We like to think of the advances in technology over the last few decades as adding so much to our lives. Of course, that’s true in many cases. Wireless devices, computers that will fit in your pocket, and interactive media are all extraordinary inventions and can add great value to our lives when used appropriately.
The cell phone has led to apps beyond our imagination with the potential to connect us to people we will likely never meet. Unfortunately, our phones can also lead us to isolation and out of the present. One of those incredibly popular apps is Instagram.
Instagram allows people to capture their thoughts and experiences, then share them with the world. What an innovative creation - like nothing we’ve ever experienced before.
But, is it really new?
Why Should We Care? Our body language was our Instagram before Instagram was a thing. Our body language captures our thoughts and displays them for all the world to see.
As a matter of fact, our body language conveys those things better than Instagram. On Instagram, we never know what is true. We never know if what is being displayed is the real you or the one you want everyone to think is you. That’s not the case with your body language.
Sure, you can ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ but eventually the truth is going to come out in your body language, no matter how hard you try to hide it. Given that approximately 93% of all our communication is non-verbal, your body language is your personal billboard - sorry, I’ll use Insta-lingo, your personal ‘post’.
You are making it every day in every interaction. No time to get your shirt looking just right or to arrange your food perfectly for the picture. Life isn’t waiting on that. But, you can be sure that those watching are either liking or scrolling on based on what they see displayed in your body language.
REAL TALK - Action Steps Intentional body language is difficult because it happens so fast. Our body is reacting to what our mind is telling it to do. So, the point of attack isn’t the body at all. It has to be the mind and the thoughts we generate from each experience. Our thoughts are what gets posted in our body language.
Poor body language is typically a reflection of our concern for something that happened in the past. Learning to allow those thoughts of judgement and regret to pass go a long way in helping us listen to positive, empowering thoughts that will result in positive body language. Be still. Breathe. Meditate.
Manage the Gap. The Gap is the time between something happening and us responding to it. The better we are at staying neutral during this time, the better we will be at intentionally choosing our response … rather than getting pulled into our emotions. Your emotions are not the direct result of an event. They are the response to the story we tell ourselves about the event. Managing the gap gives us the opportunity to control that story.
Blame. Complain. Defend. Don’t do it. Ever. Much of our negative body language is a result of listening to one of these excuses. That’s what they are, an excuse. And our poor body language is us puking on everyone around us.
You would never think of posting your worst picture on social media. So, stop posting bad body language. It never whispers. It always screams.
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