I always lacked confidence when I met new people, until I mastered these 7 body language tricks

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Meeting new people used to terrify me. My confidence would dwindle and I would feel incredibly self-conscious.

Then, I discovered the power of body language. I realized that, just by adjusting the way I stand, gesture, or look at someone, I could dramatically change the impression I made.

Mastering these 7 body language tricks transformed my interactions with new people. Now, I want to share them with you.

These strategies are subtle, yet powerful. They won’t make you feel fake or insincere. Instead, they’ll help you present your best self to others.

1) Open stance

I used to approach new people with my arms crossed, not because I was closed off, but because I didn’t know what else to do with them.

I didn’t realize that this body language was sending a message that I was unapproachable or defensive. It wasn’t until I learned about the concept of ‘open stance’ that things started to change.

The ‘open stance’ means standing with your arms at your sides, your shoulders back and your chest open. This body language comes across as friendly, approachable and confident.

It’s a small adjustment, but it can make a world of difference in the impression you make on others.

Nowadays, I always make sure to adopt an ‘open stance’ whenever I meet someone new. It’s a simple trick, but it’s done wonders for my confidence and the way people perceive me.

2) Eye contact

Ah, the power of eye contact – something I used to struggle with massively.

I used to shy away from making direct eye contact when meeting new people. I’d constantly look away or down, a clear sign of my lack of confidence.

Then, I read about the importance of eye contact in conveying confidence and building connections. I decided to give it a try and started practicing maintaining eye contact during conversations.

Remembering a particularly nerve-wracking networking event, I decided to put this trick into practice. As I met people and engaged in conversations, I made sure to maintain eye contact. Not a creepy stare-down, but a respectful level of eye contact that showed I was genuinely interested in the conversation.

The result? People responded positively. They seemed more engaged in our discussions and even mirrored my body language.

3) Mirroring

Mirroring is a subtle body language trick that involves copying the gestures, expressions, or speech patterns of the person you’re talking to. It’s a technique often used by negotiators and therapists to build rapport and make the other person feel understood.

Scientifically speaking, we’re hardwired to respond positively to mirroring. It’s linked to the activation of ‘mirror neurons‘ in our brain that are responsible for empathy. When someone mirrors our actions, we subconsciously perceive them as more likeminded and trustworthy.

Incorporating mirroring into my interactions has been incredibly effective in building rapport and making others feel comfortable around me. It’s not about mimicking every move or word, but subtly reflecting back their energy and engagement.

This not only makes them feel good, but it also boosts my own confidence knowing I’m creating a positive impression.

4) Smiling

A potent social lubricant, smiling can facilitate smoother communication, enhance rapport, and even diffuse tense situations. 

A genuine smile can break down initial barriers and invite others to engage with you. It communicates a sense of genuine interest and goodwill, laying the foundation for meaningful interactions. 

Furthermore, smiling is contagious. When you smile, it triggers mirror neurons in others, prompting them to reciprocate with their own smiles. This creates a positive feedback loop, where each smile exchanged amplifies feelings of happiness and camaraderie.

5) Posture

The way we carry ourselves physically can have a massive impact on how we feel emotionally. And posture is a big part of this.

Before, I would often slouch, not because I was lazy or bored, but because it felt comfortable. However, I didn’t realize how this was affecting my self-confidence and the way others perceived me.

When you stand tall with your shoulders back, you not only appear more confident and commanding, but you also feel more self-assured. There’s actually science behind this. A study found that sitting up straight reinforces confidence.

 6) Leaning in

Leaning in is a body language trick I picked up that has proven to be incredibly useful in my interactions. It’s a non-verbal way of saying, “I’m here, I’m listening, and I value what you’re saying.”

Leaning in physically brings you closer to the other person, creating a sense of intimacy and connection. This closeness can facilitate a deeper level of understanding and empathy, strengthening the bond between you and the other party.

When you lean in towards someone, you signal that you are fully engaged and interested in what they have to say. This nonverbal cue communicates attentiveness and receptivity, making the other person feel valued and heard. It also makes you come across as more credible and persuasive. 

7) Hand gestures

Hand gestures can help clarify and reinforce your verbal message. They can emphasize key points, illustrate concepts, and provide visual cues that aid understanding for your audience. Gestures can also make your communication more engaging and dynamic, capturing the attention of your audience and keeping them focused on your message.

Let’s say you’re discussing a project at work during a presentation. As you explain a key point, you can use hand gestures to emphasize your message and convey confidence.

For example, if you’re discussing the growth of the project, you might use an upward sweeping motion with your hand to visually represent progress or expansion. This gesture not only adds visual interest but also reinforces the positive momentum of your message.

As you continue speaking, you can use gestures such as open palms to invite engagement from your audience or pointing gestures to highlight specific details.

These hand movements not only help you feel more confident but also enhance the clarity and impact of your presentation.

Final thoughts: It’s all about authenticity

The essence of mastering body language lies not in the art of deception, but in the power of authenticity.

These body language tricks aren’t meant to mask who you truly are, but to help you present the best version of yourself to the world. Each gesture, posture or smile is a reflection of your confidence, openness, and attentiveness.

However, it’s not just about how others perceive us. These techniques can also influence our self-perception. The way we carry ourselves can significantly impact how we feel about ourselves.

The next time you meet someone new, remember these body language tricks. But more importantly, remember to be yourself. Because there’s nothing more attractive and confidence-boosting than being comfortable in your own skin.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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