Your body language communicates a lot more than your words. A number of studies have proven that your body language plays the biggest role in the way you communicate with people.
Since communication plays an important role in the art of being assertive, you must learn how to use your body in a manner which shows others you are an assertive individual.
There are certain forms of body language which may convey that you are either aggressive or passive, and these are not the signals that you want to send to others.
Using your body as a tool of communication means more than just looking good. You must make people feel comfortable around you.
When you talk to people, it is first important to hold your chin up. You want to keep it even with the person you are talking with, looking at them directly. If you hold your head up too high, people will think you are arrogant, but if you hold it too low, they will think you are a push over.
Holding your chin straight ahead with lots of eye contact is the best way to behave. Body language is critically important because it can mean the difference between getting that job you want, hooking up with an important business contact, or even getting a date.
When you stand up or sit down, it is important for you to maintain an upright posture. Those who slouch are often seen as being lazy or weak. When you shake someone’s hand, you should give them a nice firm handshake, but not too firm or soft.
Another good form of body language is to hold your hands in such as way that your palms are pointing outward. Generally, outward palms will convey a sign of trust, while closed or clenched palms will convey distrust or even aggression.
It is also important to avoid crossing your arms, as this is a defensive gesture and tells others that you are not interested in them.
The Critical Role of Eye Contact
While a lot of people know that eye contact is important when communicating with others, many do not realize that there are different types of eye contact, and there are certain times when one form of eye contact is favored over another.
For example, when you are dealing with someone on a business or career level, it is important to give them what is called "the business gaze."
With this form of eye contact, as opposed to looking directly into their eyes, you want to look directly at their forehead.
By using this form of eye contact, you show the person you are talking with that you mean business. This form of eye contact is excellent for negotiation.
The second form of eye contact is called "the social gaze." This is the gaze we use most often when dealing with friends, family members, or anyone who is close to us.
It is the most basic form of eye contact, and it shows that you are interested in what the other person is saying, but you are dealing with them in a social capacity.
It has often been said that the eye is the window into the soul, and if this is true, then you will want to show people what you are made of. Looking into their eyes shows that you have their full attention.
When you talk to people, under no circumstances should you be looking around while they are talking to you. You want to show them that you understand what they are saying.
What your Eyes can Convey
When someone is talking to you, and you are looking at someone else other than them, it can show signs that you are either shy or deceitful. Other behaviors such as looking at your watch sends a sign that you would rather be someplace else. When a person is lying to you, they will generally not look in your eyes.