Have you ever asked a stranger for directions? You have probably come across someone who refused to respond and looked the other way. 

Although the stranger didn’t say anything, they spoke volumes through their silence. It’s because their body language gave their emotions away. This is the power of body language—while it has the potential to impress, it can even offend or hurt somebody.

Let’s explore the importance of body language and the significance of overcoming negative body language. You will also see how it factors into workplace scenarios. So learn the best tips and tricks to use your body language effectively.  

Why Pay Attention To Body Language?

Body language is one of the primary ways we communicate. The way you present yourself, behave and act carries meaning. You can tell a lot about somebody—what they’re feeling and thinking—from the way they behave. The more attention you pay to body language, the more self-aware and empathetic you can become.

Primarily, there are two types of body language—positive and negative. While positive body language has the power to create relationships, negative body language has the power to break them. Since we don’t have complete control over our body language, we tend to respond in ways that may unknowingly hurt others and leave a negative impression. Negative body language becomes tricky to navigate but our body language isn’t fixed! You can change it through practice.

What Is Negative Body Language?

Negative or closed body language are nonverbal cues that could diminish your credibility and influence. Your gestures, facial expressions and postures may offend or even hurt others. Your closed body language may drastically reduce your ability to be effective and you may not even be aware of it.

Keeping your body language in check is crucial for workplace settings as it has the power to affect your professional relationships. You wouldn’t want to leave people with the wrong idea about you. Hence, you need to learn how to keep your silent signals in check. Here are some examples of bad body language in the workplace that you may want to keep an eye on:

  1. Touching Or Fixing Your Hair

Imagine that you are in a meeting and constantly trying to fix your hair. It shows that you are distracted and could even indicate that you are unsure about things.

  1. Becoming Rigid

Many of us freeze when we are nervous. Our arms and legs become stiff and it seems like we have just seen a ghost! Becoming rigid or freezing up can reflect very poorly on you during client meetings and job interviews.

  1. Covering Your Mouth

We often tend to cover our mouths when we’re listening to somebody or in deep thought. While it may seem like a harmless behavioral trait, it shows a lack of confidence. It looks like you have been caught off guard.

Break Habits, Communicate Better!

These examples of negative body language are a good starting point for self-reflection. Once you are aware of your bad body language, it’s time you start addressing them. Here are some powerful ways that will teach you how to overcome negative body language:

  1. The Healthy Distance

Maintaining a good distance around the person you’re interacting with, should be one of your top practices. Never treat someone’s personal space as your own; it may have a detrimental effect on your image. Make sure that you always maintain an arm’s distance from your listener or speaker.

  1. Hold Your Head High

Whether you’re sitting or walking, always keep your head up high. Not only does it reflect confidence, but it also helps in establishing credibility. For example, a confident posture at business conferences makes it easier to build rapport. Keep checking your shoulders; if they drop, you may be slouching.

  1. Check Your Facial Expressions

One of the most difficult negative body language habits to navigate are bad facial expressions. Often, it’s difficult to avoid showing what we’re feeling inside. A good way to tackle this tricky situation is to relax your face, unclench your jaw and loosen your forehead. You can practice healthy facial expressions in front of a mirror.

Master Silent Signals

If you want to deal better with negative body language in the workplace, you need to communicate effectively. Harappa Education’s Building Presence course is a powerful investment in personality development. Not only will it teach you how to stand out in a crowd but communicate in ways that demand attention. The section on non-verbal cues in particular will guide you through various kinds of body language techniques. You’ll not only respond better but also be persuasive in your communication style and interactions! 


Explore topics such as What is Body LanguageTypes of Body LanguageHow to Improve Your Body LanguageExamples of Body Language & What is Positive Body Language from Harappa Diaries and learn to portray yourself in the best way possible.

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