Examples of Open Body Language

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Learn what open, honest body language looks like and how to read body language in this free video on body language communication skills.

Part of the Video Series: How to Read Body Language
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Video Transcript

DR. MICHELLE COHEN: On the other hand, people exhibit what I call "open body behavior" and so, obviously, this is just the opposite of what we just saw. So, in this particular example, what we're showing is how you want to be open and let others be comfortable with you. You're showing them that you're okay and comfortable with them as well. So if you're on a job interview or a relationship, say a first date, you're trying to make a good impression, whatever social interaction you're having, you want to be open to that person. As Natalie will show you with Josh, the person who's attentive is first of all listening to someone. They're ignoring distractions. They're getting direct eye contact. Also, as you can see Natalie is very still, and the implication here is of forgetting everything else except the other person in the room; no distractions. And also as Natalie shows you, someone who's interested in you will likely lean towards you slightly. Sometimes, they'll tilt their heads slightly forward or they'll nod meaning that they're really into what you're saying. It also may show curiosity when tilted to the side. An attentive person also looks at the person without taking their gaze away. They blink less as well. As you can see, all of the behavior that Natalie is showing is open body behaviors. Again, her legs are not crossed as well but her legs are pointing towards Josh and her arm, again, leaning on the chair towards Josh. Along with the open behaviors that we just showed you, there are also speech tools you can use and these are "no-brainers" as I call them, but you can let the other person know you're open to them by nodding your head as Natalie showed you but also saying things like, "Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh?" That's open. And also, what I do with clients sometimes is I reflect to them back what they're saying and what that does is it shows them that you're really listening to what they have to say and you're open to them, so if someone is telling me something, what I do is reflect back and I say, "So, what I'm getting from you or what you're telling me is that you really would like to go see this man a little bit later and clear things up with him. Is that what you're telling me?" So, that's reflecting back and letting the other person know exactly what you're feeling.

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