Your body languages tell so much about us – your personality, your feelings as of the moment, fears and anxiety. That is why actions speak louder than words. And because it has become second nature to you, it is best that we be careful with it, else they sabotage us.
The following are 15 most common body language blunders that people make. And if you are an emotionally intelligent people (and if you aren’t and you want to be one), make sure to avoid these:
It only shows that you lack authority and confidence. But do not overdo it as a strong handshake could also mean aggressiveness and dominance. The best handshake is the one that is firm but adaptable to each person and situation.
Exaggerated gestures implies that you are telling more than what is true. Small, controlled gestures indicates that you are a leader and a confident one. Open gestures – like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands – tell the person you are talking to that you have nothing to hide.
Watching the Clock
When you keep on looking at the time in your watch or turning your eyes to the clock, is shows that you disrespect the person you are talking to. It is a obvious sign of impatience and an inflated ego. It’s like telling your friend that you think it’s a waste of time to be talking together and that you’re anxious to leave.
Turning Yourself Away From Others
Not paying attention to what you are talking about sends the message that you are uninterested, uncomfortable or even distrustful of the person you are talking to. To show that you are interested, lean towards the person and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This portrays complete focus and attention.
Whether it is an old habit you had with you since you were in grade school, it nonetheless signifies disrespect. it’s your indirect way of saying you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. It’s like telling you’re boss to his face that he’s not worth listening to. Standing or sitting up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. When people see you sit, stand and walk this way, it would command more respect and promote interaction from both ends of the conversation.
Crossed arms (and legs) bar you from an open communication with another person. Even if you’re smiling, the person may get the feeling that you are shutting him or her out. It sure is comfortable to fold your arms while talking but resist the urge to do so as it give others the idea that you are not open-minded and interested in what they have to say.
Rolling Your Eyes
Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. It may be a habit for some, but it can be controlled as it usually comes as a reaction to a negative thing heard. If you can control it, then it’s worth the effort.
This gesture shows that you are anxious to approve about what one is telling you. People may see a heavy nod as an attempt to agree with something you really don’t.
Fidgeting or even fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious and distracted. It can also show that you are too much conscious of your physical appearance and not with your career.
Avoiding Eye Contact
If you have nothing to hide, then you can look at the person you are talking to straight in the eye. Avoiding eye contact arouses suspicion. Lack of it either indicates lack of confidence and interest – som,ething that you must avoid in a business setting.
Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression may cause people to think that something isn’t right. They would begin to doubt your credibility, even if they don’t know exactly why or how. For instance, a nervous smile while turning down an offer during a negotiation will make the other person assume that you are up to something. In the end, it won’t help you get what you want.
Eye Contact That’s Too Intense
Intense contact may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. Americans can hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when listening than talking. Glancing down shows submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
Putting on an unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Remember: Scowls turn people away. Smiling, on the other hand, projects trust, confidence and friendliness. When you smile to others, instinctively people smile back at you, leaving a lasting positive impression.
Much like crossed arms and legs, clenched fists can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
Getting Too Close
Standing too close to someone (closer to one and a half feet) portrays that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. What seemed to you as a friendly gesture may turn people off.
All together, it is best to avoid these blunders so as to make a lasting impression not only to your boss but also to the people you come in contact with.