better and better, in spite of your nervousness – just be patient. When you stretch your boundaries you will grow one step at a time and eventually be fairly good at witty conversation and the typical small talk when you meet new people.
6. Direct the Focus on Them
In any kind of situation that is uncomfortable for you, just take the focus and put it on the other person by asking questions and becoming interested in what they are saying, listening deeply.
When you are making the interaction with another person about them instead of you, you take the attention away from you, and then you won’t feel like you are failing to put on a display.
This will also make you more comfortable to open up and get acquainted with this group of people you are hanging out with.
7. Don’t Use the Introvert Label
When did you decide you were an introvert, anyway? Everyone has complex personalities, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to reduce them to such black and white labels as extrovert or introvert. This puts an idea into our heads about our talents, personal skills, abilities and what we think are our limitations.
Each of us is truly unique, with our own unique experiences in life, which should help remind us that we are each one in a million.
Really, as humans we are all in the same boat, so drop the harmful labels and realize that everyone wants to experience special and unique connections with other human beings.
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9 signs of psychopaths that aren’t always easy to recognize: superficial charm, lack of empathy, and more

When we hear the word “psychopath”, many of us picture a cold-blooded murderer, such as the real-life Ted Bundy or the fictional Hannibal Lecter. But, contrary to popular belief, psychopaths and sociopath aren’t always violent. What most of them do, in fact, is using others to achieve their own ends with no qualms. What we call psychopathy or sociopathy is known as antisocial personality disorder (APD) in psychiatry. It’s a spectrum disorder, meaning it ranges in severity. Some people who have it misbehave only occasionally, while others actually engage in crime.

The terms “sociopath” and “psychopath” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is still no general agreement whether it’s appropriate. Sociopathy is seen as less severe and more obvious that psychopathy. Anyway, here’s are some signs that you may notice in both psychopaths and sociopaths:

They lack empathy
If you see someone is upset and crying for a legitimate reason, you’ll probably feel sorry for the person. Psychopaths and sociopaths won’t be able to empathize in such situations, and while they are able to pretend they are sorry, they don’t actually feel it, even if they were the source of the upset.

They don’t feel guilty or remorseful
Psychopath and sociopath have no sense of right and wrong. It’s considered that sociopaths may experience some guilt or remorse for their wrongdoings, but they won’t change their ways. Psychopaths don’t feel any guilt or remorse when they hurt or deceive others and will use every available means to get what they want.

They come across as charming
For a psychopath to use you, they will try to make a good impression on you and make you believe they are your friend to get what they want. True intentions of a sociopath may be more obvious.

They lie even when it’s unnecessary

Psychopaths and sociopaths will tell you all kinds of lies, big and small. They are often described as pathological liars. It can be a small lie, such as telling they are late for work because they were helping someone in great need, or it can be a whole fabricated life story — anything that their imagination is good for.

They play the victim
If they realize you’re starting to suspect that something is off and don’t want to play by their rules anymore, they will pretend that you’ve hurt them and you are the one who should be sorry. And some of them are able to do it in such a skillful way that you will actually believe you’re the one who is in the wrong.

Being around someone who behaves this way can be very taxing emotionally. Here’s what you can do to stay grounded and take care of your emotional health.

They can’t take responsibility

Psychopath and sociopaths always blame other people or circumstances; nothing ever is their fault. Be it at work or in a personal relationship, there’s always someone or something else that created a problem.

They have poor impulse control
A normal person weighs the consequences before doing or saying something and takes time to think whether it’s appropriate. Psychopaths and sociopath will do whatever they want, whenever they want.

They engage in risky behaviors
Because they are irresponsible and impulsive, sociopath and psychopath are likely to engage in risky or morally wrong behaviors, such as dangerous driving, gambling, unsafe sex with multiple partners, and even crime.

This and some other behaviors described in the article shouldn’t be confused with manic episodes of bipolar disorder, because people with bipolar disorder have no evil intent if they act out.

They think they are superior to everyone around them

Psychopath and sociopaths truly think they are better and smarter than other people and put their own goals above anyone or anything. For example, if your colleague is a psychopath, he can pretend to be your friend but will walk all over you to get a promotion.