Gaining Self-Confidence with the New Body language-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
By Rochelle Ann Jadormio
EVERY day, we deal with different types of people. Without being aware, we display non-verbal cues to any one we encounter. Some of us may want to appear confident. However, some people who are profoundly observant may interpret your gestures in different ways. The Old Body Language (OBL) Interpretation may somehow be misleading. It gives out the notion that body language reading is synonymous to mind-reading. It also focuses on a person’s single gesture which can be interpreted in a lot of ways. But the New Body Language (NBL) says otherwise. It helps you interpret people better, and helps one in gaining confidence.
Janine Driver’s book: “You Say More Than You Think” discusses the importance of the New Body Language to get what you want. So how do you become accurate in interpreting people while gaining self-confidence at the same time?
First, walk in people’s shoes. Base lining, in other words. In the OBL, crossing your arms or legs may be interpreted as a person who is close-minded and that people who has their hands at their sides can be viewed as cocky or over-confident. But with the NBL, it is important to find the base line and probing points first. When you base line individuals, it is important to find clues and examples of natural behavior.
Take for example a person who always has his hands in his pockets. If the person constantly does that gesture, then that is his natural behavior. It is their default mode when they’re not hiding anything. Probing point is when a person moves from his norm to other behavior. So if the person, whose natural behavior is with hands in his pockets and suddenly moves his hands to his sides, something must have triggered that gesture. The key is to interpret an individual through that abrupt change and not with their default mode.
Second, master the Belly Button Rule. This rule was discovered by WT James in the 1930s when he was conducting a series of tests that had respondents identify meanings of poses from photographs. A number of studies about the Belly Button Rule occurred after the discovery. Nowadays, this rule is fundamental in gauging a person’s interest and intent. For example, if your belly button is facing the door when speaking with a person, it actually displays your disinterest, boredom, or your refusal to speak to someone. It can also give out the air of mysteriousness in one person.
Facing someone with your belly button on the other hand, can display your sincerity, attention, and respect. Thus, if you want to build rapport, face a person with your belly button in different situations like in a meeting, heart-to-heart talk, or with shaking hands and greeting people.
Third, work you naughty bits and lower extremities. Much like your belly button, your lower extremities can display your interest or aggression towards a person. Hiding your crotch can give out the signal of fear despite the business-like demeanor. On the other hand, crotch displays, can give out the notion of over-confidence. Hence, the word cocky.
Fourth, move to the right side. There are times when we feel irritated with one person no matter how much we adore that person. The truth is, either one of you may be sitting in the wrong seat. Every person has an on/off switch of rapport on one side of their bodies. Studies show that most people feel comfortable with other people when they are on his right side. However, there are a few people who prefer others to be on their left. In these situations, try to find out which side you prefer and which side others prefer you to be. Observe facial expressions and gestures when you’re on a person’s right and left side.
Fifth, tune up your power gestures. Some gestures such as biting your nails, or touching yourself may appear weak to others. If you’re in a high position and you want to gain the respect of your co-workers, you need to work on your power gestures. As an example, the basketball steeple may encourage teamwork when talking to a group of people. The aggressive handgun steeple on the other hand can be used to shoot down an idea or if you want to emphasize your point. A person who uses the palm down gesture emphasizes that he is in charge. However, we should all be careful in using these powerful gestures. Using the steeple when you’re not in the right position to do so may give out an air of arrogance and dislike.
Sixth, use the Q-W-Q formula. Question, Wait Question. To become more accurate in using this formula, ask powerful questions then afterwards, listen actively. Listeners are considered as great conversationalists.
Learn to listen rather than speak. Listening to other people’s personal stories builds safety and trust. In any situation, listening builds rapport.
Seventh, set goals and take some steps to reach these goals. It is not enough to learn more about the New Body Language in acquiring confidence.
Work on it and put it into practice. Set your goals into becoming more confident and take note of your progress. Keep track of it in a journal and in the future, you might be able to see the change in you.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 19, 2013.