Every one of us has lots of body language that we may know, observed or yet, we have no idea that we are already doing. Some of this body language that we usually do are bad or gives an undesirable feedback towards the one we have shown that body language to. As people say, action speaks louder than words, when you say it’s okay, but your body language just says no to the people around you, then of course, they will have a hint that it’s not really okay on your end. Sometimes, our body language tells us how we really feel which can be the reason why other people would not want to be around us.
How important is our body language? Our body language can make or break our friendship or career. The people around us will always notice our body language which is why we need to cut it out, especially if we already know it’s bad. If you can’t cut it out, then maybe, you can at least fix it.
What we say and how we say it is incredibly important for communicating with others. But while most of us think of the most obvious, verbal component of what we say when communicating with others, it’s easy to forget the 60 to 90 percent of our communication that is nonverbal. This is a mistake. According to researchers, our faces can produce more than 250,000 distinct expressions, and our hands more than 5,000 gestures.
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
The good news is that bad body language can be fixed. It just takes becoming aware of the messages your body is sending to others, and then ongoing practices until you have created better body language habits.
Here are 11 common body language problems, and how to fix them. Give them a try to improve the way you communicate, and the way you are perceived by others.
1. Avoiding eye contact
When you avoid eye contact with someone else, you are communicating the message that you lack confidence in yourself, that you are uncomfortable, or that you are afraid or want to escape. You can fix this problem simply by making eye contact with the people you are communicating with.
2. Weak handshake
Shaking someone’s hand is often one of the very first impressions we have of another person. If your handshake is weak or flaccid, then you are sending the message that you are, too. Be firm in your handshake, but avoid the kind of death grip that actually causes pain.
3. Sagging posture
When you slouch or slump, you are telling others that you have poor self-esteem, which is definitely not the message you want to send someone in business. Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, and keep your head up.
4. Weak voice
While what you say is important, how you say it can have an even greater impact on the other person in a conversation. If your voice is weak, then you may appear to be weak, too. Practice speaking in a way that is strong and confident. You don’t have to be overly loud, just loud enough to be easily heard and understood.
5. Faked smile
Far worse than not smiling at all is faking a smile, which will label you as being insincere at best, or a fraud at worst. Let your smile emerge naturally and don’t force it.
When you’re leaning away from someone in a conversation, you’re sending the message that you either dislike him or her, or that you aren’t interested in what the other person has to say. Instead of leaning away from others in your conversations, lean in.
7. Crossed arms or legs
When your arms or legs are tightly crossed, this indicates to others that you are in a defensive frame of mind–either that you are afraid of the other person, or that you are closed to what they have to say.
8. Grimacing/eye rolling
When you grimace or roll your eyes during your conversations, you are loudly telling the other person that you either don’t believe what he or she is saying, or that you don’t respect them. Instead of grimacing or rolling your eyes, practice smiling and nodding your head in agreement.
9. Playing with your smartphone
Nothing says that you’d rather be somewhere else louder than texting or otherwise playing with your smartphone while you’re in a conversation with someone else. Make a point of putting away your electronic gadgets and put your full focus on the other person.
When you increase your rate of blinking during the course of a conversation, you are saying to others that you are nervous or anxious. Be aware of the blinking of your eyes, and make a conscious effort to slow it down when you communicate with others.
11. Fidgeting/checking your watch or fingernails
When someone is constantly fidgeting, tapping their feet or fingers, or checking their watch, they are sending the signal that they are bored and want to be doing something–anything–else. Be aware of when you start fidgeting or checking your watch or fingernails during your conversations, and put a stop to it as soon as it starts.