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If you want to meet someone special, it would be wise to pay attention to the unconscious messages you’re projecting. In a sense, you telegraph to others what you’re thinking or feeling through your physical gestures.
Before you go out to a social situation, before you see your blind date, or before you go anywhere you might meet someone, do an internal inventory of your thoughts. If you are angry or bitter about anything, come to a resolution: “I will put that aside for today, work it out in an appropriate time and setting, and focus on what makes me feel good.” Following that, remember what you are proud of, the wins you’ve celebrated, and the people who love you. Insecure, defensive people are hard to approach, so you don’t want your silent messages to be: “Stay away!”
After your attitude adjustment, here are some body language signals that you want to be aware of. You could send a potential date or mate away before they have a chance to get to talk to you by doing any of the following:
In this age of computers where we are all hunched over our laptops more than a few hours a day, it’s easy to walk or sit with a slouch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything for your date-ability. Men find women who slouch to be less attractive than women who stand up straight; women tend to think that a man lacks confidence if he has poor posture. If more than one person has suggested that you need to stand up straight, or if you notice that you stare at the ground or look down at your feet, correct this habit. Play sports, exercise, do yoga or take some ballet classes. Posture can make or break a first impression.
This may sound strange, but many people enter a room and immediately find a place to “hide” in it. They don’t occupy and own their space; they find a corner or a wall and disappear into the setting. Confident people do not blend into the wallpaper. Masculine men especially take up a lot of space with wide gestures, bold moves, and uncrossed arms and legs.
Standing up straight and moving slowly is eye-catching. Darting and dashing rapidly about is irritating. The message you send by rushing is: “I’m too busy to talk to you, so don’t even try.” Slow down, pick up your drink carefully, and give yourself time to make eye contact with people. Having quickly shifting eyes and looking here and there without smiling at others gives the impression of either insecurity…or, being suspicious. Neither are messages you want to send.
4. Stern and serious
It’s important to leave the office worries at the office when you go out socially, and start remembering what makes you laugh before you ever enter a room—smiling. People will be afraid to approach you if you wear a brooding or worried face.
5. Best dressed
If there were an award for best dressed… which would be clothes that fit, are in a flattering color, and suit your style… you want to win it. Being best dressed doesn’t have to cost a lot of money; it does take some fashion savvy. Dressing tips for women: clothes that are too tight make people feel too tense. Guys: women spend a lot of time shopping for and buying shoes. Make sure your shoes represent you well. How you feel about what you’re wearing is reflected in your body language. Once you know you look your best in your clothes, you can walk into a room with a lot of confidence.
Some people simply cannot see and hear when they are being too loud, too muted, or too dominating. Again…slow down…relax, and let other people talk while you listen and get your bearings. Nod to show you are listening when others are talking.
Do some breathing exercises before you go out, practice yoga or meditation, and bring any nervous tics under control. Shredding napkins, doing sculpture with straws, or drawing doodles on the place mat is distracting if someone is trying to talk to you. It’s also difficult to have a conversation with someone who is picking their nails, twisting their hair, rattling their glass of ice, or shaking their leg or foot vigorously. Other tips: keep your hands out of your pockets and resist the urge to play with your keys or open and close your purse.
Understanding body language and the messages you send is key to meeting and dating people. Think of exercising your social movements with a Zen-like approach: be more like water than ice. Flow with the moment. Remember the above, go into slow motion, and whenever you go out, take your best self with you. You can do it.