It’s said that nonverbal communication represents a whopping 93 percent of daily communication. While some may argue that specific statistic, one thing is sure: just because you’re not speaking to someone doesn’t mean you aren’t communicating, so you kind of have to understand your body language and the vibes you’re giving off to others.
For some, this whole nonverbal communication thing can be tricky, though. Whether it’s simply holding back eye contact while listening to someone talk, refusal to give an easy smile to someone who they make eye contact with while passing a stranger on the street or slumping in their chair during an important meeting, no one ever said that interacting without words would be easy. Lucky for you, we’re here to help.
Thanks to some tips that we’ve gathered from a few different experts around the Internet, here are some simple, nonverbal communication tips that can help increase how you present yourself to another person. Hey, maybe your lack of understanding how to do this is the reason why that cute girl at the bar won’t come over and talk to you.
Film your nonverbal communication tendencies
We know it may sound strange, but hear us out before you roll your eyes and tell us we’re way too into ourselves. First off, have you ever taken a selfie or filmed yourself for a social media post? Probably. Study that and see how you look when your face is the only thing on the screen. Are you happy? Appear angry? Look sad? Those facial expressions are what other people are seeing. Second, outside of the previous example, it’s impossible to actually see yourself, and studying tendencies in different situations is the way everyone gets better. Trust us, it’s a little uncomfortable filming yourself, but it can be really helpful in how you look and feel with other people in real life.
Give yourself space to feel comfortable
Remember that Seinfeld episode about the close talker? The whole joke was about how the guy made everyone else uncomfortable because of the distance between him and the person he was talking with. For whatever reason, agreed or not, people hate to be touched — especially in public places. This means that places like buses, trains, bars, etc. are all breeding grounds for awkward interactions because there’s a general uncomfortable feeling when trying to interact. If you have space, make sure you take it and make the nonverbal communication a lot more comfortable.
Practice your posture
No one wants to look like a bump on a log, so sit up straight and make sure you get noticed the right way. As we all know, we’ve got one chance at making a solid first impression, so don’t blow it by slouching in your chair and appearing to be tired or lazy all the time. Whether it’s getting the attention of a girl at a coffee shop or bar, or looking alert in a meeting at work, posture is uber important.
Give appropriate eye contact
You really want to make an impression on someone? Give them some damn eye contact, son! There’s a reason why your elementary school teacher told you to practice solid eye contact during all those speeches you did, because it commands a room and demands attention. When you have good eye contact, even in the nonverbal, it displays confidence.
Simply use signals
If you’ve ever waved at someone, you know how effective signals in nonverbal communication can be. Likewise, smiling has a similar impact when interacting with another person. Of course, you want to take these signals and group them into different categories so not to confuse one thing with another, but, generally speaking, if a person is waving or smiling at you, it means they notice you and are (maybe) interested in talking. Consider the context of a signal and go with how that nonverbal signal makes you feel.