Get Noticed, Get Ahead: How Positive Body Language Boosts Your Success

Get Noticed, Get Ahead: How Positive Body Language Boosts Your Success
Photo by Brooke Lark / Unsplash

Body language is an incredibly powerful tool that speaks volumes about our thoughts and emotions. It is a critical aspect of communication, as it allows us to convey our feelings and ideas through nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, and posture. In fact, researchers have found that body language often speaks louder than words, as it is more difficult to control and can reveal our true intentions.

Here you will learn why having the correct body language is essential for effective communication. You will discover how to read and interpret the meaning of various facial expressions, postures, and gestures, and how they can be used to convey different emotions and attitudes. Additionally, you will learn how to use positive body language to build rapport, establish trust, and convey confidence in your interactions with others.

By mastering the art of positive body language, you can not only improve your communication skills, but also enhance your personal and professional relationships. So, whether you are in a business meeting, a job interview, or simply interacting with friends and family, remember that your body language is just as important as your words, and you have the power to use it to your advantage.

BODY LANGUAGE

Non-verbal communication is an essential aspect of our daily interactions, and body language plays a crucial role in conveying our thoughts, emotions, and intentions without using words. Body language involves the use of physical movements, gestures, and expressions to express ourselves to others. These non-verbal cues can be a powerful tool in enhancing communication and building deeper connections with people around us.

Body language includes a wide range of movements such as facial expressions, body postures, hand gestures, and eye movements. These cues can communicate a wide range of emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, and many others. For instance, a person's facial expression can indicate whether they are happy, sad, or angry, while their body posture and movements can reveal their level of confidence, discomfort, or interest in the conversation.

In addition to these non-verbal cues, touch language is also an essential aspect of body language, which involves the use of touch to communicate with others. For example, a hug can express love and affection, while a handshake can indicate respect and professionalism.

Understanding and interpreting body language can be an invaluable skill in our personal and professional lives. By being aware of the non-verbal cues that others are giving off, we can gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts and feelings, and respond accordingly. Moreover, by using body language effectively, we can enhance our communication skills, build stronger relationships, and achieve greater success in our personal and professional endeavors.

FIVE CATEGORIES OF BODY LANGUAGE

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Interpreting a person's body language is not just limited to their physical movements or gestures. It also involves analysing their facial expressions. A person's face is a window to their thoughts and emotions, and we can gather a lot of information about them by observing their eyes, eyebrows, lips, nose, and cheeks.

For instance, a happy person's face will light up with a smile, and their posture and movements will be energetic and positive. On the other hand, a sad person's face will lack smiles, and they will avoid making eye contact or responding to attempts to make them smile. They may also have a downcast expression.

Similarly, when a person is focused on something, their gaze will be fixed on it, and they will have a determined, attentive expression. They will listen to you intently, conveying a sense of confidence in you. However, an unfocused person will have a vacant expression on their face, and their attention will be scattered, making it evident that they are not interested in the conversation.

A confident person, on the other hand, exudes positive energy and self-assurance. They look you in the eye while speaking and walk with their head held high, conveying a sense of purpose and conviction. In contrast, an anxious or frightened person will appear tense and disturbed, with a lack of energy and a half-open mouth. They will avoid eye contact and may be fidgety or restless.

Besides facial expressions, eye movements also offer valuable insights into a person's thoughts and emotions. If a person is interested in what you are saying, their pupils will dilate, indicating that they are fully engaged in the conversation. Conversely, if they are bored or disinterested, their pupils will contract. Additionally, the intensity of a person's blinks can also reveal their level of interest in the conversation. When captivated, a person's blink rate slows down, indicating that they are fully focused on you.

HEAD AND NECK SIGNALS:

When observing a person's body language, it is important to pay attention to the position of their head and neck. A relaxed and comfortable head and neck posture indicates that the individual is in a good mental state and is not experiencing any tension or stress. On the other hand, if their head and neck appear tense or strained, it may be a sign that they are struggling with some emotional or mental burden.

Furthermore, the way a person moves their head and neck during a conversation can convey a lot of meaning. For example, if someone continuously nods their head in agreement while listening to someone else speak, it signals that they are in alignment with the speaker's point of view. Conversely, if they keep their head still and shake it once, it is a sign of respect for the speaker.

In certain situations, a person may also tilt their head downward and look down while the other person is talking. This can indicate that they are seeking permission to interject or say something. By paying attention to these subtle cues in a person's head and neck posture and movements, we can gain valuable insights into their emotional state and intentions.

GENERAL BODY POSTURES:

Understanding a person's moods and emotions can be determined by observing their body movements. For instance, when a person is angry, they tend to try and dominate others by moving towards them or by bearing down on them with a hand movement. In contrast, a person who is timid or unsure about themselves will retreat or keep their distance from you, and their words will tend to put the matter off.

Moreover, a person's moods can also be gauged by their style of sitting or standing up. For instance, if a person is sitting back comfortably and then brings their chair forward, it means that in the course of the discussion, they are feeling relaxed with what you are saying.

The position of a person's shoulders can reveal a lot about their emotions and health. It also plays an important role in communicating their feelings. For instance, if a person sits with their shoulders back and their body leaning forward slightly, it suggests that they are full of self-confidence. However, if they lean forward and don't look relaxed, it could mean that they suffer from a lack of self-esteem or are feeling sad.

