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5 Power Signals You Can Send Through Body Language on a First Date or Casual Encounter

5 Power Signals You Can Send Through Body Language on a First Date or Casual Encounter

Tinder has taught us to swipe right or left. Dating has become so technological and impersonal that actually communicating in-person is becoming a lost art form. Whether you’re meeting a friend for coffee, or attempting to seduce someone that you find irresistible, or going out on a date for the first time, body language is critical to communicating in an impactful way.

Let’s take a closer look at five time-tested power signals you can send using body language.

1. Animated People Score Better in Speed Dating Surveys

An article discussing the power of proper posture when dating, written by Erika Ettin, highlights the findings of a study centered around more than 144 hours of video-recorded speed dates involving couples interacting together for the first time. One of the key areas researchers studied was how hand and arm movements affected perception. Communicating in a physically active way significantly improved the odds that a man or woman would be asked out on a second date.

Should you try and impersonate one of those inflatable tube people outside of shops whenever they have a sale? No! But, simple gestures where hand and arm movement accompany verbal communication, shows engagement and energy.

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2. Prepare for a Night on the Town with Open, Power Postures

In the privacy of your home, or even a bathroom stall, it’s entirely possible to boost your self-confidence with open, expansive physical posturing. Confidence is sexy, and anything you can do to project a sense of self-worth is worth trying.

Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist, recently presented a Ted Talk where she discussed her own challenges with self-confidence. And, more importantly, she had found ways to universally improve self-confidence through body-language. It turns out that the chicken or the egg debate isn’t the only place where actions and reactions are hard to define.

Opening your body up, stretching out your arms and expanding the space you occupy can measurably boost self-confidence. Confident people have body language that is open, expansive and unafraid. If you don’t feel confident, force your body language to become more open, imitating a confident person. Your brain will react and take the queue from your physical state.

If you’re nervous about trying to awkwardly open up your body language in public, practice in private. The sense of confidence will continue for some time after you try the power poses that Cuddy discusses in her Ted Talk.

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3. Turn Towards the Person You’re Interested In

The heart wants what the heart wants, and subconsciously our heart points us in the direction of the things we’re interested in. If you’re genuinely interested in the person you’re meeting with, your body needs to be centered towards them. Turning away or at an angle while you talk is a sign that you’re losing interest. Engage and center around the other person, and they’ll be encouraged to do the same.

If the other person seems guarded or involuntarily turning away, it’s a sign that things aren’t going well. Don’t mistakenly send across that you’d rather be elsewhere.

4. Tilt Your Head

Ever so subtly tilting your head as you engage in conversation is an excellent strategy for signaling that you’re invested in the conversation. If the other person is sharing something with you that you find interesting, signal your heightened level of attention by casually leaning your head to the side. Then, as the conversation picks up tempo in another direction, slowly move back to a centered position.

Just like moving your arms, actively participating in the conversation with subtle body cues improves the sense of connection the other person feels with you. The way your body flows with the conversation is kind of like a dance that starts out with a handshake and helps propel the conversation forward with every twist and turn.

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But, it’s important that body language is executed in moderation. You don’t was to appear fidgety, as that signals a lack of interest, or a potential psychological disorder.

5. Establish Eye-Contact and Casual Physical Contact

Okay, this one shouldn’t be too surprising. Looking someone in the eyes is both a sign of respect and confidence.

It was William Shakespeare who once wrote, “The eyes are the window to the soul.”

If you want to size someone up quickly, look at them in the eyes while speaking with them. The sub-conscious communication that’s made will tell you more than words will ever reveal.

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Your goal should be to find a comfortable balance between staring and gazing away into the distance. Breaking eye contact for a moment here and there helps give you a sense of your surroundings and allows for a more relaxed feeling, while still showing that you’re paying full attention.

As the conversation progresses, finding an excuse to make physical contact is a great way to build a sense of trust and connection. Whether it’s a light hug after meeting for the first time, or placing a hand halfway across the table, inviting the other person to hold yours, physical contact symbolizes a breaking of barriers; allowing two individuals to share a more intimate, real moment.

It’s said that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Body language allows for our words to have greater context. Understanding how our body language is being perceived helps us to avoid miscommunication and improve the quality of conversation. It’s my hope that you’ll use the suggestions we’ve discussed to better enjoy your meetings with the people you care about.

Featured photo credit: Josh.greentree/Flickr via flickr.com

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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