Your body is saying the quiet part out loud. You should listen.
Body language is a key indicator of what is happening with each of us emotionally. It is an unconscious primal response that is difficult to control. Being aware of your own body language can dramatically improve your self-awareness. There are two types of body language patterns:
• Blocking patterns – putting barriers between yourself and others (crossed arms/legs, holding a purse, briefcase, or bag in your lap, rubbing/covering your eyes, etc.) These are usually displayed when we are in uncomfortable situations and want to subconsciously block it out.
• Pacifying patterns – rubbing your neck/arms/legs, stroking your hair, fidgeting with a pencil, etc. These are usually performed subconsciously when we need to feel calm, comforted or reassured in difficult situations.
If you observe these patterns in your own body language, it is a good time to mentally step back and ask yourself why you are uncomfortable and address the issue if possible. If you notice those patterns in others, it may take a bit of detective work to figure out what the issue is if you don’t feel comfortable asking outright.
Body language also includes clothing, hair style, body-art, etc. It is important to be conscious of what messages you are broadcasting out to the world.
Research shows that ~60% of our communications is non-verbal. How much do you rely on body language to “read” people? Have you experienced a situation where noticing body language played a key role in a decision or provided critical information?
I’d love to hear about it!