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10 Body Language Secrets Every Successful Person Knows

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10 Body Language Secrets Every Successful Person Knows

If you want to become successful, then it is imperative that you hone in on your bodily-language. I’d go as far to say that it’s just as important — even more important at times — than vocal language because it subconsciously conveys how you really feel, even when your words might not. Since the emergence of this fact, people have been polishing their own body language as well as their ability to detect them in others.

This has sprung popular TV shows such as Lie to me, best selling books like The Definite Book of Body Language, and numerous websites dedicated to the cause. We thought that since everyone with their eye on success — whether in business, relationships and so on — is capitalising on this new wave of non-verbal’s, we should compose a list of 10 body language secrets every successful person knows, and give them to you. Apply these in day to day life and you’ll be rocketing to success without having to say a word.

1. Do: Smile When Appropriate.

smile

    Some call this basic, I call it fundamental. We all know that smiling is a great tool in gaining instant trust and acceptance from others, however the key is knowing when it is appropriate. When meeting someone new or giving feedback to a boss, yes. When discussing why you failed to hit your quota for the month, or why your relationship isn’t working, no. Smiling when inappropriate conveys insecurity and a lack of confidence. Know when to smile, a fundamental key.

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    2. Don’t: Give a Weak Handshake.

    handshake

      If there is anything which shows submission when first interacting with someone, it’s this. A weak handshake shows a weak person, and weak people are rarely successful. A job interview, a business venture, meeting possible partners, you name it, just don’t take this to an extreme and turn it into a squeezing match. Bonus tip: when shaking hands with someone rotate your wrist so that your hand is slightly on top of theirs, a subconscious display of dominance.

      3. Do: Utilise the Facial Triangle.

      triangle

        People sure love to be listened to, it shows respect, interest and trust. Now whilst solid eye-contact can be great, it can be overly-intense. Using what’s called the facial triangle not only helps to lower the intensity of a gaze, but by rotating between the two eyes and the mouth, you show that you are reading their lips, a sign of intimate attention. What’s great about this is that it applies to every direct communication scenario you can think of. Watch as peoples trust in you rockets.

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        4. Don’t: Rub Your Palms, Face or Neck.

        anxiety

          We all know this one, the universal sign for anxiety and stress. This displays that you can’t handle the work set out for you, or are worried about how your work/image/business is being received, and if you lack confidence in yourself, others will lack confidence in you also. Successful people don’t do this (not publicly at least), they show security and strength even when the odds are against them.

          5. Do: Steeple Your Hands.

          steeple

            If you want to come across as interesting, intelligent and confident, then you should adopt this trademark gesture. Also known as the “Merkel-Raute”, this is a favourite amongst politicians as it shows that they can (according to them) be trusted with important duties. This works better in more formal environments, use it when talking to your superiors and watch your credibility go skywards. Tip: Don’t lower your steeple mid-conversation as this shows a sudden loss in confidence.

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            6. Don’t: Look Overly-Agreeable.

            fake smile

              Whilst it’s great to be on equal terms with people, whether they are your boss or your employees, it’s damaging to pretend that you agree, when in truth you completely disagree. This is the employee who nods uncontrollably whilst their boss lay’s blame on them. Don’t be afraid to show a curious, or even a bewildered expression when a false statement is made, then follow it up with your reasons. There are some crazy people out there, if you’re not disagreeing with some of them then you’re probably doing it wrong.

              7. Do: Strike a Power Pose.

              power pose

                Yes, this is the superhero’s go-to pose — and for good reason — because it literally powers you up! Research has shown that they not only make others perceive you as confident and powerful, but that it makes you feel just that. Practising power poses before a high-stakes scenario raises your bodies testosterone levels, whilst decreasing cortisol levels (your stress hormone). In business, successful people know the incredible power of this pose, a confidence booster not only in yourself, but in others opinions of you.

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                8. Don’t: Face Away From Whoever You’re Engaging With.

                ignorance

                  This one can mean a multitude of things, and they’re all negative. From fear, anxiety, distrust, ignorance to contempt, not facing someone — let alone making eye contact — when you’re engaging with them will see that your success stays a product of your imagination. Success is more often than not a team effort, and if you can’t build a team who is even fond of you, the only way you’re going is down. Don’t be ignorant, you wouldn’t appreciate someone doing this to you.

                  9. Do: Maintain Good Posture.

                  posture

                    Nothing says sloppy like someone who can’t even carry themselves physically, let alone mentally. Poor posture is often a product of our lifestyles, too much time sitting or craning your neck over your phone for instance. Not only is it bad for your health but it’s bad for your appearance and your respect. It’s hard for others to see you as equal or as a superior when you’re foreheads facing the floor. You’ll add a couple of inches to your height, and perhaps some zero’s to your pay-check.

                    10. Don’t: Exaggerate Your Gestures.

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                    exaggerate

                      It’s hard to take someone who is overly flamboyant seriously, exaggerating your gestures in an effort to come across as enthusiastic or confident will only cause others to think the contrary. There is no shame in remaining reserved, in fact it is often a sign of maturity and mystery. Successful people know not to be boisterous if they want to remain respected. Though you may want to appear energetic for that job interview, too much is overkill.

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                      10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                      10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                      We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                      A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                      So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                      • honest
                      • reliable
                      • competent
                      • kind and compassionate
                      • capable of taking the blame
                      • able to persevere
                      • modest and humble
                      • pacific and can control anger.

                      The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                      1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                      All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                      But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                      2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                      How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                      I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                      “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                      Abigail Van Buren

                      3. How does this person take the blame?

                      Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                      4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                      You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                      5. Read their emails.

                      Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                      • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                      • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                      • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                      • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                      • Too many question marks can show anger
                      • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                      6. Watch out for the show offs.

                      Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                      7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                      A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                      Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                      8. Their empathy score is high.

                      Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                      People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                      9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                      We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                      “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                      Stendhal

                       10. Avoid toxic people.

                      These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                      • Envy or jealousy
                      • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                      • Complaining about their own lack of success
                      • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                      • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                      Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                      Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                      Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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