When a person is feeling relaxed, the position of their shoulders will convey this to you. They will lean forward, indicating that they are at ease. However, if they are worried, their shoulders will be raised slightly. If they shrug their shoulders, it indicates that they don't know what to tell you or cannot help you in any way.

GESTURES:

Our body movements can convey a lot of information about our thoughts, emotions, and personality traits. These movements involve different parts of our body such as hands, fingers, arms, head, and legs. They can be both voluntary and involuntary. For instance, the way we clasp our fingers can also convey a message.

Let's consider an example. If you get up with your elbows crossed, it is considered a sign that you do not welcome the suggestion and gives the impression that you have a closed body language towards the speaker. It indicates that you are not willing to make any effort to understand their point of view. Psychologists even believe that folding your elbows indicates a lack of self-confidence and shows insecurity.

Our hand gestures can also indicate our state of well-being. When our hands are relaxed, we tend to be full of self-confidence and self-assurance. On the other hand, if we clench our fists, it indicates that we are angry or tense. Similarly, if someone keeps shaking their hands, it indicates nervousness or anxiety. These small details can reveal a lot about our inner state, and it's always helpful to be aware of them.

HANDSHAKES:

Handshaking is an interesting aspect of body language that carries significant meaning. It is a gesture that is commonly used while closing a deal, greeting someone, or congratulating them. The way you perform this act of shaking hands reflects your confidence levels and can have a considerable impact on the first impression you create. A firm and a friendly handshake is crucial in establishing a positive and lasting impression. Although nowadays, people are opting for the Indian traditional greeting of "namaste," it is still essential to understand the significance of a good handshake. Moving on to the practical implementation of positive body language, it is essential to consider a few tips that can help you portray confidence and create a good impression while shaking hands.

EXERCISES TO INCREASE YOUR POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE

Positive body language is very important if you are looking to move forward in life. I will now teach you certain exercises that you can practice at home to make your body language positive.

1. Practise your sitting and standing posture: One effective way of improving your posture is by practicing sitting down and standing up in front of a mirror. It allows you to observe your movements and make necessary adjustments. When you are standing, keep your hands relaxed by your side to promote a natural and confident stance. Meanwhile, when you are sitting down, place your hands on your lap to keep them from fidgeting or appearing awkward. It is also advisable to avoid putting your hands in your pockets as this may cause you to slouch or lean to one side. Additionally, ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground when you are seated to maintain good balance and stability.

2. Practise walking with your head held high: To build your self-confidence, you can try wearing heels and placing a book on your head while walking. This exercise can help you improve your posture, balance, and coordination. By walking with your head held high and your eyes looking straight ahead, you'll not only appear more confident, but you'll also feel more confident. Practicing this habit regularly can also help you develop a stronger sense of self-assurance in other areas of your life. So, if you're looking to boost your self-confidence, try incorporating this simple exercise into your daily routine.

3. Learn the art of making eye contact: One effective way to boost your self-confidence and become a better communicator is to practice talking to yourself in front of a mirror. This exercise allows you to observe your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, and make adjustments to improve your communication skills. Moreover, by looking into your own eyes as you speak, you can learn to maintain eye contact with others and convey confidence and authenticity. So, next time you have an important conversation or presentation, try talking to yourself in the mirror beforehand and see how it can positively impact your performance.

4. Practise being receptive: If you are someone who feels shy or lacks confidence in social situations, there are various techniques you can use to help overcome these feelings and present yourself with a positive self-image. One such technique is to practice speaking in front of a mirror. By doing so, you can observe your body language and facial expressions while speaking, which can help you identify areas you need to work on. 

One specific exercise you can try is shaking your head while speaking. This can help you feel more relaxed and confident while speaking, as well as help you avoid any negative self-talk that might otherwise impact your ability to communicate effectively. Additionally, if you struggle with initiating conversations, practicing common phrases like "Hello Sir, how are you today? I am fine, thank you. What do you do?" can be a useful way to build your confidence and become more comfortable with speaking in public. 

With practice, these techniques can help you generate self-confidence and present yourself with a positive self-image in social situations. By improving your communication skills in this way, you can build stronger relationships and achieve greater success in both your personal and professional life.

5. Avoid touching your face a lot: One way to observe your body language and improve it is by sitting in front of a mirror and speaking to yourself. As you do this, pay attention to how often you touch your face. If you repeatedly touch your face, it can convey a negative body language and make you appear dishonest or nervous in front of others. This gesture can give the impression that you are trying to hide something or are not confident in the conversation. Therefore, if you want to work on showing a positive body language and build trust with others, it's important to avoid excessive face-touching. Try to be mindful of your movements and keep your hands still or use them purposefully while communicating with others. By doing so, you can create a more confident and trustworthy impression.

6. Avoid sitting slumped with your head downcast: Martha Graham once said, "The body never lies." This statement holds true even today as positive body language can have a huge impact on your personal and professional life. It is important to remember to adopt a certain stance when sitting with people and to smile as often as possible, as this indicates excellent positive body language.

If you are looking to improve your body language, it is recommended that you watch videos on the subject and analyze your negative traits. By doing so, you can identify areas for improvement and work on exercises to help you build a positive body language. With consistent effort and practice, you can learn to project confidence and positivity through your body language, which can help you achieve success in life.