Close to ninety percent of our language is nonverbal. In other words, body language (actions) speaks louder than words ever will. All too often, when bullies have attacked you for an extended period, your self-esteem and mental health suffer. Even worse, people will see it through your everyday body language, and you won’t realize it’s happening.
Consequently, most targets only attract more bullies and bullying because their body language changes with time as they endure daily abuse. The target’s body language will transform from confident to diffident– meaning lack of confidence. This is the reason many targets have few friends.
Why do most targets of bullying have difficulty making friends?
This is because, others can spot insecurity a mile away, which makes it difficult to attract healthy people into your life. You’ll only attract users and more abusers. Why? Because, as a matter of human nature, healthy and secure people stay away from people who give off signals of low self-esteem and depression. On the other hand, you’ll attract predators- people who fake a friendship to either exert control over your life or to get something from you.
Moreover, nonverbal signals, such as lack of eye contact, looking down, fake smiles and closed body language make the target appear unapproachable.
It’s not your fault.
Naturally, this is not the target’s fault. It is just something that happens after a person has endured abuse for so long. However, confident body language is something that you can learn, even teach yourself, and practice. And once you perfect it, you will instantly attract faithful friends and better people into your life.
Here are 11 powerful tricks you can use to instantly win friends:
Smile! And smile genuinely!
Smiling at people shows that you approve of them and are open to friendships. It also conveys confidence and confidence is where it’s at! However, a fake smile is easy to spot and a major turn-off. It only repels people, or worse, invites more bullying. Fake smiles only hurt more than help.
Make good eye contact.
When you make good eye contact, you show others that you genuinely respect and are interested in them. People love those who take an interest in them. Therefore, when you’re engaged in conversation with someone, look them in the eye. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll seem creepy. Just find that happy middle.
Stand up straight.
Bad posture, such as slouching and hunching only conveys insecurity and low self-esteem. So, stand up straight and walk with purpose. Also, throw in a few power poses when you stand- feet shoulder-width apart and with your hands on your hips with your thumbs on the front of your waist. This also signals confidence. Also, it can keep bullies away because when a bully sees someone do this, they think twice before messing with the person. Why? Because their body language is signaling confidence and, more importantly, power! And if there’s one thing bullies understand, it is power!
Practice open body language.
This will instantly make you more approachable. Put simpler, open body language means keeping facing the people you talk to and keeping your whole body turned toward them. When you do this, you’re signaling that you’re interested in what the other person has to say.
Slightly lean in when you talk to someone.
Again, this shows that you are fully engaged and interested in what the other person is saying. However, only do it slightly to avoid invading your interlocutor’s personal space. Make sure to do this properly and you will build rapport with the people you speak to. Also, they will be more likely to trust you.
Nod when you agree with the person you’re talking to.
Nodding not only shows that you are listening and fully engaged. Also, it conveys understanding and agreement. Nodding is a very powerful form of communication and often gets amazing social results!
Use hand gestures when you speak.
Using hand gestures can help you to think and express your thoughts and feelings more clearly. Moreover, it conveys understanding, energy and warmness.
If you want people to feel at ease around you, relax when you’re having a conversation with them. There is nothing worse than talking to someone who seems nervous and tense. It weirds people out big time! Therefore, always relax around others. Having body language that is relaxed conveys that you’re comfortable and confident with yourself and in turn, others will be comfortable and confident with you.
Put away your phone.
There is nothing worse than talking to someone who has their face in their phone, texting. It conveys that they’re more interested in what’s on their screen and not what you have to say. It is downright rude and disrespectful. So, lose the phone when you’re in conversation with someone. It’s just good social etiquette.
Be aware of where your toes are pointed.
If you’re in a conversation with someone and your toes aren’t pointed toward them, it only conveys that you don’t want to be with the person and want to go elsewhere. Now, some people don’t think about the feet but those who are the most aware of body language cues will. Therefore, always stand with your feet and toes pointed toward the person you’re talking to. It signals that you want to move toward them, that you’re happy to see them and speak with them.
Make sure your body language is congruent with your words.
This is so important! If you’re saying one thing and your body language doesn’t match, you will come off to others as fake and insincere. As a result, they won’t take you seriously and will be repelled by you. Nobody likes fake. So, more than anything else, be sure that your nonverbal cue are in line with your verbal ones.
12. Practice the art of small talk.
Talking about the weather, which team won the Super Bowl, your favorite rock bands, or current news is considered small talk. In other words, never talk to potential friends about anything deep. Save that for later… much later! If you’re looking to make new friends, keep conversations light until after the friendship grows significantly.
13. Establish common ground.
Friendships come a lot easier with those we have something in common with. Find the people you have something in common with, such as other targets of bullying, and band with them. I guarantee that this works like a charm!
When you begin practicing these techniques, they may feel weird at first. However, don’t quit. Practice good verbal and nonverbal communication every day until they become second nature. Also remember that although words are important, others pay more attention to your body language than your words. So, improve them both, then, watch the magic unfold as people instantly become warmer and more receptive toward you. And you will make terrific friends in the process.
With knowledge comes empowerment!