7 signs your body language is sending the wrong message
- Body language is an important form of communication — even if you're not always aware of it.
- The way you stand and gesture can make you seem more (or less) confident and attractive.
- Some body-language tweaks are easier to make than others.
It's generally easier to plan out exactly what you're going to say than it is to plan out how you're going to stand, what you'll do with your hands, and your facial expression.
And yet your body language — whether during a presentation or in an online dating profile picture — matters a lot. So it's worth paying attention to.
Below, find a series of common body-language mistakes that can make you seem less confident, more nervous, less attractive, and even more vulnerable to crime.
Your handshake is weak
You're curled up in into yourself
Research suggests that we're more attracted to people in expansive — as opposed to contracted — postures, even if we don't consciously realize it. Think arms spread wide as opposed to shoulders hunched or arms crossed. A 2016 study found that men and women pictured in contractive positions on a dating app were selected less often than the same exact men and women pictured in expansive positions.
You're concealing your hands
When you keep your hands out of sight, according to the book "Crazy Good Interviewing" by John B. Molidor and Barbara Parus, it looks like you have something to hide. This includes keeping your hands in your lap or behind your back. As Anita Barbee, a professor of social work, told Real Simple, "A person may be telling you one thing, but these cues indicate you're not getting the whole story."
You keep touching your face
This is a dead giveaway that you're nervous.
Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and the author of "What Every BODY Is Saying," previously told Business Insider that when you videotape someone who's nervous and speed up the recording, "it's hilarious how often we touch ourselves under stress."Some people, for example, squeeze their face, push on their cheek, or rub their forehead, Navarro said, as a way of self-soothing.
Your hands aren't moving at all
You're not guarding Buckingham Palace. Let loose a little.
Science of People, a human behaviour consultancy run by Vanessa van Edwards, found that TED speakers who use more hand gestures on stage tend to get more views on their talks.
You walk slowly or with short strides
People who were said to "walk like an easy target" — specifically, slowly and with short strides — were seen as more vulnerable to attack. The only problem is it's not so easy to change your gait to seem more confident — even if you're trained to do so, researchers say the effects generally wear off over time. Still, it's worth trying.
You avoid eye contact — or hold it for too long
Eye contact can help facilitate social relationships and increase empathy between people. But how much is enough?
The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the communications-analytics company Quantified Impressions, adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time in an average conversation. They really should be making eye contact between 60% and 70% in order to create some emotional connection.The Cut also reported on a British study that found the ideal length of eye contact for the person you're looking at to feel comfortable is 3.3 seconds.
Receive a single WhatsApp message every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here
- TUC biscuit tweet that makes fun of listeriosis ‘is in very bad taste’
- Richemont can now take over an online retailer that sells tekkies for R23,000 a pair - and Amazon should be worried
- The White House has 'the most toxic working environment on the planet'
- Measured in energy, this SA company sold as many batteries as Tesla made at its famous gigafactory
- Video games, chewing gum and driving lessons are some of the products Stats SA uses to calculate South Africa's cost of living
- The Free State could be producing 5% of the world’s helium soon – and that could change much more than just the party-balloon market
- What Stephen Hawking thought about boy bands, black holes and aliens
- Spotify is now in South Africa – 3 reasons why Apple Music is still better
- Civil servants' pee will be used to water a new green feature in Cape Town
- With this new dating app, you pick a match by listening to their voice, not viewing their picture — here's how it works
- Most vitamins are useless, but here are the ones you should take
- 15 things you're doing that make people dislike you immediately
- The 7 biggest questions we had after watching 'Black Panther', and hope are answered in the seque
- A mysterious property company just paid R150 million for a very unassuming building in Cape Town
- An OUTsurance founder just landed a R350 million payday – but he's not shopping for private islands just quite yet