A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

9 Body Language Tricks to Get EXACTLY What You Want From Life

Updated: Dec. 21, 2022

Want to lose weight? Land a job? We've got you covered.

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To land a job

Instead of pretending to be poised in the waiting room, run through a couple of power poses—such as raising your arms in a V or standing with your hands on your hips—in the bathroom or elevator. Research from social psychologist Amy Cuddy has shown that holding these postures for just two minutes can lower stress and increase feelings of power. Or try one of these tricks for boosting self-confidence.

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To connect with your partner

If your significant other holds one of his wrists and raises it in front of his body, he could be feeling hurt or sad. “It may appear that he’s adjusting his watch, but it could be a sign that he’s insecure,” says body language expert Patti Wood.

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To calm kids

A slow voice has a soothing effect, while a loud, fast voice can stimulate anger or fear, according to a University of Maryland, Baltimore County, study. Teach your kids these benefits by playing a game with them during which you say a sentence, pausing for five seconds between words.

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To entice a dinner date

If you want to convey interest, do what match.com calls the Reach. Rest an arm and hand on the table with your fingers pointing to the other person.

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To bond at work

Want to build trust with a coworker? Give a high five. Making physical contact with another person for as little as 1/40th of a second can create a human bond. Touch also boosts oxytocin, which increases feelings of trust, and lowers cortisol, which reduces stress.

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To lose weight

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that dieters who tensed their arm muscles when offered a choice between a candy bar and an apple were more likely to make the healthy choice than those who didn’t clench their muscles. Try these other ways to lose weight without diet or exercise, too.

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To be creative

If even this “lazy” habit that’s key to creativity isn’t helping, it’s time to get, well, creative with your body language. Gesture with both hands while brainstorming. When Singapore researchers asked subjects to come up with unique uses for a building complex, those who talked out solutions with both hands had more creative ideas than those who brainstormed with just one hand. Use these other habits of creative people to get the juices flowing even more.

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To speak persuasively

Want to learn how to be more persuasive? A low-pitched voice inspires confidence from those around you, according to a study from McMaster University in Canada. You don’t have to fake it—relax before speaking by keeping your lips together and repeating mmm-hmm a few times, suggests Forbes body language expert Carol Kinsey Goman. Stress can constrict your vocal cords, making your voice come out higher than usual.

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To correct a mistake

To make an effective apology, mind your chin, says Greg Hartley, a former U.S. Army interrogator and a body language expert. If it’s too high, you look indignant; too low, you look weak. Keep your chin centered to exude confidence and compromise.

Sources: womenshealthmag.com, forbes.com, glo.com