Have you ever stopped to consider how your body language plays into your communication with others? Odds are, probably not. After all, body language is a form of nonverbal communication that many of us forget we’re engaging in. Yet, while we communicate with others, we naturally release these clues about us and what we’re saying. Here are a few common body language gestures and what they mean.
Interlacing your fingers with someone is largely viewed as a romantic gesture. However, if you notice someone interlacing their own fingers, causing them to form an almost-fist with both hands, you can safely assume that this person is under stress or discomfort. Why? Interlacing fingers is a self-soothing mechanism, along with stiffening our fingers and slowly moving our hands back and forth.
Standing with Hands on Hips
Also known as the “Superman pose,” standing straight with your hands on your hips is regarded by many as an assertive, confident pose. However, this common position can also be interpreted as aggressive. This is because pointed elbows and the stance itself – which takes up considerably more space than standing with your arms at your sides – seems territorial and intimidating.
It’s been said that eyes are the windows to the soul. So, it only makes sense that eye contact is heavily studied in the world of body language analysis. Steady, natural eye contact indicates to someone else that you are listening to them and that you have nothing to hide. Refuse to make eye contact, and the person you’re communicating with may lose trust in what you’re saying. Hold eye contact too intensely, and you’ll intimidate or threaten the other person.
Sitting with Legs Spread
Want to exude a sense of power? Taking up space while sitting – either by extending your arms or, more commonly, spreading your legs while seated – indicates that you’re the type of person to grab life by the horns. That’s because, in our minds, taking up space is equated with having more power. Want to try this tactic in real life? Try taking up a bit more space than usual the next time you’re seated in a job interview or important meeting.
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