Somewhere along the line, psychologists figured out that there was this thing they called “body language”—a non-verbal form of communication that your body knows all about, and that you probably don’t. You “speak” body language all the time without thinking about it, knowing it or having any idea of what the heck you are saying to anyone and everyone who just looks at you!
Your body language is a very real language indeed. It is expressive and subtle, can convey more in a moment than hours of conversation could, and it starts talking before you open your mouth. Body language is a more accurate communicator than words can ever be. In fact, it is believed that only 19% of what you communicate to others is done through the spoken word; the rest is expressed by the body’s language and by tone of voice.
Given those facts, is it any wonder that emails and text messages can so quickly go off the rails? We depend on unconscious signals such as posture, facial expression, physical actions and vocal tone to give us over three quarters of our information! For someone looking for a relationship or in the process of fanning the new flames of one, all those non-verbal cues indicate what you want and what you offer. Did you know that you may be presenting to prospective matches that you are, in fact, closed to their advances? Nothing like being sabotaged by your own body language before you even get a first date!
A simple conversation can be fraught with mixed signals. You might be saying, “Would you like to sit down and continue this conversation?” but your body is saying, “I am afraid and shy so you probably should go talk to someone else.” It’s no wonder that many singles are confused about what other singles are really thinking or feeling. Projecting the right nonverbal information to reflect your intentions can make the difference between the right impression and the wrong one.
And lucky for you, not all body language is unconscious. You can communicate using your facial expressions and body in a very conscious and intentional way, as well as stop yourself when you are about to let things “slip” in a non-verbal conversation! To do so, practice being more mindful of the signals you are giving off with your body language. Here are some tips to help you send non-verbal messages that reflect your real intentions:
- Open up. Open body language says that you are interested. It includes smiling, standing tall with head high, comfortable posture, arms relaxed, leaning forward, directly facing the person you are speaking to, nodding, and smiling some more. It is contagious! The more self-assured and open you appear, the more others will feel invited in. They will feel safe to approach you, and what is more important, they will really want to! An open posture conveys self-confidence, and remember, self confidence is sexy.
What to avoid: Closed body language such as folded arms, hunched shoulders, lowered head, body angled away, or forbidding expressions such as a frown. These messages are like a huge “Shop Closed” sign for anyone and everyone who might have wanted to approach you!
- Eye contact. Though often easier said than done, it is vital that you look directly into the eyes of the person you’re speaking with. Doing so shows that you are interested in that person and in what he or she is saying. Eye contact communicates honesty and sincerity like nothing else and works like a magnet to draw people to you.
What to avoid: Looking down or shifting your eyes elsewhere, even if you are nervous. Avoiding eye contact sends a message of lack of interest, discomfort, desire to avoid interaction and dishonesty. Even if none of that is true, you could inadvertently communicate something that will sabotage your best intentions.
- Touch. Physical contact is simply the most powerful and the easiest form of body language to use. It is important to use touch perceptively and sensitively. Used effectively, it packs a big punch (pun intended) in a soft, meaningful and impressive way. By observing and mirroring someone’s body language you will be able to determine what kind of touch is appropriate. This can be where the sparks begin!
What to avoid: Touching someone who is sending clear signals not to do so! Be sensitive to the non-verbal messages you are getting!
- Head to toe. Part of body language is the whole gamut of subtle clues embedded in your general outward appearance. How you wear your hair, make-up (for gals) and clothing communicate non-verbally who you are and how you show up in the world. Be conscious that what is on the outside matches what is on the inside, such as your intentions. What message do you want to send?
What to avoid: Insensitivity to setting and context when planning your attire or general appearance. For example, business attire at a social event may project stuffiness while scant clothing may convey an image of promiscuity.
Being aware that your voluntary body language often speaks louder than your words can make a big difference when it comes to meeting and engaging with new people. Matching your physical actions with your intentions is key to successful non-verbal communication. By mastering your body language you can become an irresistible magnet and attract your true love.