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May 06, 2011

Positive Body Language

It’s quite true that what’s on your mind is manifested by body through expressions, movements and actions. Moreover, the way you make your body to move or act definitely affects your feelings, perceptions and thinking as well. It’s exactly like how good nutrition, balanced diet, exercise and optimism assures health, improved immunity and sense of well being.

When it comes to communication, every step or action directly affects its outcome. Each and every chunk of communication affects personal, social and professional relationships and mutual rapport. How firmly, confidently, fluently and comfortably we can express ourselves is the base of effective communication.

Positive body language can help us in making what we want to convey or communicate to others more effective. It’s not only about how you feel about others but how much you are comfortable and positive with yourself while interacting with others in a given situation, condition, circumstance or environment.

Please keep in mind that there's nothing like a single 'Universal Positive Body Language' (UPBL) at all. Below mentioned suggestions and tips are largely applicable to social interactions in an urban environment only.

1) Posture: Posture is how you walk, stand or seat in front of the others. It’s directly related to energy, curiosity, acceptability, safety and sense of comfort with any physical or social environment and people around you.

If you really want to encourage others to interact with you comfortably, do adapt open and upright posture because it expresses open, attentive and acceptance mode.

Astonishingly, the upright posture, torso orientation and barrier free body positioning greatly improves grasping.

2) Greeting: Greeting or gesticulating in complementary way is an inevitable part of social communication. It makes other feel safe about you. Unless you don’t make others notice about your approach or advance towards them, they would hardly take it as safe confrontation because they are not prepared for the same. Be polite, enthusiastic, open and compassionate while greeting.

You can see how most effective leaders, celebrities or personalities drive a surge of overwhelming welcome and good will due to their style of greeting and gesture.

3) Distance: How close you stand or seat with others greatly affects on how others perceive or likely to think about you and accept you. If you meeting first time with any person or group of people, don't stand very close to them at all. Social distance or zone might vary in different societies and cultures across the globe.

Do avoid touching any of other person's body parts other than engaging in a hand shake, only if it’s an locally accepted social ritual. After getting acquainted with the same person, you may enter or let other enter into your personal zone by your convenience and comfort.

4) Eye Contact: Eye contact is the most important aspect of face-to-face interaction. It affects the level of confidence, interest, intimacy, trust and sympathy that other cultivate in their minds about you.

Do maintain relatively steady eye contact with person you are talking or interacting with. Don't look away or down instantaneously and jerk your neck in front them. Avoid glare or prolonged gaze.

If you are talking to or interacting with more than one person, look at each of them in repetition. Comfort level with a steady eye contact might vary in different societies and cultures across the globe.

5) Smile: Smile is powerful tool to help other easily and freely accept your opinion and thoughts. Smile with steady eye contact can bring magical effect during interactions and also invoke interest in others. Smile improves you face value.

Avoid smiling continuously, unreasonably and frequently otherwise you would be mistaken as a mentally unstable person, a liar, an idiot, a crazy person or a flirtatious person. Exercise a genuine, warm and long lingering smile.

6) Gestures: Gesturing is a truly wonderful tool for explaining, mimicking and illustrating. Gestures also control the flow, direction, tempo and pace of verbal exchange.Gesturing can turn a dull, bland or boring verbal interaction into a dazzling and also a memorable deal.

Gestures can convey message or information with a greater effect, accuracy and speed that cannot be achieve entirely by words. Don’t cross your arms over your chest, put your hands into pockets or hold them behind your back. Do use them well for skillful, timely, effective, assertive yet non-offensive gesturing.

Avoid exaggerated, unusual, intimate and repetitive gestures or such gestures that other can't understand or decode locally. Align your facial expressions with your postures, gestures and vocal tones. Open palm gestures are ideal for making other feel trustworthy and safe about you.

Most crucial thing above all to remember is that faking doesn't last longer. Reflecting positive body language outside starts with becoming more and more positive and confident from within.

Related Articles:
1) Conscious Shift in Body Language 2) Confident Body Language 3) Importance of Eyes 4) Words and Gestures are alike 5) Let your spirit soar higher 6) Making true friends 7) Why we smile? 8) Like attracts Like 9) Job Interview Tips 10) Proxemics 11) Good posture is Healthy 12) Power Postures


  1. Hello, I was watching a YouTube video where a person walked directly to the front of the person. The proposed this was to blunt, they propose to make a person feel comfort we stand at an angle to the person, not directly in front, unless maybe we want to give them a command. However, for comfort, maybe stand next to them and talk. What do you think? I am working on making people feel comfortable.

    1. Standing alongside of any person is good but it's more appropriate when both of you are attending something together, posing for photo or walking. Standing at an angle with somebody is always best.

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  3. Nice post thank you Mark


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