Examples of Positive Body Language

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What is positive body language?

Positive body language is any expression of mood or thought through physical movement. For instance: a smile, a frown, a wave, and other gestures. Most of the time, body language is subconscious movement or gesture. Is this even important? You might ask yourself. Well, it’s very important for people to understand what kind of mood you are in based upon your physical movements.

Positive Body Language is Essential

Having positive body language often times proves beneficial not only to someone observing you but also to you. People are more apt to feel comfortable around someone who has positive body language then they are to someone who is typically negative. Positivity can also come across as confidence, something that everyone desires.

Positive body language may be linked with success in life . A study was conducted at Harvard University about the correlation between positive body language and successful people. The study consisted of having the participants hold a pencil in their mouth and test to see if they were smiling or not, and take an IQ test. It was found that those who were “determined” as opposed to those who had no determination (not necessarily positive body language) scored higher on their IQ tests. The person conducting this experiment believes a reason a person may have higher test scores is because of the determination to solve the problems at hand.

Examples of Positive Body Language:

• Use a smile. When you smile, it sends a non-verbal cue to the other person that you are friendly and happy to see them. Research has consistently shown that people will react more positively to someone with a smile on their face.

• Lean forward while listening to someone speak or while being spoken to.  People will know that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say. It’s a particularly good non-verbal cue for getting people to open up to you.

• Lean slightly towards the other person while speaking or being spoken to. This is a classic body language technique for showing engagement and sincerity when communicating.

• Match the other person’s body language. For example, if they have a relaxed posture and arms spread out, then take a similar pose yourself. This is a great technique for showing that you are interested in what the other person has to say. The trick here is being subtle—you don’t want to be mirroring the other person’s pose exactly.

• Matching another person’s breathing is also a great way to subconsciously convey rapport.

For example, if they take a deep breath say before saying something important on the phone, then do the same. This works best on people who are very aware of their breath and tend to adjust it according to their emotional state.

• Use a head nod to indicate that you are following the other person’s message.

For example, if they lean forward and say something with a slight stress on a particular word, then nod at that word as well. This technique shows the other person that you have been listening to what they have said so far and it also indicates to the other person that you have understood their message.

• If you are in a conversation, then mirroring the other person’s posture is another great way to show that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say. You can do this by lightly touching your chin while they speak or leaning back while they are leaning forward.

• Use hand gestures while you are speaking to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

This non-verbal cue will make the other person feel more at ease with talking to you because it shows them that you are sharing in their experience. You can also use your hands in a subtler way when listening to someone by mirroring their gestures.

• Avoid crossing your arms when in conversation: —it shows that you are guarded and not interested in the other person’s message. Not only that, it also blocks your body language from showing signs of understanding or agreement. If you are hesitant to use your arms in an animated way, then simply keep them relaxed and by your side.

• Try not to fidget when you are talking: —it sends the message that you are bored or uninterested in what the other person has to say.

• Use a firm grip when shaking hands: —it shows that you are confident and engaged.

• Use small head nods to show the other person that you understand what they are saying. It also indicates to them that you agree with their point of view.

• If you are speaking, try using a slow tempo when delivering your message: —it calms people down and puts them at ease. If you are listening, then try matching the speed of the other person’s voice to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

• If you have a disagreement with someone or they want to present another point of view, then avoid using uptalk when responding. Uptalk is when a sentence ends with an upwards inflection—it shows that you are unsure of yourself.

• Matching another person’s body language can help create a sense of camaraderie and rapport with them.

For example, if they have their legs crossed mid-way through a conversation, then take a similar pose yourself. This is a great technique for showing the other


When it comes to positive body language, open and relaxed postures show that you are receptive to what others have to say. Sitting or standing with your legs open is a sign of friendly body language, while crossing them shows that you are feeling closed off.

If you want to show appreciation for what someone has said, then leaning towards them is an effective way of showing interest in their opinions. What’s more, it can also make the other person feel more engaged in the conversation.

Keeping a relaxed face is also a sign of friendliness and shows that you are engaged in the conversation, while keeping a stern face when listening can indicate disagreement or dislike for what they have to say. If you find yourself disagreeing with someone during a conversation, then avoiding direct eye contact can save the situation from escalating into an argument.

In contrast, locking eyes with someone can show that you have a dominant nature and want to make a point of authority over them. The same rule applies for touching the back of your neck when talking; it can make you appear suspicious.

Tapping your feet or legs while conversing shows that you are ready to leave or disconnect from the conversation. If the other person is doing this, then you can assume that they are eager to end the conversation.

Avoid touching your nose when speaking with someone; it indicates that you are guilty of hiding something or lying about what you are saying.

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