Learning how to improve my body language has been a journey. Decades of working on my confidence levels taught me how to express myself honestly in the right environment.
Why Am I So Misunderstood?
You see, all of those conscious and unconscious movements and gestures that your body makes while speaking to someone give away vital clues to your self-esteem and confidence. Unbeknown to you, your nonverbal body language may be projecting an image that is very different from what you intended.
The reason for this is there are two types of body language – confident and unconfident.
Whether or not you’re aware of it, your body may be conveying that you’re untrustworthy or have anxiety or a nervous habit. The good news is that you are in full control of the message that you put out. With a few minor adjustments, it’s possible to project confidence and make a positive impression that draws people towards you.
When Body language and Words Don’t Match
If you’re not sure how people perceive your nonverbal communication, it’s a good idea to ask a friend to video you. You could be sending out confusing signals. With video, you’ll be able to spot those exaggerated gestures, slouching, and defensive movements that give your secrets away. In addition, the video can help you identify which physical behaviors need correcting and which require a minor tweak. This will also eliminate the use of confusing dating signals when it comes to relationships.
Whether you’re standing or sitting, it’s never acceptable to slouch – unless you’re in the comfort of your own home. Slumped over shoulders convey the unconfident and protective pose of social anxiety and doesn’t want to be noticed.
Straighten your back, pull your shoulders down from your ears, and uncross your arms. If you’re sitting, keep your back straight and position your rear at the back of the chair. Don’t cross your legs.
Avoid standing in a submissive position – legs crossed, hands folded in front of you, or your weight tilted on one hip. When I was learning how to improve my body language, this was one of the first things I had to throw out.
Stand with feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Distribute your weight evenly, and keep your shoulders back. Imagine a piece of string pulling your head skywards. Don’t put your hands on your hips, or you’ll come off as arrogant or impatient. Why are these simple changes important? It’s open or closed body language and how it represents our self-esteem.
When you’re walking or talking, looking at the ground gives the impression that you’re closed off and disinterested. It also makes it difficult to hear what you’re saying clearly.
Strike a confident pose by raising your chin and looking forward. We are the masters of body language women. We must be confident in ourselves, right?
Stars In Their Eyes
Eye contact is essential in all social interactions. It’s important to get the balance right, though. Too much (or too intense) eye contact can be intimidating. Too little conveys a lack of interest. This creates the difference between passive and assertive body language that we use. The eyes convey much more than you think.
When speaking to someone, appear comfortable and confident by maintaining direct eye contact for about 60% of the time. Then, look at your surroundings for the remainder of the time.
Fidgeting of any kind is an obvious sign that you’re nervous, anxious, or fearful.
To appear more confident, do your best to keep hand movements to a minimum. For example, avoid touching your face or your neck or fiddling with your hair.
No one likes a loose and limp handshake. It’s a sign of a weak and timid person. Shake hands as you mean it. Be firm but non-aggressive to let the other person know that you’re comfortable in your skin.
If you want to come across as friendly and approachable, avoid folding your arms across your chest. This defensive pose keeps people at arms’ length and makes you appear insecure and standoffish.
To display confidence and respect, stand with your arms by your sides, behind your back, or clasped together in front of your abdomen. Then, when you’re feeling confident, open your arms to show receptiveness and honesty.
Practice Power Poses
To elevate your confidence before an important meeting with someone, practice power poses that involve opening up your body and personal space. These movements will lower your anxiety or stress and trick your brain into thinking you’re the most confident person on the planet!
Are You Defensive or Aggressive?
One of the most important things you should square away is your motivation and intent. You have to display different versions of yourself depending on your environment. Not to say you should be fake, but understanding when to be aggressive as opposed to humble is important. It’s also important to not come across as defensive. This makes you appear weak.
Why is Body Language so Important?
When it comes to my objective, learning how to improve my body language in order to be successful, in both relationships and in my professional life, is a must. I will always try to use confidence in any situation because my self-worth will always show strength. This works for all of us.