Studies have shown, recent studies I might add, that 93% of what we communicate with others is nonverbal. That's right, we're positively oozing hidden meanings out of our wazoos, making us easy pickings for the body language savvy people out there, those people who can essentially read your mind by the way you position your feet. It's no wonder that the most powerful public figures in the world have been coached by body language experts on how to present themselves to the global audience.
But you can get in on this action too! Here are seven of the best body language hacks to become a veritable nonverbal wizard.
1) Appear open for business
Body language can be inviting or alienating. When your posture is closed in on itself – head down, arms folded, knees up, frowning face, that kinda thing – you're sending a very clear nonverbal (and perhaps unintentional) signal that you want to be left alone, and people are put off by this, which can be your undoing when you're trying to make friends or get a job. To overcome this repellent body language, simply reposition yourself in more open postures: hands on your knees, head up, make eye contact, easy going facial expression. Shit's like catnip to people, for serious.
2) Eye contact is magic
If you ask someone a question and they give you an evasive answer, just maintain eye contact through the silence, they will usually break and expand upon their original answer. This is especially useful if trying to catch someone in a lie, it will fall apart under scrutiny. You'll be amazed by how powerful being an intense fuck can be.
3) Feet of truth
A handy body language rule of thumb is that if you're speaking to someone, and their feet are turned towards you, then they're interested in speaking to you, but if their feet are turned away from you it means they wanna walk away from you at the first opportunity. Shakira is full of shit, it's feet that don't lie.
4) Get lost in their eyes
When you first meet someone and you're trying to make a good impression, try to take a moment to register the colour of their eyes, it prolongs eye contact for another second or two which makes you appear as if you're really taking notice of that person, people will always respond favourably to that. Unless they're cross-eyed, in which case they'll probably think you're just staring.
5) Power stances
An example of using your own body language to control your mental processes. If you take just two minutes to do a power stance – stand at your full height, head held high, and put your hand on your hips – there's a significant release of testosterone into your bloodstream which helps you meet any stressful situation. But won't I risk looking like a total gimp, I hear you ask? I think we both know the answer to that question.
6) Smile like the Cheshire Cat
Seems like an obvious one, but it's seriously underrated. By smiling often you naturally appear warmer to those around you (until you reveal yourself to be an insufferable prick when you open your mouth), but even forcing yourself to fake smile has been proven to make people feel happier in general. So fuck smile lines, get grinning people.
7) Rub your hands together
Not sure if this technically counts as body language, but apparently if you shake someone's hand with a warm palms it sends a signal that you are a more favourable person to be around than someone with a cold hand. Same can also be said for cupping one's balls.