Even before you say a word, your body reveals a lot about you. It tells others if you’re insecure, confident, or nervous. Your subconscious actions expose how you’re feeling at the moment, even though you don’t want others to know. So, how can you work on improving your body language? Is that even possible?
Your body communicates in a non-verbal way and most of the time, you’re not even aware of it. Its patterns of behavior are easy to miss if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why more and more people are getting obsessed with body language and all the signals it sends.
With a few controlled changes, you’ll be able to impact others in a more positive manner. But the real question is how are you going to do that? What are some things you can change about yourself in order to be portrayed as a more confident person?
7 ways to work on improving your body language
Now that you know how important your body language is, it makes sense that you want to correct the mistakes you’ve been making without even realizing it. You want to improve your non-verbal communication and present yourself to others in a different manner.
What are the key steps to take when improving body language? How do you change the way other people perceive you?
It’s quite simple and the following steps will help you make a difference.
1. Be aware of your actions
Before you start working on your body language, you should first be aware of the mistakes you’re making. That’s the only way to improve.
I’ve already mentioned that most of the time, we have no idea how we act during conversations, big meetings, or date nights. This is completely normal since hyper-focusing on our every movement and behavior would only make us more self-conscious.
But if you want to make a change, you’ll have to take a moment of your time to fully focus on your actions.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, how do you stand? Are your feet wide apart or do you cross your legs? Do you cross your arms or keep your hands in your pockets? Are you able to maintain eye contact with the person you’re talking to?
Once you analyze your patterns of behavior, it will be much easier to do things differently and improve your body language. So, skipping this step isn’t an option.
2. Use a firm handshake when greeting someone
This is especially important at your workplace. When you’re meeting with a new client or anyone important for the business whatsoever, you need to show how confident you are. And the first step to achieve that is to use a firm handshake.
By doing so, you’re showing the other person that you’re bursting with confidence. They will also get a feeling that you’re a leader which is a trait highly appreciated in the business world.
Adjusting your handshake is probably one of the easiest things you can do and it’s instantly going to make a difference in how people perceive you. Just don’t be too harsh. You want to show dominance and not stop the blood flow of the other person.
3. Uncross your arms
One thing most of us tend to do whenever we’re nervous or don’t feel confident in ourselves is to cross our arms. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting or standing, crossed arms are a defense mechanism you use when you’re looking for a way to protect yourself.
Maybe you’re not ready to answer some of the questions or you don’t feel comfortable talking about something. In that case, you naturally cross your arms as your body is trying to save you from the situation you’re in.
Whenever you do that, other people can tell exactly how you’re feeling. They can sense your nervousness and if they want to, they can use it against you.
So, the best way to hide your anxiety is to ensure your arms stay uncrossed. If you’re sitting, place them on the table in front of you. This instantly changes your posture and makes other people think you’re the dominant person.
Even though you’re panicking on the inside, they can’t tell it by observing your body language.
4. Avoid fidgeting
Fidgeting is another habit we use when we’re trying to calm ourselves down. Different people resort to different methods, but eventually, all of them have the same purpose.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tapping your foot on the floor or playing with your hands uncontrollably, what your body is trying to do is distract you from negative thoughts. It’s trying to calm down your anxiety.
At one point in your life, you probably realized that you use fidgeting whenever you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Maybe you thought that it wasn’t a big deal when in reality, this kind of behavior clearly shows others just how nervous you are.
They instantly realize how vulnerable you are and what your weak spots are. Eventually, they can use that against you and bring you to a breaking point which is something you don’t want to happen.
That’s why you need to be aware of the way your body acts when you’re surrounded by people especially if you’re having a conversation with someone important. Noticing these things will help you when improving your body language.
Remind yourself of the behavior patterns you tend to repeat and focus your attention on preventing them. It won’t be easy to stop fidgeting all of a sudden since it’s something you used to do every time you felt nervous. But fixing things up whenever you notice what you’re doing is going to make a difference.
Step by step, you’ll be able to prevent your body from going back to these actions that it once used to self-soothe.
5. Relax your body
Whenever you’re feeling nervous, the chances are that your whole body is going to tense up. You hunch your shoulders, lower your chin, and try to take as little space as possible. This usually happens when you try to avoid any kind of attention.
What you don’t realize is that while you’re trying to look invisible to others, you’re making it clear to them just how anxious you are. You don’t even have to say it out loud since your body is doing it for you.
The best thing you can do in a situation like this is to try to relax as much as possible. First thing first, open your posture and widen your shoulder. This will make you appear more calm and confident. It will also allow you to take up much more space in the room which will make others feel like you’re a dominant person.
Chances are that, most of the time, you’re not even going to realize what your body is doing. But the second you snap out of it, make sure to do your best to appear more relaxed.
By doing so, your whole posture will change and others won’t be able to tell just how nervous you are. That’s exactly what you need.
6. Maintain eye contact
Some people experience real trouble with maintaining eye contact. There’s something scary about looking a person straight into their eyes and trying to lead a conversation with them. That’s why most of us avoid this action thinking that the other person won’t notice it.
On the other hand, as soon as you look away, people are going to realize how insecure you are. It shows them you don’t have the courage to lead a conversation like an adult, looking them straight in the eyes. Avoiding eye contact can also signify that you’re lying which is another red flag.
So, this is something you’ll need to change if you want to improve your body language. If you don’t feel ready to look directly into the eyes of the person you’re talking to, you can always find a spot close to their eyes and focus on it.
This way, others will get a feeling that you’re maintaining actual eye contact when in reality, you’re using a much easier method that brings the same results.
7. Stop looking down
It doesn’t matter if you’re the one talking or if you’re listening to someone else, looking down is going to give an illusion that you’re insecure and submissive. Those are two impressions we all want to avoid.
So, even if you feel uncomfortable at first, raise your chin and make sure it stays that way. You want others to feel relaxed in your company and not like you’re hiding away from them.
Bear in mind that all these steps toward improving body language may be hard at first. They may take some time and practice but eventually, you’re going to get there.
Also, the more you rely on these tips, the easier it will be to change your non-verbal cues.
In the end, you’ll give the illusion of a confident and relaxed person who’s not afraid to speak their mind. This will also allow you to grow your self-esteem which is something we all want.
So, just keep on working on your body language and you’ll notice a huge difference in no time.