What Is Your Body Language Actually Telling People? 7 Things You Should Know
Have you ever stopped to think about what your body language is telling others? Some movements you make may be unintentional, but what your body is doing is as important as the things you say.
Think back to the last time you felt like someone didn’t like you. What was it about the interaction that made you feel that way? Did they actually tell you they didn’t like you, or did their body language make you think that?
The thing is, that person might actually think you’re great. He or she may have no idea that you feel like you got the cold shoulder. And if it’s happening to them, does that mean you may be giving off the wrong impression, too?
Related: Why Should You Have Good Posture?
Do you know what your body language is telling people?
Consider these seven simple ways you can improve your body language to make your communication more confident and friendly.
1. Point your feet
If your goal is to have open communication and connection with someone, point your feet toward them. Although we don’t notice ourselves doing it, we pay attention to where someone’s else’s feet point, because it shows which direction they want to go. If your feet are pointing away from the individual you’re conversing with, it can feel like you’re looking for an escape.
2. Uncross your arms
It’s so natural to cross your arms when talking, but it puts off a defensive air. We cross our arms when we feel uneasy, because our body wants to protect our vital organs. Leave your arms loosely at your side and the conversation will feel more open and welcoming.
3. Notice what the other person’s body is doing
When we’re engaged in comfortable, natural conversation, our body tends to mirror the actions of the person we are with. You can pay attention and subtly mirror the other person’s body language to help ease into that natural flow of conversation.
4. Eye contact
Looking into people’s eyes can be awkward, because it’s a somewhat intimate action, but that’s why it’s so important. You show someone you are interested in what they’re saying by keeping that eye contact. Eyes give away a lot of information, so it’s also important to make eye contact to better understand what’s trying to be communicated.
5. Loosen your shoulders
If you’ve got your shoulders scrunched up by your ears, it makes you look tense. This usually makes those around you feel tense as well. If you can’t calm down and loosen up, try gently massaging the back of your neck. It can help lower your heart rate and soothe your nerves.
6. Watch out for your fidgeting
We all do it. If you’re mindful of your fidgeting, you can usually control it, but if it’s just not working, try clasping your hands together, one on top of the other and pushing your thumb into the palm of your other hand. This allows you to release nervous energy, but isn’t as noticeable to those talking to you.
7. Put your phone away
Snubbing someone for your phone is all too common. You can’t glance at your text message while in the middle of a conversation and still be completely focused on that individual. This is one of the most distracting things you can do, and it sends a clear message that you aren’t that interested in what’s happening right in front of you. It’s not fun to be phubbed by someone, so try to keep your phone away while talking to others.
It’s funny how such small things can make a huge difference in a conversation. Pay attention to what your body language is saying the next time you are with someone and you’ll have better control over what message you are sending.
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