Imagine you are waiting for a friend to meet you in the middle of a busy shopping mall. In the meantime, you watch dozens of people pass you by. A woman is preoccupied with a telephone conversation as her child is tugging on her sleeve for attention. A man passes you with barely any expression on his face. An elderly woman smiles at her grandson. An aggravated customer is waving his hands frantically at a store employee.
You have not spoken to any of these people, but can infer what they are feeling from the way that they are conducting themselves. Most likely, you would prefer to speak with the smiling grandmother than the outraged customer. Body language has a major impact on the way that we perceive others and how others, in turn, regard us. We’re going to take a closer look at body language and examine whether our actions are relaying the message that we hope to send to others.
Smile and Laugh
Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. Don’t feel ashamed to be happy! Sometimes it’s so easy to alter your mood in relation to how other people are acting, but there is a real difference between respecting others’ feelings and constantly changing your own behavior to meet others’ expectations.
There is a lot of truth to the statement, “Eyes are the window to the soul.” If you keep shifting your eyes around the room, the other person will feel as though you are nervous about something or not paying attention to what they are saying. A lack of eye contact also makes you seem insecure. On the other hand, too much eye contact can be slightly creepy—balance is key here. If you are not used to maintaining eye contact, it might feel a tad uncomfortable or difficult at first, but keep working on it and begin to feel yourself at ease when you connect with others.
Your posture reveals a lot about the way you perceive yourself. Head up, relax your shoulders and sit up straight. When you’re walking, hold your head high and slow down a bit—walking slower not only makes you seem more confident and calm, it will also make you feel less stressed.
This is a post from the Feather archives. We lost all of our old content, so we’ll be reposting our greatest stories to keep giving you the best we have to offer.