What your body language says about you
Are you unconsciously closing yourself off from potential partners? What your body language says about you could make all the difference, says Rebecca Perkins
There was a time after my divorce when my body language looked totally different to how it does today. There was a time when I would complain to anyone who would listen that there were no decent men out there. I longed for someone in my life, I’d tell them. It took one brave and dear friend to tell me, in very plain Anglo Saxon, that until I got the **** off (please fill in your expletive of choice) removed from my forehead NOTHING was going to happen.
I was shocked! I vehemently replied, arms tightly folded across my body and brow deeply furrowed. That was unfair and untrue. Oh but it is, she replied.
I have to admit, with the beauty of hindsight and some good coaching, she was absolutely right. I might as well have been wearing a T-shirt with the words ‘unavailable’ or ‘don’t even think about talking to me’ emblazoned on it.
Your body language speaks a lot louder than your words at times. Here are a few things you can work on to get your body language working for you:
Become a detective and start to notice those around you
Who are the confident ones, who are the timid ones, who are the opinionated ones? What do you notice about their body language? Where are their eyes focused when you talk? Where are their arms? How do they sit? How do they use their hands?
How’s your posture?
Stand tall and take up space in your surroundings. It gives an air of authority and of someone who’s confident and emotionally strong. Next time you’re out for a walk, even if it’s across the office or heading to the train in the morning, walk with your head held high. It might feel odd to begin with, especially if you’re used to walking head down, deep In thought but notice the difference in how it makes you feel.
Try this little exercise
Sit on a chair, legs and arms crossed, hunched over and looking down. How hard is it to breathe deeply? How easily do your thoughts turn inwards? Imagine how uncomfortable you’d feel sitting like that for any length of time. Now, sit back in the chair, shifting you backside forward a little, throw your head back slightly and have your arms resting comfortably in your lap. How different does that feel? To be honest, I used to sit like the first example and found sitting back with my chest open really hard to do. I felt vulnerable and exposed – I suddenly felt visible.
Positive attractive energy
In order to attract positive people into our lives, we must give off that same energy. Even though you may feel timid or shy, you can begin by using your body language to kick-start your mind and your thinking. It’s hard to feel down and lacking in confidence when our face is lifted towards the sky and we’re looking outwards.
Learn to make eye contact and hold a gaze
Not in a creepy sort of way obviously! Practise by catching someone’s eye when you’re out for a walk. It might feel weird to begin with, especially if you’re not usually inclined to do so. And why not throw in a smile for good measure?
It costs you nothing and makes a huge difference, not only in our body language, but on an emotional level too. Try this and see how you feel – hold a pen or pencil between your lips (sideways, of course!) and notice how it makes you frown (because your mouth is turned down). Now, hold it between your teeth and notice that it makes you smile. Simple! You’re welcome.
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