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Revealed: Body Language That Makes You Attractive at Work and in Dating

Revealed: Body Language That Makes You Attractive at Work and in Dating

As human beings, the way we move and use our bodies can be one of the most effective ways of communication. In fact, it can play a much more important role than even the words we speak.

Dr Albert Mehrabian[1] is a psychologist that created a breakdown of effective human communication: 7 percent spoken words, 38 percent tone of voice, and 55 percent body language. Whether or not experts agree on the numbers, what is agreed on is that body language is an essential key component in our communication.

Learning more about body language can not only help us with improving communication ourselves, but to better understand others’ needs, wants and feelings.

With this in mind, I will go through essential body language tips within the common daily settings of work, dating and making friends.

What Are The Key Components Of Body Language?

Body language comes in many forms and often time it can be involuntary. Understanding the different components of our day-to-day body language can help us to be more aware and conscious of how we come across to others.

Facial expressions, eye contact, body movements and gestures, together with speech and tone of voice, can all give off signals both consciously and unconsciously to other people. Therefore, understanding how we use these to our advantage can help with more effective communication overall.

Body Language In The Work Place

The workplace is where we want to show competency, confidence and trustworthiness which can be shown in the body language we use.

Face: Smiling is important when making connections with others and more so with bosses and colleagues. A fake smile can be detected extremely easily so practicing a genuine smile (or Duchenne smile) will make you seem more approachable and trustworthy.

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    ▲ When you smile genuinely, you don’t only raise the muscles at the corner of your mouth, but also the muscles of your cheeks and your eyebrows.

    Eyes: Use frequent but direct eye contact – enough that you can notice the colour of their irises . Try the inverted triangle technique by looking from each eye down to the mouth.

      ▲ Looking into people’s eyes can be embarrassing (I know that feeling!) You can rotate your gaze to make eye contact more natural.

      Gestures: The power pose (hands on hips) not only tricks your mind into feeling more confident but conveys confidence to others. Think about how you use your hands – create a firm handshake and when talking, animate your hands to convey passion and enthusiasm.

        ▲ By putting your hands on your hips, you can make others instantly think you’re more confident and powerful. (via James Clear)

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        When sitting, crossing your legs in a figure-4 portrays a more confident stance but usually only in men. It subconsciously exposes the genital region and causes the upper body to lean back showing relaxed confidence.

          ▲ It’s different from the conventional ‘both knees’ leg cross!

          Voice: Having a higher pitch in your voice can be perceived by others as you being nervous and less powerful. Try to lower the pitch and speak slowly and clearly to convey control and confidence.

          Body Language In Dating

          Body language is crucial in how you are perceived by your date. Use these tricks to show you’re interested, relaxed and have a desire to get closer.

          Face: Natural laughter lights up the face and is a genuine sign of relaxation and lets the other person see you’re at ease in their company. Not only does it help you as endorphins are released and stress reduced, it can also allow your vulnerabilities to show because your guard is dropped and this can make you more appealing.

            ▲ Laughter rather than restricted smile enables your date to feel closer to you.

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            Eyes: Widening the eyes can convey interest and invites a positive response in the other person. Women who widen their eyes become particularly attractive as it’s believed to be associated with the eye/face proportion of babies and elicits an urge to protect and offer love.

            Gestures: When chatting with your date, lean forward slightly as this shows genuine interest. When they’re talking make sure you nod and smile to let them know you’re interested in what they’re saying. Slight touching on their upper arm can create feelings of intimacy without inappropriateness, making your date warm to you more.

              ▲ When your date speaks, don’t forget to lean forward a bit to show how eager to listen what they say.

              Voice: Both men and women actually like a deeper tone of voice in the opposite sex. That’s not to say you should have a deep, husky voice but deepening it and speaking slowly and confidently can come across as sexy and alluring.

              Body Language When Meeting New People

              If you want to become more successful in connecting and making new friends, then it’s important to come across in a friendly, easy-going way as well as showing you have commonalities with each other.

              Face: Smiling is obviously key to coming across as friendly and approachable. Make sure you use a natural laugh that will make your smile more genuine.

              Eyes: Other than good eye contact, you may consider throwing in a wink as a way of making friends. Yes, it’s more associated with flirting but don’t be afraid to use it in the context of a signal or a shared joke. Winking can elicit a feeling of connection in the other person and you can come off as more fun and confident.

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                ▲ Winking is a signal telling your new friend that you share some hidden knowledge with him/her.

                Gestures: We subconsciously mirror the body language of people we are fond of so subtly copy hand gestures, other movements or the way they stand. This will convey a sense that you are mindful of them and genuinely interested. Also make sure you have an open posture so you come across as welcoming and approachable.

                  ▲ Mirroring the body language of your new friend can make you two share more commonalities and feel more connected.

                  Voice: Showing friendliness with your voice can be achieved with intonation. Having a variety of tone conveys genuine interest, while monotone speech can give the impression of boredom even if you don’t intend it to.

                  Body language is important in our day-to-day interactions and there are many instances where we have subconscious tendencies that can lead to giving off wrong signals. Being more aware of how you come across using your gestures, voice, facial expressions and eyes can get you ahead in your social interactions and create a positive impression in your life overall.

                  Reference

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                  Jenny Marchal

                  A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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                  Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                  How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                  How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                  Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                  For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                  But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                  It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                  And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                  The Importance of Saying No

                  When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                  In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                  Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                  Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                  Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                  “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                  When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                  How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                  It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                  From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                  We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                  And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                  At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                  The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                  How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                  Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                  But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                  3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                  1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                  Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                  If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                  2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                  When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                  Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                  3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                  When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                  6 Ways to Start Saying No

                  Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                  1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                  One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                  Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                  2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                  Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                  Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                  3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                  Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                  Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                  You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                  4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                  Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                  Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                  5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                  When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                  How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                    More Tips on How to Say No

                    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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