Personal Development

10 Body Language Mistakes We Make Without Realizing It

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First impressions and body language speaks volumes. Sometimes we don't even realize what we've done or said until it's too late and we can't take it back. When was the last time you said something ridiculously stupid and wished you could erase your words the second they slipped out? You're not the only one this has happened to. We are all guilty of the proverbial flub.

So what are some of the ones we don't even realize we are making?

body_language_31. The limp handshake.

This one tops the list because as we know, a firm hand shake and looking right into someone's eyes while doing it is a clear sign of trust, sincerity and shows you are caring and genuine. All the traits we seek in others. Give a limp handshake and you've lost the other person immediately. Pay attention. Don't let this one slip, ever.

2. Looking away when talking.

People like you to look at them when you are having a conversation with them. Not through them or around them or behind them. They want your undivided attention. Don't give it to them and they will instantly feel you are not interested in talking to them anymore. It clearly shows lack of interest.

3. Folding your arms across your chest.

That's the back off or back away body gesture that keeps everyone at a distance. If this is not your intention, then make sure you become aware of it immediately and unfold your arms. It also gives off a bit of a smug attitude. Another trait no one likes.

4. Fidgeting.

This is a nervous gesture that shows anxiety, lack of self confidence, shows you are uncomfortable, worried or stressed. It's also extremely distracting. Try to be aware of this. Maybe try putting your hands in your pockets instead. If you are suffering from extreme stress or anxiety you should definitely look into controlling or eliminating that.

5. Serious eye gazing.

Staring right into someone's eyes while they are talking is ok but to do it in almost a maniacal manner is totally not ok. It makes people feel uncomfortable and actually is a sign of aggression. Relax your gaze. Staring deep into someone's eyes and not breaking your gaze is something that should maybe only done with a partner in an intimate moment?

6. Nodding.

Nodding in approval is a good sign but when you start to look like a dashboard bobble head, then there's a problem. It's annoying. The person you are talking to gets that you understand and agree with a simple nod or two. Continually nodding shows weakness. A need and desire, almost an urgency to be liked so you nod endlessly.

7. Chewing gum.

Do it on your way to the event or party. Once yo u get there, spit it out. There is nothing worse then trying to listen to someone talk while they are chewing gum or worse yet, trying to talk to someone while they are chewing and snapping gum. Get it out of your mouth before you get there.

8. Animated gestures.

We get it. The fish was that big. Or the house was that wide. If you are an exaggerated animated gesture maker, people will do anything to stay away from you. It's annoying and obnoxious. You can make smaller gestures, if you need to animate your story, and still get your point across. Try it.

9. Leg or toe tapping.

While sitting at in a chair or at a desk. You know the kind where the whole table shakes. This is probably nothing more than a simple little nervous habit you have had for as long as you can remember but it's extremely annoying. Stop doing it.

10. Checking your watch all the time.

Are you in a hurry? Are you late for something? Do you need to go somewhere else? If you answered to no to all of these, stop checking your watch. It's rude. People will think you have better things to do than spend time talking to them. Don't wear a watch if you can help it.

These are just a handful of things we all do and don't realize the impact they make on other people. pay attention to your body language next time you are talking to someone and see if you are guilty of doing any of the gestures on the list and then try to control them.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.