Imagine a meeting a stranger. Average looking. After interacting with him/her for 5 mins you are intrigued by this person. 15 mins into the conversation, you are captivated with almost anything he/she shares. Internally you have already deemed him/her a “friend”. An hour later, you are infatuated and request the person to stay in touch. If possible, you wish this conversation can go for another hour or so. Thereafter, you spend the rest of the day thinking about this “special someone”.
Chances are you actually have met someone and experience something like this before. This person exudes and emits a charismatic, mysterious and magnetic aura; the attraction is real. What kind of magic are they casting on you? Is it something they say or do? And most importantly, can you also learn this “thing” they have done?
The answer lies in the body language of the person. A nonverbal signal that makes up a large part of daily communication. Although it’s the things that we don’t say, from our facial expression and body movement, it conveys the loudest volume to our listeners. Furthermore, these signals can affect both the conscious and unconscious mind. It is suggested that body language accounts up to 50 – 70% of the message we are translating.
It is definitely a learnable skill that is essential to our everyday life, be it in relationship (or to be in one), in an organized working team, or utilize in the business world. Of course one have to bear in mind cues such as context of the situation.
First and foremost, to master the art of body language, learn to “read between the lines”. Rather than relying solely on the vocalized messages, identify the meaning behind the different kind of body expressions. By comprehending the non-verbal signals, you can empathize with others. Likewise, you can administer the “right” signals back to your audience to achieve a desired outcome. Lastly, practice! Make it a habit to use your body to express yourself to your advantage.
They often say the eyes are the “windows to the soul”. According to researchers, making eye contact is one of the most important and attractive body language a women find in men. Most women even deem this behaviour as sexy. Heard that, guys? In general, women want to feel that men are invested in them. Making eye contact makes them feel heard, understood and valued. So, all you need to do next time is to simply put your phones away and give your date a listening ear. A miracle might happen.
Along with uncrossed arms, uncrossed legs and upward gaze, smiling is one of the most powerful sign to signal to others that you are available and approachable. Of course, smiling is a universal expression for happiness. This applies to both real and fake smile as research have shown that just by smiling, happy hormones such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are automatically release by the body.
However, the most remarkable thing about smiling is in its infectiousness. People are more likely to reciprocate and mirror back the smile of others. Therefore, utilize this information to your advantage in your next cocktail party or networking session and you will be amazed with the result. Smile like an emoji! Everyone love to feel good, isn’t it?
Notice that sometimes people tilt their head when you talk to them? Rest assure, it’s a good sign. When your listener is tilting his/her head, the person is signifying that he/she is interested in the conversation. A more commonly used gesture by women when they’re in the company of someone they fancy, or simply is interested in the ongoing conversation.
By tilting one’s head to the side, the person is exposing a vulnerable part of their body – the neck. In layman terms, it means “I trust you, please do not harm me”. People in power often understands this and use it to their advantage when addressing a large audience by tilting their heads when giving a speech. This is to increase their popularity by creating an illusion of trustworthiness.
When evaluating one’s body language, pay attention to the signals given off from how one position his/her arms.
Crossing of arms: It could mean that the person is defensive, self-protective and signal to others “to leave me alone”. A closed off body posture.
Hands placed on hips: It could indicate superiority or confidence, and also ready and in control. However, it may also mean aggression.
Clasp hands behind the back: The person may be bored, anxious or infuriated.
Rapid tapping/fidgeting of fingers: The person is bored, frustrated and impatient.
Open palms: The person is comfortable, cordial and welcoming. It means “do approach me with ease.”
The definition for posture refers to how an individual hold his/her overall physical form. By deciphering one’s posture, you can obtain a wealth of information such as how the person is feeling, hints of personality and characteristic. To position your posture in an advantageous position for your date, always maintain an open posture.
Open posture: Generally the person should hold his/her body exposed and upright – Chest wide apart and back straightened. This will indicate to others that the person is approachable and willing to mingle.
Close posture: The individual is hiding the trunk of the body by slouching and hunching his back. And the arms and legs are kept crossed. By minimizing one’s overall stature, he/she can indicate hostility, unfriendliness and self-protectiveness.
Research by 2 renowned scientist have shown that one can discover much truth by observing one’s legs. When a person lies, applying to both genders, he/she will produce more signals associated with deceitfulness in the lower part of their body than the upper part. There are three main stance that one can observe to understand the mind of others.
The parallel stance is a subordinate position where both legs are straightened and feets are placed closely together. The foundation of standing is therefore reduced in a precarious position as compared to a standard shoulder width apart standing position. This stance meant a formal position that shows a neutral to submissive attitude like how a student is interacting to his/her teacher, a soldier receiving command from his superior, etc.
By standing with legs apart, one’s body weight is equally distributed to give it a stable and immovable posture. Standing with one’s legs apart can suggest dominance and superiority. Men are usually associated with this pose to give others the impression of resoluteness, power and strength. One can receive a surge of confidence simply by standing in this power pose.
A foot forward pose
Gentlemen who are looking out for a date should pay attention to this pose. Having one leg to bear the weight of the entire body, whilst having the other leg step forward. Exposing the inner part of the leg, the inner thigh, signals interest and attraction to a particular someone in the room. Revealing the softer and erogenous part of the legs meant that the person is comfortable, passionate and attracted. On the other hand, pointing the feet in a particular direction meant where the mind is guiding its attention.
They say chivalry is dead. Guys, that’s exactly why you should adopt this old fashioned behaviour. The rarity of chivalrous behaviour such as holding the door, opening a tight jar and even serving your companions at the dinner first before yourself, is so attractive others.
It turns out that on a physiological and primal level, especially women, people want to feel protected and are attracted to people who makes them feel safe. Likewise, men feels the need to act in a valiant manner in a group setting as they are hardwired to be protectors. Despite being through the evolutionary phase from the dinosaur era, we are very much tied to our innate physiology.
In business, indecision itself is a failure. Similarly, in the context of human dynamics, it is frustrating to be with someone who cannot make decisions. It is boring to always decide what to do and where to go. And people do appreciate if their partner can take the initiative to make a decision. Why so? It really boils down to effort. People want to understand if their companions, friends or potential mate will put effort into the relationship. And taking initiative is one of the biggest determinant factor to infer that trait.
A research have revealed that women are looking for a partner who cares more about the experiences than receiving gifts. In fact, frequently showering your female companion may be counterproductive and make them uncomfortable. They would prefer more quality time over material items. So speaking of hobbies and spending time doing fun things on dates is actually the key to unravel the mystery to a woman’s heart. Am i right, ladies?
These tips are definitely just the tip of the iceberg to begin your learning journey to master the art of body language. Ladies and gentlemen do observe, infer and experiment to really understand the beauty of how you can carry yourself!