Did you know a substantial amount of our communication is done through non-verbal cues? Facial expressions like rolling of the eyes, smiles, looking away, playing with hair play a big part in the perception others have of us. This even includes hand shakes, posture and clothing we wear amongst many other things. With a simple frown or even a smile, you can tell a lot about someone without one word spoken. If someone is gazing while you are speaking to them, this tells you they are not engaged in the conversation.
Non-verbals often say more and are stronger than verbal communication. For example, I tell you that I really like you but I am not looking at you when I say it and I am rolling my eyes. Which tells you more? That is right, the non-verbal cues.
Non-verbal cues play a big part in others perceptions of you because, generally speaking, your outward appearance is a mirror of how you feel inside. No matter where you are; work, home, hanging out with friends, a restaurant or even a local dive bar, I have found 2 very easy "non-verbal" hacks which can lead to a better perception of you AND just might make you happier personally.
- A strong handshake.
- Yes, that is right! how many times have you shook someones hand and thought you might just crush it? When I shake a persons hand, I immediately recognize their hand shake. This is not a gender based thought. Women who shake hands in an assertive and confident way gain immediate respect. Honestly, I usually even verbally recognize it with "Nice handshake!". For men who have a soft hand shake, most will feel you are exactly that, soft. As with thing, too much can lead to a feeling of dominance which is not a good thing. No matter your gender, work on your hand shake and I promise you, people will look at you differently and will be more engaged with you. Avoid soft handshakes, if you can.
- Below are examples of men/women with poor/good posture. The perception adjustment from poor posture to good posture is massive. Those with good posture are seen in a more positive manner, attractive, more extroverted and less shy than those who slouch.. Look at the pictures below and tell me which looks like a stronger, more confident person. Avoid slouching, not only does it make you look weaker, it could also lead to heath issues down the road. So sit back in your chair, pull your shoulders back with your chin up and welcome the world in a more confident way. It will pay dividends, I promise.
I don't want to try and simplify non-verbal communication. Instead, what I want to stress is that by giving a stronger handshake and by sitting upright (both completely free), you will ultimately be perceived as happier, more open and mentally strong. I also believe that when you do both of these, they will empower your mental state and will in make you feel better about yourself.
Go ahead, give it a try… After all, it will cost you nothing to try.