Body language expert warns stop making common mistake

According to body language expert Judi James, first impressions last. If you make the wrong one, it can be hard to change a person’s mind.

Judi told “The first few seconds of meeting someone are vital. It’s called the Attribution Effect when the subconscious brain sums people up very quickly, which leads to the Attribution Bias, where we try to prove ourselves right.

“So, if we look cold/unfriendly/fake/superior at first sight it can be difficult to change someone’s mind.

“Fortunately, ingratiation rituals, i.e., things we do that make people like us are actually very simple. We tend to like people who like us and we warm towards people who appear genuine and interested.

“We also get on best with people who have some of our traits, which makes it easier to feel a connection.”

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If you want to ingratiate yourself with someone, there are certain body language gestures you simply should not be making. Getting your facial expression right is paramount.

Judi said: “Your smile is your best way of making people warm towards you but it must look genuine.

“Fake, over-kill smiles can appear threatening or sarcastic. Check your smile starts with an ‘eye-smile’, which is some crinkling around the eyes and moves down to form a warm mouth smile.”

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Another way to ensure others warm to you is by using gestures that make you look “approachable and accessible”.

She warned: “Avoid barrier rituals like folded arms, hunching or clutching your bag to your chest. A subtle display of the palms of your hands as you speak will also help make you look open and trustworthy.”

Next, avoid looking bored at all costs. You want to make the person you’re meeting feel interesting and valuable.

Judi said: ” Fiddling, fidgeting or using metronomic rituals like a tapping foot or leg judder will suggest distraction and disinterest.”

Instead, activate your listening skills. The expert said: “Show undivided attention when someone speaks (glancing at your phone or looking round the room is a no-no) and use eye contact, nodding and subtle head tilts plus an important bonding tie-sign: the eyebrow-flash, where you raise your eyebrows up and then down again quickly to show interest, approval and even amusement.

“Genuinely charismatic people like Clinton and Obama make the person they are meeting feel like the most important person in the room for a short space of time and the do this by showing undivided attention and interest. It’s called the science of sensation, i.e., it’s about how you make other people feel when they are with you.”

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