Did you know that as far as communication goes, Only 7% of meaning is expressed through words? This suggests that the network of people we communicate with on a regular basis is learning a whole lot about us that we may not mean to convey. Though many of us aren’t all that concerned with how we present ourselves to strangers, our appearance and our sense of self worth should be a concern when it comes to those about which we do care. Just for fun, let’s take a look at what your body language and appearance says about you.
Every human being in the world broadcasts signals through their physical appearance, gestures, movements, posture and facial expressions. And while it’s easy to overlook their importance, they can seriously hinder daily interactions, progress in work, dating opportunities, and professional networking.
For better or for worse, human beings are hardwired to be shallow. The human psyche has been conditioned to make binary choices about whether something (or someone) is good or bad. In fact, a Princeton University study showed that we make decisions about our feelings toward someone within seconds of the first contact. These decisions can be reversed with time and effort but chances are if someone gets a poor first impression of you, it’s unlikely that they’ll afford you the opportunity to amend it.
Smiling is surprisingly powerful not only for the person smiling but for those who witness it. Smiling releases chemicals in the brain that improve your mood even when the smile is forced or fake. Seeing someone smile can give you an instant warm feeling about the other person. It also can imply confidence and a positive outlook on life.
On the other hand, an overly-demonstrative smile can imply that we’re too quick to trust, wear our emotions on our sleeve or even that we’re desperate to please others. While none of these are inherently bad, shrewd and manipulative people will use this forthrightness to their advantage.
Meek, Poor or No Smile
Likewise, while those of us who are a little self-conscious about our teeth may favor a tight lipped smile, this can be misinterpreted as grudging, insincere or a sign of irritation. Additionally, our smile can also (unfortunately) create a misleading portrait of overall health and hygiene. Crooked, yellow or stained teeth can give an impression of poor personal hygiene. It is for this reason that some opt for orthodontics to improve their overall appearance. As far as the color of your teeth, whitening kits have also proven to improve appearance without damaging your tooth enamel.
Posture and Movements
She’s owning the room, you notice, as the company holiday party begins. You’ve always wanted to get that kind of attention. What exactly makes one person stand out in such a way? This instant attractiveness could be as simple as good posture, holding your head up, open gestures, and looking people in the eye. On the contrary, slouching and caving your shoulders makes you seem smaller and or oppressed by your surroundings. This signifies to others that you see yourself as small, insignificant and lacking confidence.
Using your hands when you talk creates an energy that others notice. Normally, more confident people use them. That said, big, over-dramatic gestures can appear obnoxious or as though you’re over compensating. Larger movements tend to lack precision, implying a lack of control. Smaller, more measured “crisp” gestures are powerful as they convey a sense of control and attention to detail that’s admirable in virtually any social or business setting.
Some people roar their way through conversations and actually intimidate those around them. This could indicate the need for control or even a deep set confidence issue. Though being too loud and boisterous isn’t the best way to go, neither is being too quiet. Those who talk in a moderate volume and modulate their tone, pace and inlfections tend to hold their audience’s attention. Look at great public speakers and the way they frequently change their vocal delivery; pausing, dropping and raising their volume to reel the listener in and take them on a journey.