5 Body Language Mistakes You Should Avoid
Arthur is going through a difficult time.
He has been working for a year in a large logistics warehouse that supplies toys to stores in the entire country. It is his job to select the right product and place it on the production line on time. Although Arthur works accurately, his working pace is slower than the others. By the end of the day, he can’t usually prepare as many packages as his colleagues. Therefore he hasn’t received bonus before Christmas and his salary hasn’t been raised, either.
In addition, he is facing problems not only in work, but in his private life, too. His girlfriend recently broke up with him and he had a quarrel with his brother in a serious debate.
These issues became more and more noticeable in his behavior, including his facial expression he generally holds. His co-workers keep complaining that Arthur can’t be talked to, he often doesn’t pay attention, he never smiles and he always seems to be grumpy. According to his boss, it obviously can be detected from his posture right away that something should be wrong. Arthur wants to change to be the nice guy again who he has been previously, but he doesn’t know how.
Despite all his problems, what can Arthur do to remain a pleasant conversation partner and to make good impression to others?
Obviously, when we communicate to people, we express ourselves with using several words, however non-verbal signs tell us much more. These are messages that are conveyed not by words. This is body language. This includes posture, facial expression and gestures – all that is obvious to a viewer, even when watching the scene muted. Most of these body language signs are not at all conscious for us, but the question arises:
What can we do to avoid the 5 body language mistakes? Let’s look at some selection of these mistakes.
You don’t keep eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is one of the most important factors as it is a sign of attention. If you don’t look at the other person, they won’t know what your problem is. You don’t care what they say? You are bored? Is there something else in your head? An even worse body language sign is when you lower your head with your eyes gazing at the floor. This suggests that you are sad or uncertain. As a conclusion, keep the eye contact when talking to others!
You keep your arms crossed
This belongs to one of the most common 5 body language mistakes. Standing or sitting in front of someone with your arms folded creates a symbolic barrier between the two of you. This means being locked in. It signifies that you are only partially involved in the communication and that you are not letting others close to you. You’d better turn to your partner with your body and show openness, not only using eye contact but also keeping the right posture. This will enable you to obtain a much better impression on yourself, too.
During a conversation, it can be very bothering for others if you are fidgeting with something, such as with a pen, with a bag strap, or with any small items you find on the desk. Many of us constantly shake our foot or drum with our fingers. This behavior may either indicate that you are tense or that it may be a sign that you are not engaged in the conversation and are not paying attention to the others.
You are standing too close to your conversation partner
Keeping small physical distance to the other person than average can cause them discomfort feelings, especially if you are not in a close relationship with them. It is called ’proxemics’ that deals with analyzing the physical distance between people. The distance zones (intimate, personal, social and public zone) were already defined in the 1960s. Each of them means another kind of distance. If you notice that your partner is slowly moving backwards during the conversation, it is an obvious sign that you are standing too close. Staying too close generates a great deal of discomfort to many people, and they begin to increase the distance involuntarily.
The other disadvantage of this type of body language is that you cannot obtain the first good impression. This is because the other person tries to handle the situation (e.g. increasing the distance) between you both. The best advice to avoid this might be this: “Keep three steps of distance!”
You hold a grumpy facial expression
It does not need to be explained in details. Those people seem kind and nice who do not show tension or bad mood. We prefer talking to positive people than negative ones, we turn to them for advice more often or when we just need company. When you meet someone (at work or in private life), do look at them, do smile, and try to show interest. Remember that good posture and nice facial expression will have a positive impact on yourself, too. It is a proven fact that for example holding a pencil in you mouth with our teeth and without our lips touching it will make you feel better, since the smiling movement of your muscles is associated with cheerful feelings. As a consequence, if you feel better, the impression you’ll make will be much more engaging.
Fortunately, Arthur has accepted these advice, therefore he can now avoid the 5 body language mistakes. Not only has he been feeling better since then, but because of his positive behavior, his colleagues are happy to talk to him again. In fact, some of his co-workers have given him a helping hand on how to work faster, which he successfully completed.
You can also make sure to avoid these body language mistakes, so ultimately it will result in maintaining your relationships with others and improving the impression you make.
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