Body Language Mistakes Many People Make At Work

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Slouching in a way that makes you look way too relaxed.

If you go to work at an office and feel like you want to make an impression, then maybe you should start looking at your body language. Job performance and charisma isn't the only way to communicate to the world that you are ready for that promotion.

According to the laws of psychology, you can express your emotions through gesture and posture. But many of us are unaware that our facial expressions, our posture, and even the way we move could be communicating the wrong message to our coworkers and bosses. So take a look at these 11 body language mistakes we're all making at the office, (yes, me too!)


I mean, who doesn't love to slouch in the privacy of their own home? I know I do! But when you're at work, it's game on and that applies to your posture. Sitting in a relaxed manner is sending off the message that you're lazy at work as if you were completely uninterested in what you're working on. Make sure to sit up straight.

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Letting everyone at work know that you're bored out of your mind.

No one's expecting you to act like this is your first day at the job. People know you're only human, but when it comes to slouching, slacking, and dozing off into Lalaland, it's best to put on your "work face," and act like you're happy to be there. Your boss will take it as if you're an active participant who wants to actually be there.

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You're constantly rolling your eyes, even if it's just a gesture you're used to making.

You're going to have to work extra hard to avoid doing this at work. It's sending off the message that you have no regard for whatever it is that people are saying. You may have accidentally learned to express your disgust or contempt by rolling your eyes, but that might lead to people thinking you feel like you're above them and their opinions and feelings don't matter to you.

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Sitting or talking too close to someone, essentially invading their personal space.

Ugh! We've all had a coworker who's done that. They simply don't get socially accepted etiquette. Why would anyone need to get 1 inch away from someone's face to communicate something? That makes people feel instantly threatened and uncomfortable when someone decides to invade their personal space. Be polite, and stay a healthy distance. Somewhere around 3 to 8 ft is more than okay.

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Sneaking into the office, avoiding your coworkers, without anyone noticing you.

That's a bad, bad, office faux pas. Not only is it extremely rude to your colleagues, but it's also a sign that you have poor people skills. Sure, you may just want to avoid people until you get your morning coffee, and you're absolutely entitled to do so, but don't be surprised to find out that coworkers and higher ups see you as antisocial and arrogant. Always greet others with a smile, and make sure to acknowledge the people you run into at the hallways.

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The “fig leaf” posture might offend a few coworkers, and even your boss.

Emotions and body posture have a huge role in society which is why you need to be aware of how people are perceiving you. The "fig leaf" position basically consists of holding your hands over your genital area. That's a big no-no. So make sure to keep your hands on the side.

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Isolating yourself from your surroundings and common areas where people are hanging out.

Okay, so sometimes you need a few minutes by yourself. But isolating and separating yourself constantly will tell people that you're an isolated, antisocial, uninterested person. Team-building exercises and activities, or even having your lunch break in the company of your colleagues expresses your interest in bonding with them.

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Constantly leaning on surrounding objects and slouching on objects makes you look like you don't care.

The way you act, stand, talk, and move, will determine the way people perceive you, and therefore, the way they decide to treat you. Leaning over objects, chairs, walls, tables and other items can be often seen as a sign of weakness. Research shows that standing tall in a confident manner makes people perceive you as strong and powerful.

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If you like keeping your hands behind your back, then you need to stop.

Spencer Kelly, who's a professor of Neuroscience, found evidence that our hands play a major role in people's perceptions. Keeping your hands behind your back can accidentally tell others that you're not trustworthy.

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Constantly looking at your watch to check what time it is when talking to someone.

Okay, okay! So you're feeling under the weather and really can't wait to get home. You're only human. But you wouldn't expect a boss to constantly portray himself as someone who doesn't want to be there, do you? You need to find a polite way to finish a conversation if you're in a hurry without passive-aggressively checking out the time on your phone or watch.

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You often keep your body away from others when engaging in conversation.

One of the fundamental telltale signs that someone is completely disinterested in whatever you’re saying, is when their body is facing the opposite way from where you’re standing. You’re engaging in conversation and their eyes are wandering around, their torso is looking away from where you are, and they seem to be “in a hurry." If you want to avoid being rude to a colleague or boss, simply keep your body engaged. Make eye contact, straight up face them, and try to pay attention to that person.

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