“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter F. Drucker
There’s no doubt your words convey powerful messages. But what matters much more are the subtleties your body gives away. Understanding and mastering this “second language” was the most useful transformation I made for my dating and professional life.
Having confident body language completely changes the way people perceive you. You’ll command more respect and be taken more seriously. People will trust you more. Girls will find you captivating and attractive. And even if you’re nervous on the inside, you’ll look calm and collected to everyone else.
I never said it was easy — actors spend years perfecting their non-verbal communication to express the right words and emotions. Before audio was in film, we still managed to understand exactly what Charlie Chaplin was saying. But with these tips, you’ll charm hearts and generate laughs without even opening your mouth.
- Stand tall. Don’t slouch or hunch over. Years of playing Quake and Diablo didn’t make this a simple task for me, but by consistently reminding myself it became second nature.
- Keep your head up. Always look straight ahead at the horizon and avoid looking down while you walk.
- Take up more space. Keep your feet shoulder width apart while standing and sitting. This demonstrates you are relaxed and comfortable.
- Relax your shoulders. They should not be stiff or tense. Lift your shoulders up and let them drop. They should fall back and rest naturally.
- Don’t cross your arms or legs in front of you. Closed body language looks defensive and like you’re protecting yourself. Think about it: when someone gets mad or upset, what do they instantly do? Also, we tend to mirror body language and if you don’t look relaxed, the other person can’t relax either.
- Avoid leaning in to talk to women. Getting too close too soon from the front is aggressive and distracting. Speak louder (from your diaphragm) or move to her side. If you’re in a tight space, rather than standing awkwardly, see if there is something you can lean against.
- Hold your drink to your side. When you’re at a party or bar, nothing shows you’re nervous like clenching a drink against your chest. Always keep your glass down and to your side while not drinking.
- Keep your hands out of your front pockets. If you need some place to put your hands, your back pockets with your thumbs out displays open and inviting body language.
- Move slower and with purpose. Sudden movements scare people and seem like a nervous tick. A man who walks and talks in a collected manner radiates confidence.
- Talk with your hands. Use your hands to emphasize points and add passion to what you’re saying. Always keeping your hands stiff by your side makes you seem uncomfortable. Just don’t put them in someone’s face — chest level and below is perfect.
- Eliminate nervous ticks and bad habits. This goes for face touching, foot tapping, nailbiting, nosepicking, or fidgeting in general. They distract the other person and you appear anxious and agitated.
- Observe others. This is the best piece of advice I can give you. Watch the cool guy surrounded by women and see how he presents himself. Take note of his facial expressions, hand gestures, and overall posture. Similarly, pay attention to handsome Hollywood actors (no homo) and their body language in interviews and on screen.
The following exercise will show you how to develop proper, healthy posture and look confident, too. It might feel a little weird at first but it’ll become natural over time.
Core and Back Training
When I started working on my body language, no matter how hard I tried, my body fought against it. Once I began exercising my core and back, everything came together. Pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, and crunches developed my muscles so they held me up in correct form.
The Wall Technique
Stand with your back against a wall. Look straight ahead, relax your upper body, and place your feet shoulder-width apart. At this point, your heels, shoulders, and head should be touching the wall. If any of them aren’t, adjust your stance until all three make contact while still feeling comfortable.
Relax your whole body while standing. Take one hand and touch the crown of your head. Now imagine you are pulling yourself up from a rope on that very spot. You should feel your body rise into an upright stance with your spine aligned under your head. Your shoulders should fall back naturally while keeping your chest up.
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