Signs of Negative Body Language

Posted: Jul 15 2015

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In the workplace, we are all faced with daily stresses that force us to just ‘grin and bear it' at the best of times. Unfortunately though, even if you're smiling through a bad day, non-verbal communication can say a lot about how you're feeling. And negative body language, in particular, can translate the wrong message at the worst possible time.

Knowing and being able to recognise the signs of this type of body language can be useful for team members though, especially those whose role involves identifying and communicating with the team, such as managers.

So, below we have compiled just five signs of negative body language to watch out for and avoid if you're prone to any of the following.

Evading Eye Contact

Eye contact is often hailed as one of the tell-tale signs that someone is actively listening and engaging with what you're saying. At the same time, those who choose to evade eye contact, frequently looking down, indicates a lack of self-assurance or wanting to flee the situation altogether.

Crossing your Arms

Often viewed as defensive, crossing your arms can send a message to the speaker that you're not open to the ideas or conversation put forward. Sometimes this may also signal fear, perhaps if the talker in question is in authority, and the same goes for crossing legs whilst listening.

Rolling your Eyes

Different to not maintaining eye contact, eye rolling can tell the other person that you may not respect what they are saying or them as an individual, as well as indicate that you don't believe or trust what they are saying.

General Fidgeting

Fidgeting, such as playing with your pen or tapping your foot, can signal that you're disinterested and bored, wishing to be elsewhere. This can have a negative effect on the speaker and may also affect your focus.

Increased Blinking

Finally, more frequent blinking may say that you're feeling nervous and can communicate a sense of anxiety to others.

These are just five examples of negative body language and what they may say to others.

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