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March 21, 2012

Body Language That Says “No” When You Mean “Yes”

Is your body language saying “no” when you mean “yes”—or vice versa? If words and body language clash, what the body is saying will be believed. Appropriate body language creates credibility and congruence. Watch what other people are saying with their bodies and what you are telling them with yours. Here are some examples of negative and positive body language:

Negative (“No”) Messages

  • Folding arms and crossing legs (rejection)
  • Leaning back, doodling or looking at the ceiling (boredom)
  • Sitting back and joining your fingers like a church steeple (indifference)
  • Slumping (uncertainty and uneasiness)
  • Slouching and walking slowly (reluctance and lack of enthusiasm)

Positive (“Yes”) Messages

  • Leaning forward (active involvement with what you are saying)
  • Tilting the head to one side and nodding occasionally (understanding)
  • Relaxing the face and smiling (acceptance and agreement)
  • Sitting or standing with an upright, but relaxed posture (command and certainty)
  • Walking with a quick gait and swing your arms (confidence and enthusiasm)
  • Standing and sitting with an erect, yet comfortable and relaxed posture (openness and a readiness to talk or listen)

Remember—your body speaks louder than your words.  If your actions are in conflict with your words, people will remember your actions!

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