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How to Read Your Own Body Language

Learn how to read your own body language in this Howcast video.


One of the things you can do to observe your own behavior is flip open your MacBook or flip open your computer, put tape over the red little dot that shows that you're recording it and record yourself. I want you to do things. I want you to watch a really funny movie or watch a really funny clip. I want you to watch or read something. I want you to just interact for 30 minutes and then slowly look through how you look. Alright, because what's very interesting is you may not know what you look like.

So when somebody else tells you something and you start laughing you don't know what your laugh looks like. You're not essentially sure. So one of the good ways to do it is observe yourself via a video camera. It's very interesting. It's like if you want to know how to nail your best smile. So smiling is essentially vital in communication. It's very, very important. I constantly work with people and help them improve their smiles, but one of the most useful things you can do is just watch something really, really, really funny and laugh and get that genuine perfect smile.

That's the smile you want to nail. So you can just watch something funny, record yourself and then you can work on mimicking or mocking that smile; very, very useful. Another useful tip is to ask your friends. So your friends are wonderful resources, wonderful reservoirs of information about you essentially. You could ask them, 'How do you think I feel right now?' and they'll go, 'Oh, you look a little upset.' and you'll be like, 'Oh, I'm not upset at all. I feel great.' That's a problem, that's really, really a big problem. There's this concept called in-congruence in communication and most people are in-congruent in their communication.

So there needs to be congruency. So if I tell somebody I love them I can be like, 'I love you.', but that's in-congruent. The content says one thing, but my body language says another thing. If I look somebody dead in the eyes, hold their face and hold their gaze and be like, 'I love you.' it's a little bit better, a little bit better. Even me, I have a hard time faking that gesture because I don't mean it. So our communication needs to be congruent. A big problem is a lot of people go out in the world and their communication is not congruent.

So they're on a date and they really like the person across from them, but the person doesn't realize that because they come off as so cold or aloof. A manager want to tell one of their employees that they're really proud of them so they say, 'You know what, you did a great job. I'm really proud of you.' That's not a congruent behavior. So there's a lot of miscommunication in this congruency. It's very, very important that you have congruent behavior. You need to have your non verbals and the content of your conversation both need to be aligned. It makes your communication way more effective.

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