You may not realize it, but a lot of times we are emitting body language signs that can actually mean something. Whether it be at work, a party, or even at home, some of the slight gestures we make could be indicative of something. Being able to read body language and be aware of what signs you are giving off can be a great skill to have. Not only will this skill help you read people and situations, but it will also help you create better ones for yourself.
Social Body Language Signs
I’m going to start with some body language signs signs that I feel are very useful in a social atmosphere. Recently at work, we had a holiday party, and I was able to successfully use these signs because I had previously known about them. My boss and I had just arrived, and had not known anyone at the holiday party, so we decided to hit the bar first and grab some beers. While standing around chatting it is crucial to be aware of how you are standing when speaking with someone. The way you are standing can make you appear more friendly and approachable, or contrarily it can make you seem less approachable. You may unconsciously be giving off unapproachable vibes and not even be aware of it.
Avoid crossing your arms at all costs if you want to seem open and approachable. Tightly crossed limbs and a closed up pose portray resistance, and are not welcoming stances. For example, when I was talking with my boss at the holiday party we made sure to keep an open stance so a third person could easily come over and join in on the conversation. If we had stood towards each other and kept a close structure between our conversation, it would be less likely for someone to come over and speak with us.
Intimate Body Language Signs
Attraction can also be conveyed through body language signs. By maintaining a strong eye contact it shows interest in the other person. It is also important to pick up on small cues like a legitimate smile, or facing towards the person of interest. Usually if someone is interested in someone they will try to close up on the physical distance between themselves and the person of interest. This can also be evident at times by a light tap on the shoulder or arm during a conversation.
Other than just smiling, it is important to show that you are actually listening. This can be achieved by simply nodding in agreement every now and then. It shows your continued interest in the conversation and that you are genuinely interested in what the other person is saying. Do not glance at your phone or multitask, this will portray the opposite, and show that you’re not really interested in the conversation. If you are a woman, pulling your hair back behind your ear will show that you are intently listening.
Powerful Body Language Signs
There are various high power poses that will show your strength and superiority in any setting. This can range from the way we sit down to the way we stand. When standing it is important to have a good posture and to take up space. Make sure to avoid slouching at all costs, and to not do anything that portrays nervousness, like touching your face for example. Keep your back straight, chin up, and chest out. Just as strong eye contact portrays interest, it also is a way to portray power. It is important to have a good eye contact and not break it. Although, there is a good balance that must be maintained as too much could also come off as intimidating.
When also portraying dominance it is important not to smile too much. This will display friendliness, whereas keeping a straight face will come off as being more serious. Having a good handshake is also imperative. Having a firm handshake will give off the essence of a powerful person, rather than someone with a flimsily handshake. Other examples of power stances can be putting your feet up on a table with your hands behind your head, or standing up and firmly planting your hands on the table in front of you.
You can also use your hands when talking, but must be executed correctly to be beneficial. If used right, they can help execute your arguments better and make better use of your body. Using them too much, and flailing them around could have the opposite affect, and work negatively against you.
Keep in mind that people are complex, and reading body language isn’t always that easy, but knowing specific cues can help you. Overtime you will be able to read people better, and better portray yourself in certain situations. Mastering this skill will allow you to take over the room at your next event, and meet a lot of new people.