I have adult ADHD, and part of that disorder is what I call being "socially clueless." (I was 30 before I learned that when a *casual acquaintance* asks "How are you?" You're supposed to say "Fine, thanks, and how are YOU?" -- NOT go into a detailed monologue about how you really are...)
Articles like this one are very helpful to me. Thanks again!
I found this to be quite helpful, I hope you do too.
Hugs xoxo Anita
The Top 10 Body Language Tips
It doesn't matter how much you know in your personal or professional life.
Your knowledge is quite useless, unless you know how to communicate it to others, and I don't just mean with the words you use. I'm also talking about the nonverbal communication, or body language, that goes on in every face-to-face situation.
Here are my personal tips on how to use your body language to assist you in communicating your message more successfully.
How to Make a Good Impression
1. Eye contact in any culture is one of the most important aspects when dealing with others, especially people we've just met.
Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia we tend to keep eye contact around 60 to 70 percent of the time. We tend to look directly at the face more when we're listening than talking.
By allowing your gaze to drift away from the face some of the time, you won't make yourself or other people feel self- conscious. Instead, it will give them a feeling of comfort and genuine warmth in your company and will allow you to gather your thoughts. Any more eye contact than this, and you could come across as too intense; any less, and you give off signals that perhaps you're losing interest in them or the content of their conversation.
2. Posture is the next thing to master -- get your posture right, and you'll automatically feel good.
Next time you notice you're feeling a bit down, take a few moments to notice how you're sitting or standing. Chances are you'll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can make you feel nervous, uncomfortable, and low.
Good posture should be easy and relaxed on the spine, and there should be no tension in the muscles -- just imagine a thread running through your spine and being gently lifted upward.
3. Head position is a great one to play with, both with yourself and others. When you want to feel confident and self-assured, keep your head level, both horizontally and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative with people and you want them to take you and what you're saying seriously.
Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other. You can shift the tilt from left to right at different points in the conversation as well as nod your head to encourage people to continue speaking.
4. Arm movements let people know how open and receptive we are to them. We use them to hug and to push away, so keep your arms relaxed at the side of your body or behind your back. This shows you are not scared to take on whatever comes your way and you meet challenges full-on.
In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the more you tend to use your arms outwardly and away from the body. The quieter you are, the less you gesticulate, and the movements are smaller. Try to strike a natural balance and keep your arm motions midway. When wanting to come across in the best possible light, a very simple rule is not to cross your arms. Obviously, if someone says something that you disagree with, then by all means, show your disapproval by crossing them, but otherwise, don't.
5. Legs are the furthest point away from the brain, and consequently, they're one of the hardest parts of the body to consciously control. They tend to move around a lot more than normal when we are nervous, stressed, or being deceptive.
In most situations, especially interviews or work meetings, it's best to keep them as still as possible. Be careful, too, in the way you cross your legs. Do you cross at the knees or ankles, or do you bring your leg up to rest on the knee of the other?
This is more a question of comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last position mentioned is known as the "figure four" and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross, especially if you do it just after someone says or does something you don't like, because the natural tendency is to grip the ankle and squeeze, which shows people your tension.
6. Orientation, or angle of the body, gives an indication of our attitudes and feelings toward others. We naturally angle ourselves toward people we find attractive, friendly, and interesting and angle ourselves away from those we don't.
This includes the way we lean in and out from people, as we will often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways or forward to share a bit of conversation. Being directly face-on to someone can be adversarial, like a game of chess. In situations where there may be tension or stress it is better to approach softly from the side than straight on.
7. Hand gestures are so numerous that it's hard to give a brief guide. Palms slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm-down gestures are generally seen as dominant, emphasizing, and possibly aggressive, especially when there is no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm.
This palm up, palm down is very important when it comes to handshaking, and where appropriate, you should always offer a handshake when meeting new people. The handshake should be upright and vertical, which will convey a feeling of equality.
8. Distance or proximity to others is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand or sit too close, and you'll be marked as "pushy"; too far away, and you'll be "standoffish."
Neither are what we want, so observe when in a group situation how close all the other people are to each other. If you move closer to someone and he backs away, you're probably just a little too close to his comfort zone. You've "overstepped the mark" and should pull back a little to your previous position.
9. Mouth movements can give away all sorts of clues as to how we're feeling. We purse our lips, bite them, and sometimes twist them to the side when we're thinking or maybe holding back a sarcastic or angry comment we don't wish to reveal.
Nevertheless, it will probably be spotted by others, and although they may not know the comment, they will get a feeling you are not pleased. There are also different types of smiles, and each gives off a corresponding feeling to the recipient. Genuine smiles show the teeth and wrinkle the corners of the eyes.
10. Your ears are also important, even though, in general terms, most people can't move them much. However, if you've got two ears and only one mouth, try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as much as you talk, you'll come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike a balanced conversation without being self-centered or, at the other end of the scale, a wallflower.
Practice these 10 simple ways to improve your communication skills, and you'll reap the rewards in your personal and professional life. People will find you more attractive, more open, more presentable, and more professional.
Go ahead -- you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Robert Phipps is an expert in the field of nonverbal communication, a.k.a. body language. Robert's unique approach puts him in constant demand by the media and business worlds. Find out more at http://www.robertphipps.com
You cannot get what you’ve never had unless you’re willing to do what you’ve never done.
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.