When communicating, it is easy to forget that the words we speak only make up half the message the other person receives. The other half of the message consists of body language, an important form of non-verbal communication. This describes things like posture, gestures and facial expressions and eye movements. It can be very difficult to hide your true feelings through body language as a lot of gestures are unconscious.
However, these gestures and expressions make up nearly 50% of the communication we have with other people. If youre looking to make new friends in London, it might be worth thinking about the signals youre sending out to others with your body language.
Words only make up half a conversation. Especially in new environments, they are often deliberately chosen and may not fully communicate the speakers feelings. Watching their body language is a great way to fit the other pieces in the jigsaw.
How to spot positive body language
Many people may seem comfortable, confident and at ease but their body language will show their true feelings. Relaxed body language includes gestures like gentle hand movements to emphasise what the speaker is saying. When people are feeling relaxed, they will often tap their feet if music is playing, sit with their legs out in front of them or use their hands to emphasise what they are saying in a calm, controlled way.
As well as general body language, many clues can be found in a persons face. If someone is relaxed then their smile will be full and broad. They will also smile with their eyes, instead of just their mouth. A relaxed person wont be frowning or staring. Their breathing will also reflect their emotional state – in this case, it will be slow and steady.
How to spot negative body language
Sometimes we can tell that someone isnt particularly interested in a conversation even if they appear to be on the surface. It can be difficult to work out where these signals of boredom are coming from but it could be that they are revealing their true feelings using their body language.
Distraction is one of the key signs of boredom. Those who are distracted dont look at the person or people talking to them. Instead, their eyes wander around the room. Repetitive actions are also a sign of boredom (not to be confused with the foot-tapping of the relaxed person above). When standing in a long queue at some point, youve probably felt the urge to start drumming your fingers or tapping your feet.
Ensure you have positive body language
Just as you will pick up many signals about someones mood from their body language, they will from yours too. Quite often we are unaware of what messages we are sending with our body language. If you appear to be bored when actually youre finding the conversation enjoyable, others are going to perceive those signals as mixed and confusing. Quite often people can reveal their true feelings about a situation without saying anything at all. What do you think your body language tells other people and does this reflect how you feel?