Importance of Body Language in Communication
Communication doesn’t only occur verbally. As you speak, your body also speaks to the listener through facial expressions and gestures. Many-a-times, non-verbal communication can have a more powerful effect on the listener than verbal communication. For example, you know someone is not interested in a conversation with you when they keep looking away from you or give away dry replies. Or when a person is fidgeting with their hands or shaking, you know that they are nervous.
Sometimes, what you communicate through your mouth and body can be completely different. That is because body language is mainly subconscious. Most people can carefully choose their words, but not their body language. This is why you should be in control of your body language.
Importance of Body Language
On the one hand, body language can help you boost your impression on others; on the other, it helps you read other people. Retaining body language can help you pinpoint hidden emotions in others and make you feel more attractive and charismatic. Learning body language is a skill that anyone can understand. Some may even call it a sort of mindreading. It is like developing a 6th sense while you are interacting with people.
5 tips for positive body language body language
A positive and assertive body language enhances your relationships and workplace productivity overall. Here are five ways to help you maintain appealing body language.
1. Keep a Smart Posture
“An assertive posture is the one that projects confidence, not insecurity. You are open to the person you are talking to. And you can stand tall regardless of your height.” A confident person stands out in terms of having a good posture. Make sure that you hold your head and chin up. It would help if you were not slouching; stand up straight. Your shoulders should not be hunching over. Keep them apart and away from your ears. Place your feet at an appropriate distance, not too close or too open, to avoid looking timid. Your feet should also face the person you are talking to. Finally, your hands should be free and visible. Hiding your hands in your pockets is a sign of insecurity.
While taking care of all of this, you should not look too conscious of your appearance. Be comfortable in taking up space and getting attention. You should stand straight, but not too straight. It looks rigid and unnatural. The goal is to look naturally confident.
2. Maintain Eye Contact
You must have heard the phrase ‘real eyes realize real lies. Maintaining eye contact during a conversation is a display of honesty and security. It shows that you actively listen and pay attention to what the other person is saying, which gains you respect. It also helps in improving your concentration. Being in a room full of different people, lights, and sounds can be very distracting while speaking. Concentrating on people’s eyes in such situations can help you focus on successfully delivering your message. In addition, it is a great way to establish a connection. When your listeners see you making eye contact with them, they feel invited to engage more in the conversation.
Another thing you should know about is pupil dilation and contraction. The pupils of your eyes dilate(enlarge) when you feel optimistic about what you are seeing and contract(shrink) when you don’t. This involuntary response can help you read a person’s behavior.
However, you need to care about that your eye contact should not turn into a stare. Too much eye contact with a person can come off as aggressive or bizarre and send the wrong message. So, make sure that you make comfortable eye contact with the listener.
3. Walk With the Correct Pace
Your walk can tell much about you. The speed, stride, and position of arms while walking give off an impression of your mannerisms. For example, an outgoing person walks fast while slow walkers are cautious. So, to radiate confidence, your walk should be brisk and with purpose. Make sure that your back is straight and your spine is erect while walking. Take strides of appropriate length. Swing your arms freely with a slight bend in the elbows. You should look forward while walking, not at the ground. Your walk should be decisive, with ease.
4. Role of Facial Expressions
Someone is smiling- that’s a good thing, right? Not necessarily. Different smiles mean different things. Facial expressions are more complex and hard to figure out than any other form of body language. The eyes, eyebrows, and lips especially convey your emotions truthfully. To be confident, you should be expressive and use your face to maximize your advantage. This shows that you are relaxed and comfortable in your surroundings and not afraid to be expressive. Unconfident people often seem to maintain more of a dead-pan face and fail to show proper facial expressions while speaking, which may deliver the wrong message. Your expressions should not look too forced and look genuine.
5. Everyone Talks, But the Real Ones Listen
Don’t you find it irritating when people keep talking and don’t listen to you? I am sure we all feel the same. No matter how important it is to prove your point, you have to be sure that you listen to the person speaking. This has two benefits. One, after listening to the person, your thoughts about the subject may change. Second, this will only show that you are a mature and smart person. This will gain you respect from others. Keep an open mind throughout the conversation. When you are done listening, then you may prove your point. To exhibit confidence, try reducing the usage of ‘um’ or ‘like.’ If you genuinely don’t know much about the subject, you should not hesitate to tell the person instead of making a fool of yourself.
You can tell a lot about someone through their body language. People may not always speak what they mean, but they always show it. So even if you don’t feel confident on the inside, start by looking confident on the outside through your body, and the rest of it all comes around.