7 Body Language Mistakes You Can Fix Today

7 Body Language Mistakes You Can Fix Today

The way you stand and gesture can make you seem more (or less) confident and attractive.

It's easier to outline out exactly what you're going to say then it is to plan out what you'll do with your hands, how you're going to stand, and your facial expression.

But, your body language — whether in an online dating profile picture or during a presentation matters a lot. It is imperative that we pay attention to it.

Listed below I have laid out a series of common body-language blunder that can make you appear less confident, more hesitant, nervous, less attractive, and even more vulnerable to crime.

You have a Weak Handshake

Your handshake is equal to 3 hours of face to face time. It is essential in building rapport with someone. A firm, friendly handshake has long been recommended in the business world as a way to make a good first impression, and the greeting is thought to date to ancient times as a way of showing a stranger you had no weapons.

The University of Alabama did a study in 2000 to find out if people could predict the personality of a person from their handshake alone. They found that the students with a firmer handshake were more outgoing, had positive outlooks, and less socially awkward.

The Journal of Applied Psychology did a study that found in mock interviews students with a firmer handshake at the beginning of the interview were perceived as more hireable.

Researchers found that handshakes are a discreet way to actively search for social chemosignals. We emit odors that influence the behavior and perception of others. After people shake hands, they will often touch their face. Touching your face, allows you to sniff the chemicals on the other person’s hands. Previous studies have suggested that human chemosignals play a role in mate selection, conveying fear, and altering brain activity.

You Make Yourself Smaller

We don’t realize how our posture correlates to the way people perceive us. Research indicates that an expansive posture is more attractive- as opposed to a contracted posture. Think about what you can do to make yourself look larger by expanding our body and taking up as much space as you can. Think about expanding your arms instead of crossing them, stand up straight instead of hunching over, and use a wide stance with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

In 2016 researchers found that pictures of people in contracted (or smaller) positions placed on their dating profile were selected less often than the same people with pictures in expansive positions.

Your Walk Lacks Confidence

Research from 2013 revealed that prison inmates with high scores on psychopathy tests could decipher if you had been victimized previously. They made these accurate decisions based mostly on your walk.

They said that people who walk slowly and with short strides were more vulnerable to being attacked. Their walk screamed out; I am an easy target!

It isn’t very easy to change the way you walk, but you need to learn how to walk with more confidence. You can improve your walking with practice. You want to have long strides, you need to have good posture with your shoulders rolled back, chest up, and head held high.

You Don’t Gesture With Your Hands

TED speakers who use more hand gestures on stage tend to get more views on their talks, and research shows gestures can increase the value of our message by 60 percent!

A professor at Colgate University, Spencer Kelly, found that when we use gestures, people pay attention to the acoustics of our speech. He believes that gestures are a fundamental part of language and not just an addition to language.

When we use hand gestures, it makes us more memorable. People remember more of what we have said. Congenitally born blind people use hand gestures even though they have never observed others using them. They gesture because we are born to use hand gestures. Children at 18 months that use more hand gestures develop greater language abilities as they grow up. Our hand gestures indicate our level of intelligence.

You Avoid Eye Contact — Or Hold It For Too Long

Eye contact helps build rapport and increases empathy between people. But what is the appropriate amount of eye contact? Research shows that the appropriate amount of eye contact is between 60-70%. Eye contact over 70% appears creepy, and eye contact below 60% is seen as avoidance.

In a 2018 CareerBuilder report, 67 percent of the 2,500 hiring managers surveyed said that failure to make eye contact was the top body language mistake job seekers make.

Research has shown that seeing another person’s direct gaze increases peoples’ awareness of themselves, improves memory for contextually presented information, increases the likelihood of behaving in a pro-social manner, and makes people evaluate the gazer more positively.

You Touch Your Face

Touching the face is a pacifying gesture and tells others that you are nervous.

Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and the author of "What Every BODY Is Saying," states that if you videotape someone who's nervous and then speed up the recording, "it's hilarious how often we touch ourselves under stress."

Some people squeeze their face, play with their hair, push on their cheek, or rub their forehead, as a way of self-soothing.

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