Our body language or non verbal expressions can paint a picture about us and our attitudes that we aren’t even aware of. We know it because we judge people based off the aura they give in non verbal expressions. Are you showing that you are a powerful, good communicator with a poker face or is your body language expressing your true feelings?
Here are some body language signs that many of us subconsciously give and ways we can combat them.
Folded Arms and Crossed Legs
Folded arms and crossed legs symbolize resistance to what someone is telling you. For example, you’re in a staff meeting with your supervisor you don’t particularly care for, and your arms are crossed the whole meeting. What does this say? That you’re not interested, on defense or closed off. We want to exude confidence, optimism, that we are receptive to ideas, and we’re not threatened.
Instead, try placing your hands on the table or on your lap. Look up straight and sit up straight to show you’re attentive and ready to play.
Raised eyebrows symbolize discomfort. Think about times you’ve been tired or your eyes began hurting after staring at the screen and you raise your eyebrows, or trying to speed up an awkward conversation without being rude and making a face. You’re raising eyebrows to try to create some kind of comfort for yourself.
Instead smile, and not an awkward smile, but a genuine one. Think about something funny that happened earlier, or something you’re looking forward to. If it’s a more serious subject, simply nod in agreement.
You’re sitting around a group of people or a heavy walk traffic area, and you’re in a hunchback of Notre Dame position. Wrong. This is a dead on symbol of low confidence, or feeling low in power. Even if you don’t feel this way, the posture sends a message to other people that you are weak and unsure of yourself.
Instead, hold your head up, straighten up your back and push your chest out. Say it with your chest is indeed a true statement.
Tone of Voice
Be mindful of your voice pitch. Is it low like you’re unsure of what you’re saying, or like you’re scared? Are you fully pronouncing your words? Or are you talking fast out of fear that you’re talking “too much?” Say what you mean and mean what you say with conviction. You don’t have to scream, but speak loud enough for everyone to hear you. Imagine when you speak low and someone says “huh?” because they can’t hear you. That can lead to second guessing in what you’re saying as you try to rephrase your statement, which is the ultimate confidence killer! Even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about, or aren’t as experienced in a subject, so be it. The confidence and assurance in your tone of voice can have your peers thinking your wrongs are your rights, and you’re the person they should be listening to. Demand that respect!
Remember when your eyes fidgeted after your mother asked did you get your report card, and she knew you were lying instantly? Or you were called on for a question, but had no idea what conversation took place that led up to it? Avoiding eye contact again shows low confidence, and even nervousness. If you’re confident in what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it, stare straight into the face of the person you’re talking to. This also builds trust.
Excessive Head Nodding
Exaggerated, sped up head nods symbolize you “get the point,” are uninterested in what someone is saying and would like them to hurry it up. This is fine if that person is the annoying lady next to you on the plane who won’t let you sleep, but not if it’s your colleague or someone important. Even if it’s a redundant subject, look with attentiveness and nod at a normal speed. Don’t ask how many seconds normal is, because you know when you’re nodding out of attentiveness or disinterest!
Hope this helps!