Correcting these 7 body language mistakes could make you instantly more likeable
Body language isn't always intuitive, and we may be making a negative first impression without meaning to.
You might be the most awesome person in the world—kind, thoughtful, pleasant, funny—and still not make a good first impression on people. The immediate, unconscious judgments our brains make based on body language aren't always accurate, but they happen whether we want them to or not.
First impressions are especially hard for people who struggle with social anxiety or with understanding the nuances of social interactions. When we're nervous, our body language can misrepresent us, making us appear to be more closed off and less approachable than we might be if we were feeling like our true, relaxed selves.
Thankfully, there are some specific ways we can consciously shift our body language to avoid people getting a wrong first impression.
A video from Charisma on Command breaks down seven common mistakes people make with their body language that gives people a negative impression and explains what to do instead. Some of these things are subtle behaviors we might not give a second thought. Others are things we do out of nervousness. With some simple, conscious practice, we can make a difference in how we come across to people we're socializing with.
So, to recap:
1. Don't scan the room when talking with someone.
2. Don't let someone interrupt you when you're in a conversation with someone else.
3. Lean against a wall, chair, bar, etc.
4. Keep your hands out of your pockets.
5. Use precise and expansive gestures at the right times.
6. Keep your head up.
7. A brief eyebrow raise lets people know you're glad to see them (but might not be something you want to try to control).
Some people in the comments pointed out that scanning the room is an automatic safety behavior for some and that trying too hard to do some of these things could come across as stiff or disingenuous. Others, however, appreciated the specific advice. Body language is not intuitive for everyone, and pinpointing behaviors to pay attention to can help even the playing field with those who have more social skills and charisma naturally.
Several people on the autism spectrum expressed their gratitude for this kind of clear, direct instruction.
"Man, I so appreciate this channel," shared one commenter. "Being on the Autism Spectrum makes it really difficult to have social interactions and sometimes I don't act "appropriately" but I'm extremely good at mimicking and learning principles. These sorts of videos have made it easier for me to integrate into social situations to the point that people don't realize that I'm on the spectrum ... in fact, people are shocked when they learn that I am. Thanks for making life a little easier for me."
"I agree 100%," shared another. "It's taken me years to simulate neurotypical behaviors, but I'm mostly so good at it now that most folks have no clue. Charisma on Command has helped me hone that to a new level and I am very glad of it."
Body language makes up a lot of our communication, so it's helpful to learn how it works and how we can make adjustments to improve our chances of positive interactions with others. See more of Charisma on Command's videos here.