Your body language may say more than anything
Have you ever wondered what your body language is telling the world?
Research tells us that 93% of all our communication is non-verbal, and that most of our non-verbal communication is through our posture, gestures and facial expressions. As I warn my clients, even as they are walking into a restaurant, they are speaking volumes to their dates.
Here are a few insights I offer my clients in order to better read their date’s body language and implement body language changes in themselves in order to better gain attraction, trust and persuasion.
- Smiles- There’s nothing more inviting than a real smile, so let go of worrying about your wrinkles around your eyes, or your teeth being imperfect. Just smile! As soon as you spot your date, give him or her a big, broad smile. A smile tells everyone that you are a happy, open, and trusting person. Be generous with your smile on your date, too. Smiling and being kind to everyone around you will certainly help your date feel comfortable with the idea of introducing you to their friends or family down the road.
- Handshakes and Hugs – Believe it or not, the origin of a handshake was to prove you were unarmed. Today, it is the international standard greeting for business and personal meetings, as well as most first dates. The best handshake is one in which the palm faces inward and upright. This handshake speaks equality, whereas when someone shakes your hand with his palm facing down, he or she is trying to intimidate you and says volumes about that person. When shaking hands with a woman, be cognoscente of not applying too much strength while still staying firm and consistent. As for giving a hug, if you are a man, you should be holding her around her waist, and embracing her for only as long as she does. When you separate, be sure to look her in her eyes and give her a smile. For women, be sure not to linger with your hug, or you will come across inappropriate.
- Sitting Positions – The way we sit tells the world and our date how we feel about ourselves and everyone around us. When we sit up straight and lean in, we are saying that we are confident and interested. When we sit back slouched or with our arms crossed, we come across insecure or angry. If your date is sitting with his or her crossed leg pointing away from you, chances are he or she is either overly uptight or possibly not interested in you. Interestingly, a woman who talks to you with the back of her wrist to you, is trying to be provocative and sexy. Look at photos from the starlets of the 20’s and you’ll see it is a common pose. As a woman, try this pose on your date and see if he begins to open up more.
- Standing and Walking – Your stance says a lot about you. When you walk into a room, do you walk in an upright position, or do you walk with your head down. In fact, the more space we take up when we walk or stand, the more we reveal our confidence. So, even if you are not feeling particularly confident, make sure you try to keep your stance open and your arms out and welcoming, to help your date feel comfortable. When walking into a room, be sure to stride with upright posture and take your time. When we speed our gait, others can feel our nervousness. Research has shown that we judge a person from 60 feet away, just from the way they walk.
Take the time to understand and perfect your non-verbal communication style, so the next time you are meeting someone new, you are sending the message you want. Practice at home in front of a full-length mirror, making sure to be aware of how you move your feet, arms, hands, and face. Notice how others communicate with their gestures and postures. Try out different postures and gaits, and see if one makes a difference or not. Ask a close friend to rate your handshake and don’t be shy about asking for help from others to get an impartial critique.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you make it a great one!
Nancy Plummer is the President and Founder of All About Connecting – a Personal Dating, Matchmaker and Relationship Coaching service. www.allaboutconnecting.com