Body language is one of the most basic things that people are able to read, whether they realize it or not. It doesn’t matter what you say. If your body language does not match your verbal message, the people you communicate with will either be confused, suspicious, uncertain or all of the above.
The Job Interview
The candidates were all very qualified. They all had years of experience and a resume that showcased their multitude of talents. They all had good responses to the questions and their own unique style. But after a few hours of the interview, it was clear that it was between two candidates, Simon and Roger. Simon and Roger were well matched in nearly every area despite their different approaches. Simon was my preferred choice but there was one thing he was missing. He was missing the demeanor of someone like Roger. Roger was calm, cool and in total control of his space. He was almost nonchalant, but in the right style that conveyed confidence and presence. On the other hand, Simon’s body language was all wrong. Nearly everything he said was spot on, but his awkward body language could not convey the same message that came out of his mouth. He was doing everything to sell himself except the most important thing: the right body language. The job should have been Simon’s. But in the end, Roger sold us on him by saying less and letting all the subtleties of his body language do the selling.
Body language is everything. If it doesn’t match your message, it is difficult to believe the message, no matter how good it may be.
The Cocky Girl
The girl was pretty sure of herself. She claimed to usually get attention from guys and didn’t mind playing “the game” since she felt she was the catch. A little bit cocky you could say. The guy that she met awhile back knows this and wants to play the game with her. She likes to play, he thinks. Why not? He teases her and provokes her whenever he can. She seemed to enjoy the banter but wasn’t about to show interest on her end. After months of random exchanges, they go on a casual date. Her brash demeanor had shrunken in real life. So much for being cocky. But he played along just because he could. He gave all the signals of interest: the way he stood, the way he talked, the way he leaned in. At the end of the date, they parted ways and half suggested hanging out again. After a few text exchanges, he was still playing his game. Not soon after, she told him that she didn’t want to lead him on. The gig was up. He had sold her on his body language and hints and she believed he liked her. He really didn’t. His fun was over with ms cocky. He told her that he had just wanted to hang out and that it was okay if she didn’t want to. He didn’t say anything more.
Body language can be faked and it is one of the subtle (and sometimes very obvious) ways to show interest in someone. In the same way you can convey the wrong message, you can manipulate it to convey the message you want to portray. If you understand how to use it, you can use it positively, or you can use it negatively.