“Our nonverbal communication govern how other people think and feel about us.”
Our body is a crucial part of communicating our inner feelings. Of course, we can not communicate ideas, thoughts, and plans without words. However, the way people interpret those words is tremendously influenced by our non-verbal communication.
The intriguing part of body language is that what we see affects us at the subconscious level – meaning that we notice things intuitively without stopping to consciously think about them. What makes this more significant is the fact that the signals we give off through our body language creates lasting images of who we are and it influences people’s opinions of us without a conscious thought.
The messages we allow our body to give off not only influences how we are viewed at that very moment but, when repeated over time, play a significant role in the way we are etched in others minds.
If you want to be held in high regard, then it is important that you learn how to control the signals you give through your body language, especially the negative ones.
The first step in controlling your body language is awareness. Start paying attention to the non-verbal signals you are sending. This is not about trying to control one element of your body language, such as a specific facial expression. It is the big picture message you are sending that results from a cluster of indicators.
The second step is to control your emotions and feelings, especially your negative ones. What we choose to think about when faced with a challenging situation is a choice. The choice we make is often communicated before one word comes out of our mouths.
Try opening up your body and filling more space – known as a ‘power posture‘ – this has been shown in studies to have a range of confidence-boosting effects. Research has shown that spending time in a power pose increases testosterone, risk taking, pain tolerance, and belief in one’s own leadership abilities. Additionally, power poses open up your breathing, calming any nerves.
It is not just the position of our bodies that can affect our emotions, the expression on our faces can too. For instance, for some people, spending time deliberately smiling can help them to feel more positive and increase the accessibility of positive memories. It is a similar story with tone of voice. Research shows that when people speak with a lower pitch they feel more powerful.
Challenge yourself to start becoming aware of the messages you are sending though your body language. Take control of your emotions and feelings and do not allow yourself to display non-verbal language that could have a negative impact on how you are viewed.
‘Get in touch with the way the other person feels. Feelings are 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% words.’