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Tinder has taught us to swipe right or left. Dating has become so technological and impersonal that actually communicating in-person is becoming a lost art form. Whether you’re meeting a friend for coffee, or attempting to seduce someone that you find irresistible, or going out on a date for the first time, body language is critical to communicating in an impactful way.
Let’s take a closer look at five time-tested power signals you can send using body language.
1. Animated People Score Better in Speed Dating Surveys
An article discussing the power of proper posture when dating, written by Erika Ettin, highlights the findings of a study centered around more than 144 hours of video-recorded speed dates involving couples interacting together for the first time. One of the key areas researchers studied was how hand and arm movements affected perception. Communicating in a physically active way significantly improved the odds that a man or woman would be asked out on a second date.
Should you try and impersonate one of those inflatable tube people outside of shops whenever they have a sale? No! But, simple gestures where hand and arm movement accompany verbal communication, shows engagement and energy.
2. Prepare for a Night on the Town with Open, Power Postures
In the privacy of your home, or even a bathroom stall, it’s entirely possible to boost your self-confidence with open, expansive physical posturing. Confidence is sexy, and anything you can do to project a sense of self-worth is worth trying.
Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist, recently presented a Ted Talk where she discussed her own challenges with self-confidence. And, more importantly, she had found ways to universally improve self-confidence through body-language. It turns out that the chicken or the egg debate isn’t the only place where actions and reactions are hard to define.
Opening your body up, stretching out your arms and expanding the space you occupy can measurably boost self-confidence. Confident people have body language that is open, expansive and unafraid. If you don’t feel confident, force your body language to become more open, imitating a confident person. Your brain will react and take the queue from your physical state.
If you’re nervous about trying to awkwardly open up your body language in public, practice in private. The sense of confidence will continue for some time after you try the power poses that Cuddy discusses in her Ted Talk.
3. Turn Towards the Person You’re Interested In
The heart wants what the heart wants, and subconsciously our heart points us in the direction of the things we’re interested in. If you’re genuinely interested in the person you’re meeting with, your body needs to be centered towards them. Turning away or at an angle while you talk is a sign that you’re losing interest. Engage and center around the other person, and they’ll be encouraged to do the same.
If the other person seems guarded or involuntarily turning away, it’s a sign that things aren’t going well. Don’t mistakenly send across that you’d rather be elsewhere.