What does your Body Language Say about You?

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Enthusiasm. Passion. Confidence.

How do you project the charisma needed to get the job post? To talk on stage in a captivating manner? Do our bodies change our minds? Can our minds change our bodies? The study of Social Sciences has shown that many of these questions can be answered by looking at body language.

A large part of it boils down to the way one holds themselves. If you observe and analyse animal behaviours (as I like to do in my spare time), then contrast it to humans, the trends are really quite similar. The position in which we hold ourselves when in the face of a tyrant will naturally be with our arms tucked in, relatively small and protective of oneself. Contrast it to when put in a position of power. In an attempt to gather the attention of the room, one tends to open arms and widen their stance.

"Your body language shapes who you are" - Amy Cuddy

So, the body language observed can be emulated and learnt from for our own benefit.

Further studies have shown that a more open posture results in looking more authentic, captivating and comfortable. Science isn’t even technically needed to prove this. Imagine having guests over in your home. You can generally grasp quite well how they’re feeling. Squashed together on the sofa may suggest discomfort. Broadened chests and heads raised indicates they’re having a better time!

Now we understand the Science a little better, we can apply the knowledge. In less technical terms, you gotta fake it till you make it sometimes! At the next job interview, don’t sit and wait crouched in the waiting area; phone in hand. Instead, remember to have chin raised. Have a drink, make light conversation, and know you have the interview already in the bag!

Another interesting factor to investigate are steroids and hormones in the body. Testosterone and cortisol can be considered contrasting hormones. Both levels can be regulated by the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle balance. Food, Sleep and Exercise. Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. Though beneficial in some situations, it can do more damage than good. Reduced cortisol and increased testosterone in the body will lead to stronger body language.

Observe your own body language. Take note of the way you respond to situations and people. Learn what makes you uncomfortable, comfortable and just confused. Use your knowledge to your advantage. If you can see there are people putting you down, eliminate them from your social interactions.

If an exam is unnerving you, remember … Fake it till you make it.

Always walk into the exam hall like you’re going to your favourite place in the world. And then, walk out knowing you showed the examiners what you’re made of. It is always easier to say than to do. Take it easy on yourself. Slowly build up your confidence. Strong body language and posture won’t come naturally to all but remember, we all have a skill within us. Exploit the talent and make yourself proud.

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