Interactions aren’t only about what you say. Your body constantly gives away subtle hints and clues as to how you are feeling about social interactions, even when you want to hide your true feelings. If you can learn to read body language, as well as control your own, it can be a useful tool in your arsenal. Do you want to be able to see what others really think and feel about you?

There are ways to read body language effectively and become more aware of the message you are sending people. So, I guess you might be wondering how? Just follow these 4 tips.

1) Focus on the other person. This sounds obvious, but it’s not. When people are slightly out of their comfort zone they can very self conscious and worried about their own behaviour. You can’t pick up on body language cues if you’re focused on yourself. For example, when focusing on yourself, and feeling self-conscious, it’s easy to miss that subtle smile that he flashed you.

2) You’re not talking on the top of the edge of a cliff; you can look down! Look at their feet. You can only control so much of your body language and you can’t control everything at once. The further away our a body part is from the brain the harder it is to control, so it stands to reason that a quick glance down at the feet will give you some honest feedback about whether this person is interested in the conversation.  Are their  feet pointing directly towards you? Great! No? Then get them more interested with some of Flirtology’s flirting tips, or move on.

3) Crossed arms are bad. It gives the impression that you don’t want to be spoken to. If you are dealing with someone who has crossed arms, do something to make them uncross. Give them a hug, look at a piece of jewellery on their hand (hopefully not a wedding ring (that’s a sign to move on) ask them to pass you a drink, it doesn’t matter what, but make them uncross their arms. Closed body means closed mind. You will never get someone on side if their arms are crossed. While on this topic, don’t cross your arms yourself for the same reason. Trying to make a good impression is about appearing open, and crossed arms implies the opposite.

4) Finally, be aware of your own body language. It’s useful to decipher what others’ are thinking, but are you aware of the signals that you are subconsciously sending out? Do you realise that your right hand is always in a fist? Or, that you constantly scratch your nose? It might be a good idea to ask your friends if they’ve noticed any disconcerting postural habits. The good news is that habits can be broken, once we are made aware of them.