I’m sure we’ve all seen clips on the TV, which highlight the body language of politicians, movie stars, TV personalities etc., where judgments are being made about relationships.
I’ve seen lots of clips on the news recently, highlighting the body language between President Trump and his wife and of the interaction between Theresa May and her meetings with European leaders as part of the Brexit negotiations, where the News Channels are highlighting what the body language of the individuals is showing us and often, to highlight poor relationships or which politician is coming out as the most authoritative or powerful.
Even though politicians are trained on how to hold themselves and about what their body language says, as soon as they’re not consciously thinking about it, their natural, automatic and instinctual body language reveals a lot!
However, whilst we all are very experienced (because we’ve been practicing unconsciously all our lives), at recognising ‘THE SIGNS’, we don’t always get it right and we make judgments based on a misinterpretation of someone’s body language.
More importantly, we forget to consider our own body language and the impact that’s having not only on other people but how it’s impacting on ourselves.
Our body language and our physical body pose, impact on our internal neurology. When we’re feeling nervous about something, it’s likely that we hold ourselves with our shoulders drawn in, head lowered and arms folded across our body or we bring our hands up around our mouth.
- Because we’re feeling fear and we’re trying to make ourselves as small as possible and placing our arm across our body as a form of self-protection.
Compare this to someone who’s feeling really confident – they will usually stand tall, head held high, shoulders back and arms stretched out.
Anthony Robbins – He just exudes confidence doesn’t he? You’d think it comes naturally to him, but actually, he builds himself up to this confident state by changing his physiology and energising himself before he goes out on stage.
DID YOU KNOW that how you feel can be changed by changing your body language.
- Our emotions and our body postures are so closely connected, that consciously changing how we hold ourselves and holding that posture for around 2 minutes, will actually change how we feel.
There are a couple of really simple ‘moves’ we can change, that will change not only how we’re perceived by other people, but how we are perceiving ourselves and therefore how we feel about ourselves. It’s possible to trick ourselves into feeling something different, by breathing differently, standing differently and consciously changing our facial expressions.
Try noticing your posture when you’re feeling nervous – the chances are, you’re shrinking down. When you notice yourself doing this, stand tall, put your shoulders back and smile. Holding a confident pose for 2 minutes will make you actually FEEL more confident.
Now try BEING confident, when your head is held low, your arms are folded across your body – it’s not easy, is it?
It’s the same if we’re feeling sad or fed up – our posture will reflect how we feel… or maybe it’s the other way round. Our feelings and our posture are so closely connected, it’s difficult to say which influences which. Suffice it to say that when we feel sad, we look sad and simply changing our posture, can have a dramatic impact on how we feel.
I tested this on my 5-year-old granddaughter earlier today… she was crying because her older sister had upset her. Instead of sympathising with her, I explained that if she pretended to smile, she would magically feel better. Within less than a minute, she was giggling and her whole demeanor changed.
So there you have it, my number 1 tip, that can have a dramatic impact on your world, because it will change how other’s see you and also how you feel about yourself.
BECOME CONSCIOUS of your feelings and how this is reflected in your physiology and then consciously change your physiology and you’ll definitely notice a change in your feelings.
This is explained brilliantly by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk: