Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

17 Messages Your Body May Be Saying to Your Clients

Who would have thought that impersonating Wonder Woman, Black Panther or Spiderman could make you a better lawyer?

And yet, new research suggests just that. 

When a person assumes a so-called hero pose – arms upraised, head high, fists pumping in victory – they not only get an internal boost of confidence, they also project confidence externally, according to recent studies on body language, posture and performance.

“Dominant or upright postures can help people feel and even behave more confidently,” says this Zenger News report.

Turns out mom was right after all when she kept badgering you to stand up straight and throw your shoulders back.

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17 Messages Your Body Language is Sending

Following are some messages you may be communicating through your body language and posture, courtesy of BetterHelp:

  1. Arms crossed across the chest. A defensive posture that conveys insecurity, annoyance or close-mindedness.
  2. Smile. A genuine smile raises the corners of your mouth and crinkles your eyes. A fake (or aggressive) smile only exposes your teeth.
  3. Drumming your fingers. A sign of nervousness or impatience.
  4. Tilting your head to one side. This shows interest, engagement and concentration.
  5. Steepling your fingers. Touching your fingertips together displays self-control and authoritativeness.
  6. Tugging your earlobe. This suggests indecisiveness.
  7. Placing your head in your hands. This means you’re bored, tired or ashamed.
  8. Holding your hands open and palms up. This shows you have nothing to hide.
  9. Making eye contact. People you don’t know well become uncomfortable after 3.2 seconds of direct eye contact. Friends and loved ones are comfortable with longer gazes.
  10. Looking downward. This conveys weakness or lack of confidence.
  11. Rubbing your hands together. Shows excitement and enthusiasm.
  12. Twirling your hair. This conveys either flirtation or nervousness. 
  13. Walking briskly. A purposeful stride exudes confidence.
  14. Touching your cheek. This suggests you’re carefully considering what you’re being told.
  15. Rubbing your eye. A sign that you don’t believe what you’re hearing.
  16. Touching your nose. This conveys dishonesty.
  17. Standing with hands clasped behind your back. This can come across as apprehension, anger or wariness.

Sources: Winning Pose: Standing Like Superman Or Wonder Woman Gives You Super Confidence - Zenger News and 22 Body Language and Facial Expressions And What They Show: Find New Ways Of Communication | BetterHelp


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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

Read More by Jay >

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