In 1971, Albert Mehrabian published a book titled “Silent Messages,” in which he discussed the fact that communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent nonverbal.
Mehrabian clarifies in his book that the nonverbal component of our communication is made up of 55 percent body language and 38 percent tone of voice.
In other words, it’s time to wise-up about the ways you communicate, folks.
Though I’m not a body language expert, I’m seeing a lot of the following mistakes out there:
1. Tight-lipped smiles
If you can’t smile AUTHENTICALLY, don’t smile at all.
This common move by real-life “Mean Girls” who can’t express compliments in a genuine way is usually accompanied by a horse sheath line like, “I love your purse.”
Tight-lipped smiles are a lie. You are lying to my face.
Your words say, “I love your purse,” while your mouth says, “Your taste in accessories is dog sheath.”
A real friend would tell me that wearing a purse made of seatbelt fabric is a Delia*s catalogue nightmare from 1997.
2. Crossed arms
I’m sorry, are you my dad? Because the last time I checked, he’s the only person who’s allowed to be this disappointed in me.
Crossed arms say, “Step into my office, you’re about to get fired,” when in fact, I do not work for you.
You’re expressing your disapproval while simultaneously causing me extreme anxiety.
Drop your hands, betch. Relax your damn shoulders.
3. No eye contact
Who hurt you, for real?
If your eyes are pin-balling around the room every time we engage in a conversation, I’m either going to think I’m too hot to be talking to you (likely) or that you’re hiding a body somewhere (Robert Durst).
I once had a boyfriend from Staten Island who was never able to maintain more than two seconds of eye contact. (As if his fedora collection wasn’t enough of a red flag.)
Needless to say, I’m still wondering if by leaving that relationship, I narrowly escaped death by hacksaw.
4. Wild hand gesturing
OK, WE GET IT. We know you have a BFA in musical theater.
But not everything has to be a scene from “Hamlet,” OK buddy? Take a nap.
I hate talking to these people, and I can’t quite put my finger on why I do. It just upsets me.
It’s probably because all that hand action feels like a distraction. It’s as if you’re throwing a fake baby at me while someone else steals my wallet.
Whatever it is, it needs to stop. You’re doing TOO MUCH.
5. Exaggerated posture
Slouching basically says, “I’m here, but I don’t have to listen to you because you’re not the boss of me,” or “I work at the DMV, and I’m about to bleep your whole day up.”
But, sitting unnaturally straight makes me feel like you’re just waiting for me to offend you so you can go blog about it.
People who sit up ridiculously straight give off the vibe they’re going to tell on you to whatever authority figure is closest.
They’re the hall monitors of the adult world, and they’re huge buzzkills.
They’re also the first people to freak out and start crying for no reason during an otherwise very chill smoking session.
So, there you have it. You’ve been warned, people.