Actions speak louder than words, or so we’ve been told. It’s true: body language accounts for more than half of the communication that humans rely on every day. In fact, nonverbal communication is arguably more crucial to interacting with others than verbal communication!
What does this mean? Essentially, everything. Body language can be the source of instilling confidence in your abilities into others – or an indicator of your bad habits. When it comes to body language, try to pay attention to the ways that it can convey confidence and character, as well as insecurity and anger. Bad body language can be a bad habit to slip into.
Eye contact is crucial
A key element of healthy body language is maintaining eye contact with the person with whom you’re engaging. It shows respect, as well as a level of communication. Not engaging in eye contact can make you appear uninterested at best, and untrustworthy or distrustful at worst. Eye contact is a good way to gauge someone’s comfort in any given situation; if you notice that you are avoiding making eye contact in social situations, make a conscious effort to do so. It will strengthen your relationships, and your resolve, as a result.
Pay attention to your posture
Slumping or leaning back can be interpreted as being disengaged with the content that you are being presented with. Likewise, leaning forward and standing up straight show that you are engaged, paying attention, and eager to learn. The bad habits of slumping, or crossing your arms, can make you seem ungrateful and disinterested in what is going on around you – even if that’s not the case.
Use mirroring cues
Even if it’s not in your first nature to express your beliefs or interest through open body language, make a concerted effort to mirror the language of those you’re speaking with. Pay attention to social cues by mirroring the body language and the movement of the person you’re talking to you and you’ll instantly appear more interested in what they’re saying.
Simple body language like raising your eyebrows, crossing your arms, or leaning on one hip, can all convey disinterest or dissatisfaction to those with whom you are engaging. By being conscientious of these body language bad habits, you can seek to break them and express a more open, thoughtful, and interested point of view, simply by modifying the body language that you present to others.