What are the 10 things body language says about you, and why is it important to know? With the world shrinking, speaking foreign languages is becoming more vital to get ahead. But there is one universal language that many ignore- body language! This is the only language that travels without a visa, and luckily, one we can all learn.

Eye Contact

eye to eye contact

Getting the right amount of eye contact is essential. Too little and you appear uneasy, unprepared and insecure. Too much can make you seem intimidating or over confident, almost arrogant.

So how much is the ‘right amount’? Research shows-

As a general rule, direct eye contact ranging from 30% to 60% of the time during a conversation – more when you are listening, less when you are speaking – should make for a comfortable productive atmosphere.

 Our eyes are the windows to our soul and behave independently. Unbeknown to us, we reduce eye contact when we are sad, depressed or accessing internal emotions. We increase eye contact, however, when dealing with people we admire, or who have power over us.

Sitting Styles

Although many female poses have been influenced by clothing, the majority of female sitting positions involve crossing the legs in some shape or form.

The “ankle lock,” where one foot wraps around the other is a sign of repression or fear.

Many men adopt the classic man spread, displaying their need to be in control and dominant. Males who sit cross legged are confident and relaxed.

Hair Fidget

Running hands through hair, especially away from the face, is seen as a sign of openness and a tad flirtatious. Holding hair however, displays a sense of awkward nervousness.

Finger Drumming

Drumming your fingers on the desk is a big ‘no no’ as it indicates impatience or frustration. Unfortunately, we have little control over the motion.

Hands & Arms

The universal sign of anger is crossed arms and one a naughty child will be aware of from very young. As we get older the action retains its meaning, although it can also be a reaction to being cold.

Crossing your hands behind your back often means the opposite: “shyness turns to boldness, anger becomes pacification”.

The palms of the hand show much more than lifelines. Rubbing your palms together shows excitement about a good outcome, while holding your palms open and facing up make you appear trustworthy.

 Body Position

The position the chest faces is an indicator of where your interest lies. The same way that if someone has their back turned towards you, that means they’re not in tune with anything you have to say. It’s a wrong way swipe!

Hand Shaking

In this country it is still protocol to shake hands when meeting someone and a weak handshake can throw a negative vibe out before you’ve had chance to utter a word.

By using both hands to cup a handshake from below, you will display sincerity and amenability. Cupping from above, can show dominance.  It’s worthwhile taking time to perfect the perfect handshake, especially in business.

Lying

Everybody tells a lie now and then. Call them ‘little white ones’, ‘porky pies’ or whatever makes you feel less guilty. Did you know that body language can help you get away with lies more easily? I know we shouldn’t really be telling you this, but:

If your eyes go up to the right, it implies we’re using imagination, not memory, so you’re making something up!

Another huge giveaway of lying is a dry mouth, so don’t lick your lips or swallow strangely when fabricating that story.

Mirroring

When we are attracted to someone either romantically or professionally our bodies tend to mimic the other person’s body language. Again, it’s an unconscious act, but one you should try and be aware of as going overboard may look oddly stalkerish.

My online course– ‘How to make a great first impression’, delves into the art of body language and teaches you tips and techniques to use it to your best advantage.