It’s about the importance of body language in personality development and the meaning of various facial expressions. >_Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech._ – Deborah Bull Body language is a critical tool of communication, and perhaps, before we speak, we show our feelings through certain gestures and actions. In this video, you will learn why the correct body language is important for communication and can be used for personality development. You will learn how to convey positive body language to get your message across to another person. ## **KEY NOTE #1: BODY LANGUAGE** Body language is an important part of non-verbal communication. In this, you don’t use words, but instead, convey your feelings with your physical movements and your gestures and expressions. For example, body language includes: - Facial expressions - Body postures such as walking, sitting, getting up - Using sign languages such as hand gestures and eye movement - Touch language Through body language, you convey your message and feelings to others. Once you understand these, you can use these to your advantage and for your progress in life. You can understand what another person is trying to tell you and can even understand what importance another person is giving to your communication. ## **KEY NOTE #2: FIVE CATEGORIES OF BODY LANGUAGE** #### **1. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS** It means reading a person’s expressions. This is an important part of understanding someone else’s body language. We can analyse his moods and thoughts through the expression of his eyes, eyebrows, lips, nose, and cheeks. **A person’s moods and recognising them** - **Happiness:** When a person is happy, his face lights up with a smile and his movements and posture convey positive energy. - **Sadness:** His face is devoid of smiles and he does not respond to your attempts to make him smile. His eyes will be downcast. - **Focused:** When a person is giving full attention to something or is focused on his work, he will be looking down attentively at his work. He will have a focused, determined look. He will listen to you attentively as you talk and this fills you with a sense of self-confidence. He is listening to you and is concentrating on what you are saying. - **Unfocused:** This person’s eyebrows are not knit together and there is a vacant expression on his face. His attention will be dispersed and you can understand his lack of interest immediately. - **Confident:** A self-confident person can be recognised from a distance. He looks focused and full of energy. He looks you confidently in the eye while speaking to you and walks with his head held high. - **Afraid:** When a person is full of anxiety and is frightened, he looks disturbed and tense. He lacks energy and his mouth may even be half-open. Such people rarely look you in the eye. - **Eye Movement:** You can also make out a person’s moods by seeing the movement of the pupils of his eyes. When this becomes big, he is listening to you with complete attention as he is finding you interesting. But if he is bored, his pupils will be small. A person blinks 6 to 10 times a minute, but when you have captivated his attention, the intensity of his blinks lessens. #### **2. HEAD AND NECK SIGNALS:** A person’s head and neck should always look relaxed. Otherwise, it indicates that such an individual is not in a good mental condition and that he is gripped by some tension. When a person continuously shakes his head, it means that he is in agreement with what the speaker is saying. If he shakes his head once or keeps it down, it means it is a show of respect for the person who is talking to him. When he bends his neck down and looks down as well in front of the person who is talking, it means he is trying to request for permission to say something. #### **3. GENERAL BODY POSTURES:** You can understand a lot about a person’s moods through his body movements. A person who is angry tries to dominate another by moving towards him or by bearing down on him with a hand movement. A person who is timid or unsure about himself will retreat or keep his distance from you and his words will tend to put the matter off. You can even gauge a person’s moods by his style of sitting or standing up. Take the example of a person who is sitting back comfortably and then brings his chair forward. It means that in the course of the discussion, he is feeling relaxed in what you are saying. _The shoulders suggest what others think of us. They reveal our health and emotions. They assist us in communicating._ If a person sits with his shoulders back and his body leaning forward slightly, it means he is full of self-confidence. If he leans forward and doesn’t look relaxed, it means that he suffers from a lack of self-esteem. It could also mean that he is feeling sad. When he is feeling relaxed, the position of his shoulders will convey this to you. He will lean forward. If worried, his shoulders will be raised slightly. If he shrugs his shoulders, it indicates that he doesn’t know what to tell you or cannot help you in any way. #### **4. GESTURES:** These are movements that you do with different parts of your body such as hands, fingers, arms, head and legs. These can be both voluntary and involuntary. Even the way, you clasp your fingers conveys something. For example, if you get up with your elbows crossed, this is considered a sign that you do not welcome the suggestion and gives the impression that portrays a closed body language towards the speaker. It means that you want to make no effort to understand his point of view. Psychologists even believe that folding your elbows indicates a lack of self-confidence and shows insecurity. Hand gestures indicating your state of well-being: - When your hands are relaxed, you are full of self-confidence and self-assurance. - If your fists are clenched, you are angry or tense. - If someone keeps shaking his hands, it indicates nervousness or anxiety. #### **5. HANDSHAKES:** This is another interesting part of body language. You will shake someone’s hand when you are closing a deal when you are greeting someone or congratulating someone. How you do this handshake indicates your confidence levels. A firm and a friendly handshake go a long way in creating a good, first impression. These days, we are trying to greet everyone with a namaste, but you must learn what a good handshake means. Moving on to implementation, we can try to figure out how we can implement a few suggestions, keeping positive body language in mind. ## **KEY NOTE #3: EXERCISES TO INCREASE YOUR POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE** Positive body language is very important if you are looking to move forward in life. I will now teach you certain exercises that you can practice at home to make your body language positive. **1. Practise your sitting and standing posture:** Practise sitting down and standing up in front of the mirror. Keep your hands by your side when you are standing and, on your lap, when you are sitting down. Try to avoid putting your hands in your pockets. Place your feet firmly on the ground when you are seated. **2.** **Practise walking with your head held high:** Wear your heels, place a book on your head, and practice walking. This will infuse you with self-confidence and you will imbibe the habit of walking, while looking straight ahead in life. This is very important for your self-confidence. **3.** **Learn the art of making eye contact:** Talk to yourself in the mirror. This increases your self-confidence and will help you to focus on the other person’s eyes as you talk. **4.** **Practise being receptive:** If you are shy, sit in front of the mirror and practice shaking your head. Try and speak words like: ‘Hello Sir, how are you today? I am fine, thank you. What do you do?’ This will help you avoid a negative self-image at public events. You will be able to generate self-confidence within yourself and be able to use this as a positive tool for communication. **5. Avoid touching your face a lot:** Sit in front of the mirror and speak to yourself. Notice how many times you touch your face. If you do this repeatedly, it indicates a negative body language. You appear deceptive and shifty in front of the other person. Avoid this gesture if you want to work on showing a positive body language in front of others. **6. Avoid sitting slumped with your head downcast:** Avoid this stance when you are sitting with people. And wherever you can smile, please do this. This indicates excellent positive body language. > ***The body never lies.*** -by Martha Graham This saying is hundred percent correct. If you are able to understand the importance of positive body language, then no one can stop you from attaining lots of success in life. See this video repeatedly to imbibe all the points for building a positive body language. Analyse how often you show negative traits, then improve them with the exercises given.