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What Is Body Language? The Missing Ingredient

July 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 122

"What do you read my lord?" "Words," said Hamlet. Methinks he should hath answered "body language." Where many of us are obsessed with words, always thinking of what we'll say next, we pay comparatively little attention to our body language. Strange given that 55% of communication is conveyed through body language and only 7% involves words.

Take a moment to consider that fact. 7% of communication is words. 55% is body language. It is a staggering fact, a fact that makes one thing clear: if you are to make the most of your communication skills--social, professional or wherever else--you need to make use of body language.

How, then, can you begin, today, right now, to take advantage of that whopping great 55% of communication that comes from body language? There are a great many ways. Let's take a look at some of the most popular and most important.

Conflict Resolution: Perhaps you are one of the unfortunate people who seem to get in arguments often without much of a clue why. Some people seem to create conflict seemingly out of thin air. A certain guy who shall remain unnamed but who serves as a perfect example is continually getting in arguments. He speaks politely. He never says a word wrong, yet he keeps getting in arguments. Why? Because he has nervous body language. He folds his arms over his chest. He rarely if ever smiles. He'll tap on a table or other object while he speaks. His words remain polite, but his body language is anything but. His body language passes from irritated to aggressive to impatient perpetually.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who, like our example man, gets into arguments seemingly from nowhere, be sure to check yourself for the following negative gestures

  • Do not cross your arms over your chest
  • Do not tap on objects
  • Do not fidget with your hair or face
  • Smile and nod occasionally to let your company know you are happy and agreeable

There are more gestures we could cover here, but the purpose is not to give an absolute blueprint to positive body language, rather it is to make one point clear: if you get into arguments you can't find reason for in your words, look to your body language. This is likely the cause of the conflict. A few simple corrective measures here and there will see those arguments turned to happy conversation.

Body Language in Dating:

Romance is likely the number one reason people learn about body language. It's a wise step. That 55% of communication counts in romance just as in general everyday conversation. Using positive and strong nonverbals can do an amazing job of presenting yourself as an attractive and, importantly, approachable person. Here are some suggestions of how to use nonverbal communication to attract people.

Do not smile to often, but when you met someone new show them a genuine smile to show that you really are happy to have met them. Make a habit of this. That way, when you meet someone you like you'll be certain to give a good first impression, saying, "Oh, wow, I like you. I'm very happy we met." Said in words, this sentence means little, but when you say it through your body it is a powerful communicator, one which will get a relationship off to a great start.

Stand with your legs hip with apart: Some alleged specialists will advice men to stand with their legs far apart to show dominance that attracts women. The problem, with this is that guys overdo it. They turn a simple pose into a comically exaggerated spectacle of their crown jewels. Just stand with your legs comfortably apart, this will show confidence and strength.

Long Gazes: Nervous guys and girls will see a person they are attracted to look away shyly. Big mistake. This gives the impression that a) you're weak and b) you don't like the person you looked at (because, logic would dictate, if you enjoyed looking at them you would continue to do so).

Again, basic steps; you'll find that little corrective moves like this make all the difference.

Let's look at one more area where nonverbal communication is important.


Here are some suggestions to help you show friendliness through nonverbal communication while still looking dominant and strong.

Smile just enough to let people know you're happy but do not overdo it

If you have a habit of fiddling with objects or fidgeting with yourself stop it, it makes your company think you're fed up or bored with them.

When you stand, do not cover up your throat, chest, stomach or privates with any barriers (a barrier might include your arms, a purse, an item you are carrying or anything else which gets in the way).

Point your feet and belly button towards the other person. This shows a great deal of interest in them. It will come across as a compliment and be greatly received.

These are but a selection of the many ways in which nonverbal communication can have influence in your life. This article has illustrated how you can begin to use simple gestures today to boost your communication skills and to create more positive relationships. Use them and see how much of an improvement you notice in your communications. I am confident you will be pleasantly surprised.

Paul Harrison invites you to make use of the full free comprehensive guide to body language. This guide, which is available on, will lead you through the wide field of body language, explaining exactly what body language is, revealing the meanings of the most important body language gestures and providing insightful articles on why and how to make use of body language in business, dating, sales and more. Thank you for reading What is Body Language? The Missing Ingredient. I look forward to seeing you on

Source: EzineArticles
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