4 Powerful Ways to Use Body Language for Better Relationships

Body language has been said to impact a relationship more than words and tone of voice combined. Here's how to use your gestures for good.

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Talk like you're looking in a mirror.

Talk like you're looking in a mirror.Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Studies have shown that people in power positions—those sitting higher than their partners, putting their feet up, or lacing their fingers behind their necks—have increased feelings of superiority, while people in lower-power poses, such as sitting lower, are defensive and resentful. The lesson? Mirror your partner's posture to convey collaboration and cooperation. 

Watch your partner's mouth.

Watch your partner's mouth.iStock/Thinkstock
"When a person has something to say, the brain sends a message to the lips and tongue to start shaping the sentiment," said David B. Givens, Phd, author of Love Signals, in Cosmopolitan. When you notice a person pursing puckering his or her lips, "You're seeing thoughts expressed before he even has a chance to come out with the words."

Build trust with your palms.

Build trust with your palms.Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
To convey trustworthiness to your partner, approach him or her with "open" body language, according to The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman. Point your feet toward your partner during conversation, smile often, and gesture with your palms showing.

Ease arguments with touch.

Ease arguments with touch.Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Making physical contact with your partner can literally strengthen your connection. Touch boosts oxytocin to increase feelings of trust, and lowers cortisol to reduce stress.

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