Personality development is a very broad area of study and has to do with the particular set of attributes and attitudes of individuals that distinguishes them. I shall be examining how body language contributes to the process of developing the right personality. Body language can be described simply as a form of communication that is non-verbal and expressed through posture, body movement, gestures and facial expressions. All these indicate a lot about the personality of an individual and for those who desire to develop an effective and attractive personality, mastery of their body language cannot be over-emphasized.
Improving body language requires effort, practice, consistency and commitment until it becomes second nature to the individual. For this to happen, it must be practiced over a reasonable period of time. One of the first steps you need to take is to understand your own peculiar body language and ensure that it fits into what is normally seen as positive body language.
Body language expresses the feelings that are not spoken out and it is said that our words are used to express just 7% of our feelings and thoughts compared to 93% non verbal communication. From the foregoing, the role of body language in the development process of personality cannot therefore be overemphasized.
There are some basic things to know with regard to body language.
The Do's of Body Language- Show interest
is important that when talking with anyone, you should ensure that eye contact is maintained as this indicates that you are interested and focused on what they are saying. It is also seen as a sign of respect for the speaker.
- Put on the right facial expression
The look on your face most times indicates what you have in mind. Your facial expression either draws or pushes people away from you. A simple smile on your face can also make other people feel happy and relaxed. The look on your face can generate a negative or positive aura.
- Body posture
The posture of your body also says a lot about your personality. It is advisable that you sit properly and do not slouch. To show the speaker that you are interested in what is being said, you can lean gently towards him.
- Shaking hands
It is not right for a man to offer his hand first to a woman. You can do that only if the woman first indicates an interest to shake hands. You also need to remember that when shaking hands with any man or woman, you can have a firm grip but ensure that you do not squeeze. Your grip should not be tight and always allow the older person to extend a hand first. This is seen as a sign of respect.
- Carry a confident look
It is important that you always have a confident look and never look intimidated no matter the situation you are faced with. Always have that confident look on your face and in the way you carry yourself.
- You can nod in agreement
When in conversation with someone, nodding sometimes indicates that you are paying attention.
- Take things more calmly
In everything you do, try to be calmer. Whether you are walking or talking, make the extra effort to appear calm and in control.
- Keep your head up
When in conversation, try not to fix your gaze on the ground but keep it up and look straight. Looking on the ground may make you look insecure.
- Hold your drink low
When talking, do not keep your drink in front of your chest as it will seem as if you are protecting yourself.
- Maintain a good attitude
It is good to always have a likeable and positive attitude to which people can be drawn. Your attitude affects your body language
which ultimately affects personality development.
The Don'ts of Body LanguageThere are also certain body movements and expressions which are negative and need to be done away with as this may affect how people perceive you.
- Avoid touching your face
When talking to or listening to someone else in a conversation, avoid touching face as this can pose a distraction to them.
- Crossing your arms
This posture indicates resistance and gives the impression to the person speaking that you do not agree with what is being said and are expressing it to them.
- Staring at people
Staring is usually considered by many as rude so you need to be careful about this when looking at people. You can look away after a while so that it does not look as if you are staring.
- Standing too close
When talking with someone, try to keep some distance in order to avoid making them feel uncomfortable. Try to give some space when in discussion with anyone.
If you are restless when talking with someone, it indicates that you may be nervous and this may make the other person doubt if you are genuine.
Categories of Body LanguageBody Language is divided into various subcategories such as:
This has to do with the measurable distances between people as they interact with each other. Studies show that the distances between two people can indicate a lack of interest or a level of intimacy.
This is a subcategory of body language that studies touch and how it impacts on communication. Touching plays a great role in how personality is formed. It is the smost developed sense at birth and it carries very distinct emotions.
This has to do with the study of eye-movement, eye-behaviour and eye-related body language. It focuses on understanding general eye behaviour. Different cultures have different interpretations on eye movement. For example, in Asia, eye contact is regarded as indicating anger or aggression. In the culture of the Latinos, prolonged contact with the eye could mean that you are challenging the individual while in some other culture, it could mean lack of confidence.