Understanding body language – 10 Messages people get from your body language
When you communicate with another person, the actual words that you use are only a very minor part of how we convey the message that we are trying to get across. In fact, some people say that words only account for 10% of the message, the rest being made up by facial expressions, tone of voice and body language. Your body language is an incredibly important part of communication and it accounts for more, than half of the message that we convey. Understanding body language is not that difficult and here are ten things that you are saying, regardless of what comes out of your mouth:
1. The power poses
If you look confident, you will feel confident and people will listen to you. Standing, with your feet planted firmly on the floor and slightly apart, with your head up high, your shoulders back and your hands on your hips shows power and confidence. Fold your arms across your chest though, and you are saying: ‘I’m not budging.’
2. Playing with your earlobe
More often than not, when a person pulls on their earlobe, it’s because they can’t make a decision. If you do this during a conversation, then you are making yourself look indecisive and that you are a person who can’t make decisions quickly.
3. Stroking the chin
When you stroke your chin between your fingers, it shows that you are giving something some serious thought. It’s subtly different from the earlobe stroke because it suggests, not that you are indecisive, but more that you carefully consider things before coming to a decision.
4. Head tilted to one side
If you tilt your head to one side, while you are listening to someone it demonstrates that you are listening intently to what they are saying and you are very interested in what they have to say.
5. Persistent nodding
Nodding your head occasionally is fine; it shows that you agree with a person, but if you nod all the time, then it shows that you are insincere and will agree to anything that the speaker says.
6. Watch out for your feet
Here is another tip on understanding body language – watch out for your feet. You might think that you are pretty good at controlling your body language, but one thing that most people forget is how much they can give away with their feet. While you are busy controlling your facial expressions and your arm movements, your feet are probably shuffling away and fidgeting, which is giving away your nervousness, stress and anxiety about a situation.
7. Tapping fingers
Tapping or drumming your fingers on the table shows that you are becoming impatient or bored. In a conversation, it could be taken to mean: “I wish you’d change the subject, or I will go away.”
8. Making eye contact
Making eye contact with someone speaks volumes. It says that you are trustworthy, it shows that you are interested and it creates an instant rapport. Eye contact shouldn’t be overdone though, as staring will make the other person believe that you are suspicious of what they are saying.
9. Be aware of creating barriers
Body language communication is very powerful. Any kind of barrier between you and the person that you are talking to can give the impression that you are shy, hiding something or simply don’t want to talk to that person. Folding your arms is the most obvious barrier, but how you hold a cup or a glass in front of you can also create a barrier.
10. Your handshake
Your first handshake with a person can leave a lasting impression. A weak and limp handshake will make you appear weak, but an overly tight handshake will make you appear confrontational, so finding a good balance between the two is the best.
What other messages people get from a person’s body language?
Please, share your thoughts and tips on understanding body language in the comment section below.