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Effective Body Language- Putting Your Best Self Forward

According to body language expert, Janine Driver, several key gestures can make a difference in how you are perceived. The following DO’s and DON’Ts are easy to picture and excellent reminders.

DO: HOLD YOUR CHIN- It’s a thinking pose

DON’T: PULL IN YOUR LIPS– Sucking in your lips suggests that you are holding back, perhaps attempting to hide something

DO: STEEPLE YOUR FINGERS– Pressing fingertips to fingertips increases your authority

DON’T: LOSE TRACK OF YOUR TILT– Tilting your head in serious situations makes you appear less believable. For general conversation, be aware of the direction of your tilt. To the right, you seem more attractive. To the left, you’re viewed to be more intelligent.

DO: CROSS YOUR ARMS- It is a power position and makes you seem more standoffish. The action uses both sides of your body, engaging the logical left and creative right parts of your brain. Arm crossing makes us more likely to remain on a difficult task.

DON’T: WRINKLE YOUR NOSE- It’s a universal sign of disgust

This is only a sampling and no doubt you can add many more gestures to the list, from making solid eye contact to leaning towards the person who is talking. But how close should you be and when does space become an invitation or a violation? Body language varies from culture to culture, so it’s important to learn what is most appropriate in a given group for your own comfort and that of others. ©Maureen Weisner 2017

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