Try these tried-and-true techniques to make yourself more approachable to those you care about:
- Make eye contact
- Lean toward the other person
- Tilt your head slightly to indicate interest
- To indicate empathy or concern, touch the other person lightly on the arm or shoulder
- Don’t huddle in the corner of the room
- Stand with open posture, not with your hands on your hips or crossed over your chest
- Touch yourself around the face and head to indicate you want affection
- Touch yourself more suggestively to indicate you want sexual touch
- Relax your shoulders down your back to open your posture
- Shift your weight and position as a way to stay engaged in the conversation; no one wants to talk to a stone
- Relax your face (practice in front of a mirror)
—Priscilla Hunt, Marriage Educator
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Put your body language to work!
Have you ever said something to a date or romantic partner expecting one reaction, and gotten the opposite? It's probably because, while your words were carefully chosen, your body language said something different. If our verbal and non-verbal cues are not aligned to create one authentic message, the listener has a tendency to believe your body language over your speech.
So how can you use body language to your best advantage in romance? First, be aware of how your thoughts and feelings are showing up in your body. Are you nervous or agitated? Close your eyes and scan where you are holding that tension. Are your shoulders scrunched, your mouth pursed, your forehead crinkled? What can you put in its place?
Before you go into that bar or conversation about your future as a couple, decide what message you want to convey and what nonverbal cues would best support that. If it's approachability, a bright smile, direct eye and upright posture with uncrossed arms is essential (so is turning your shoulders away from your entourage and towards the room). A woman can take it a subtly suggestive step further by twirling her hair, massaging her neck, and pointing a foot towards the man she’d like to speak to, even swinging it in his direction. If it's love and cooperation you want to express inside of a relationship, lean towards your partner, touch them, actively listen with engaged facial expressions and an upbeat tone of voice. No sighing allowed.
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