Friends, sometimes your body is putting out a message that you might not want out there.
What am I talking about?
Well, here we go.
Shaun is a big, tall, broad-shouldered, thin-lipped man with large eyes and a large presence. When he crosses those strong forearms across his trunk and stands against a wall at a party, he is definitely sending a message to everyone glancing his way.
And what’s that message?
Carrie is a short, buxom woman who tends to hug her purse to her chest whenever she’s sitting down at a restaurant or at a poker table. She’s definitely sending a message too.
And what’s that message?
Carrie is super insecure about everything and she’s clutching her purse like a baby blanket.
Neither of these are really the messages we intend to send. Shaun is just trying (usually) not to take up too much room. Carrie’s trying to hide her chest because that’s what she’s mostly insecure about. It’s hard when people stare at your breasts all the time.
But the point here is that we aren’t always cognizant of the messages that our bodies are putting out.
It has been suggested that body language may account for between 60 to 65% of all communication.Verywellmind citing Foley GN, Gentile JP. Nonverbal communication in psychotherapy. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010;7(6):38-44.
And sometimes we can’t control what we’re putting out.
That same article cites a study by Kleisner, Chvátalová, and Flegr which says,
One study found that individuals who had narrower faces and more prominent noses were more likely to be perceived as intelligent. People with smiling, joyful expression were also judged as being more intelligent than those with angry expressionsVerywellmind
So, some things we can’t control unless we have a lot of money for cosmetic surgery, but some things we can, right?
We can all remember that a closed body language often means that we’re telling people nonverbally that we’re hostile or anxious. An open body language often means that we’re telling people we’re open and friendly.
Knowing how you move in space, how you take up space (or don’t), is really helpful in understanding the impressions you give to people and the impressions others give to you, too.
So you want to improve those skills, right?
Verywellmind has another article all about tips to improve your nonverbal communication and they suggest doing the following:
QUICK TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Actually pay attention to other people’s gestures and expressions.
Notice when the words and the body don’t match.
Think about your tone of voice and other people’s tones.
Make eye contact like a boss.
Ask questions to help you figure things out. They suggest
“So what you are saying is that…”
“Do you mean that we should…”
“What I’m hearing is that you think…”verywellmind
“Look at Signals as a Whole”
A person might be smiling and clenching their fist, you know? That doesn’t usually mean they want to go belly dance with you.
Hot Tip For Body Language
If you are standing at a party and don’t want to do a Shaun or Carrie, do this:
- Let your purse hang down. Don’t clutch.
- Pull your shoulders back.
- Stand with your feet a bit apart and planted on the floor. Pretend you’re a female country singer, they are always standing like that.
- Don’t wiggle around. Stand in one place
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!