Are you awkward? Do you keep being called clumsy? Do you find yourself clamming up while at social events? Are there times you haven’t the slightest notion as to what to do with your hands or legs? Maybe what you need is how to learn to get comfortable in your own skin. And also how to control your body to give out just the right signals so people are drawn to you. So go ahead and let’s begin the journey to your poised, balanced and uber-comfortable self.
The tilt of the head symbolizes interest in someone or something. Overly done it symbolizes sympathy. You can also nod your head up and down in a show of agreement or just to emphasize that you are actively listening to what is being said.
An overpowering stare can unnerve the recipient. I mean if someone were to stare at you unblinkingly wouldn’t you find it disturbing? The idea of good eye contact is to ‘connect and disappear’ and not stare like in an interrogation unless you are aiming at intimidating your conversation partner. While trying to maintain eye contact focus on the upside down triangle – from the eyebrows to the nose. Practicing this while conversing will improve eye contact without you coming off as creep.
If you are trying to let someone on stage giving a seminar or teaching you something feel valued, take notes. This ensures your engagement in what they have to say. Though take note, that this practice may not warrant the same feeling in inappropriate occasions.
Minimize body movement
Pace down your body movements. Breathe deeply and evenly. Curtail jerky movements with your head or arms. This makes you appear clumsy. Curbing this practice imparts a relaxed quality to the conversation.
Don’t cross hands.
Crossed hands may come forth as being protective or generally something negative. It may appear that you are shielding yourself from the other person or from the ideas that this person may be having. Practice comfortably placing your hands by your side or even bringing them together on your lap to appear open to conversation.
Besides providing a stable base, legs kept apart also indicates confidence. Keeping the feet at shoulders width comes off as relaxed and even normal and normal can be good. This posture also helps you take up space that will signify your comfort levels.
The handshake is a universal greeting that can also double over as an indication to the kind of mood that will pervade during the conversation. A firm handshake makes people weigh you higher than the owner of a weak one. Also, remember firm isn’t synonymous for a death grip. If you crush the other person’s hand they will only assume you are a bully or are trying to compensate for something else.
Match the other person
Bonding to a certain extent can be achieved by mirroring each other’s body movement. It is a technique engaged to build rapport and pervade a sense of acceptance, and it is something which most do while being oblivious to the fact that they’re doing it. In ancient times our ancestors utilized this as a social tool to gain acceptance in a large group. The vestige of this practice is what is now taught as body language.
Slow down pace
Some people tend to shoot off words at an alarmingly rapid pace. Well, you wouldn’t achieve anything other than the other individual’s inability to comprehend. Instead, make a conscious effort to pause between sentences. There is a full stop in between sentences and it helps to remember that.
When speaking to a person and the person happens to be standing behind you, don’t just turn your head or body slightly. This tends to make you appear a tad rude. Instead, pivot around completely and converse. This enables the other person to observe your face, which gives you the upper hand as you can now use facial expressions to augment your communication. Also gently turn around as otherwise, you might come off as aggressive.
Show your hands
Hands, used for myriad actions can be utilized to express while communicating. Open palms denote undivided attention. This combined with outstretched arms communicates acceptance, ingenuity and trustworthiness.
Don’t break eye contact
Eye contact symbolizes our sincerity and integrity while conversing. It makes you appear attentive to the conversation. It boosts the confidence of the person speaking to you and gives off a good vibe. Also at the end of the conversation don’t immediately look away. Instead reluctantly break contact. This again comes across as interest and a reluctance to end the conversation.
‘A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.’
Sit up straight. Shoulders high. Chin up. This is the stance you want to take when conversing with anyone. Avoid slouching and bending. Slouching makes you appear unconfident. Also, avoid moving about a lot. This can be very distracting and annoying. Poised and confident this will definitely turn eyes in your direction.
Communication would be incomplete without facial expressions. They are subtle ways to better communicate what is on your mind. Facial expressions include smiling, frowning, eye rolling, appearing bored or excited. It could also include raising your eyebrows in surprise or winking in jest.
Fidgeting is a big no when it comes to body language. Playing with your hair, fingering your ring, scratching, toying with your pen, or picking at your nails can all be very distracting. People who fidget are not taken as seriously as the ones who don’t. They are weighed lesser than others. It comes off as nervous energy that only ends up getting on the nerves of those around.
Reveal, don’t conceal
Avoid actions like covering your mouth or hiding your palms. This makes you come off as shifty. It makes you appear like a liar even if you are not. Psychologists claim that the body automatically reacts when it has nothing to hide. So concealing only buttresses a person’s opinion about the legitimacy of your words.
This may sound very simple and insignificant but it signifies your interest. So when speaking to someone if you were to lean forward slightly the other person unconsciously gathers that you are paying attention to what they have to say.
God has gifted you with two hands which can be quite useful a large portion of the time. But there are times when you have no idea what to do with your hands. You usually lock them up together or keep fidgeting with it. Well, what you could do instead is gesticulate. It is a simple nuance of body language which plays a great role. Don’t point nor do you want to cross your arms. They can be considered rude and disinterested respectively. Just use your hand to augment active speech production.
‘A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.’
Smile. A very simple action that doesn’t cost anything at all can cost you a lot in its absence. They say you aren’t properly dressed without a smile. Just imagine you are meeting someone with a heartwarming smile perched on their face, don’t you instantly find yourself liking them? Those are the wonders a smile can do. I don’t mean grinning stupidly by a smile. That is not impressive in the least. What I mean is a genuine, warm and responsive smile.
The tips presented in this list are actions which most of us execute unconsciously. Those hoping to master the art of body language for either professional or personal motives can try practicing the above in front of the mirror either on a daily basis or before attending an interview or while meeting new people you want to impress.