The life of an introvert is not for the faint at heart.


I can be the first to admit, it looks super easy being chill, laid-back, and not having to be one of the many people contributing to a conversation with a group of proud extroverts. Shout out to the introverts that live for those moments when they can barely get a word in. Still, what I didn't realize is that non-verbal, body language has the potential to say way more than a group of people discussing the latest controversial hot topics. And unfortunately for me and others, it can send the wrong message at times. Thankfully, there's a solution for all of them.

My Body Language: Resting B**** Face (RBF)

What It Told People:

That I was a mean girl. I wasn't frowning but I wasn't exactly telling people, "Hey! Let's have a conversation and be friends." I was just… looking with a stale exterior. But what I found out is that I was communicating a handful of other things: I thought I was better than other people in the room, I didn't want to be in the room in the first place, or I wasn't even paying attention or engaged in what was going on because I didn't care.

How To Fix It:

Be intentional about smiling when you're in uncomfortable and awkward situations. While I have to warn you, you're probably going to feel awkward at first, it'll be a lot better than coming across as a mean girl, especially when you're not. Also, don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and spark up a conversation with a stranger. I've learned that a great way to do this is to find something to compliment about them.

My Body Language: Hands That Were Too Tight To Clap Back

What It Told People:

That I was either ready to fight, or too nervous to function. There have been so many moments when I was in an intimidating situation when I looked down only to realize my hands were clenched together. There have even been times when I channeled my inner Arthur and made a fist without knowing it. While a little research showed me I was trying to have some sort of self-control, it told others that I was ready fight on sight.

How To Fix It:

Relax, girl! Gas yourself up in your head and be your biggest cheerleader. It's okay to be the introvert in the room, but don't let it cause you to be timid and tense up. In situations where it's appropriate, find an object to hold in your hand. Whether it's a pen, a cup, or your phone (just don't use it to swipe on social media), use an item to keep you distracted from whatever it is that is making you question and challenge yourself to the point you find yourself clenching up. Because you got this!

My Body Language: Avoiding Eye Contact Like The Plague

What It Told People:

I am a self-proclaimed terrible liar, but I can see why people would think I wasn't telling them the truth if I didn't look them in the eye. It's a little shady. Avoiding eye contact says a lot of things I don't want to communicate to friends or strangers. It could come across as an indication that I don't respect the person I'm talking to, that I'm ashamed about something, insecure, or awkward. That's ironic that me trying not to be awkward can come across as being awkward.

How To Fix It:

This is another situation when complimenting a stranger can help with your body language. Instead of being so focused on eye contact, tell them something so you both can relax, have a confident posture and demeanor, and be open to having a conversation that goes beyond yes and no answers. Another trick is to look at them in the space between their eyes. I've found that it's close enough to make it seem like you're looking them dead in the eye, but far away enough for you not to feel awkward.

My Body Language: The Classic Folding Of The Arms

What It Told People:

As comfortable as it is, I've learned the hard way that there's a time and place for folding my arms. Unfortunately, it just comes across as defensive, that I don't agree with something being said, or that I'm just closed off from any willingness to communicate or open up.

How To Fix It:

A simple answer is to find something else to do with your arms. If you're standing up, strike a pose and put one arm on your hip and the other by your side. This will help you open up and be more inviting. If you're sitting down, a good solution is just to keep your hands in your lap. If you're having a conversation with someone, don't be afraid to talk with your hands. This shows that you're not only a part of the conversation, but that you're interested in it, too.

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