body language photo

How are you coming across?

One of my theories about life and human behaviour is that our inner world gets mirrored externally. For example – if we have low self esteem and tend to talk to ourselves negatively, our body language will reflect this whether we realise it or not. The cruel reality of this is that if we believe we aren’t good enough and talk to ourselves in a negative way, we will behave in a way that mirrors this thinking. When we are around other people, we may show negative body language – avert our eyes and show slouched body language. Other will read these signals and believe you don’t want to be approached, thereby reinforcing your ideas about yourself that ou aren’t good enough with thoughts such as “That just proves I am inadequate, no one has even noticed me or come to talk to me”.

I use the terms “shop shut” and “shop open” behaviour to help clients see what messages they may inadvertently be giving to others. Imagine walking down a row of shops, some with the shutters and doors wide open and others with the door shut. You’d be far more likely to venture into a shop that looks welcoming an inviting. When we are in “shop open” mode, we give off warm and approachable behaviour. We stand with our shoulders back, make eye contact and smile. We give off body language that invites others to approach us. When we engage in “shop shut” behaviour, we have ‘closed’ body language giving others the signal that we aren’t open to conversation and that we’re not approachable. Many of us don’t even realise we are giving off “shop shut” behaviour. We may avert our gaze, use headphones, never be the first to say “hello” or show body language that wards others off.

Be aware of your body language. Do you seem open and ready to receive attention from others? You’d be amazed at the power of non verbal communication. Think twice next time when you assume some one doesn’t like you or is ignoring you on purpose. Remember to check the signals you are giving off too before making any assumptions. Do an experiment and try a bit of “shop open” behaviour and notice how others respond to you. Is it different? What changes?

Get ready for new interactions and possibly new connections and relationships too!

Mandy X

Photo by malias

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

4 Comments

  1. Great article! Sometimes our mind works against us, while our spirit may say “shop open” at the same time we are trying to sabotage ourself with “I’m not good enough” thoughts and this lack of alignment generates unwanted “shop shut” behaviour. To win over our mind we must focus on the positive thoughts that come from our heart 🙂

    1. Very true, and wise advice Michela. Thank you! Mandy X

  2. Lovely to see this article ‘shop shut’ is one of my ways of coping , by using headphones and I only use them now when the only other alternative is to run.
    Hoping to have shop open as much as possible now.
    Take care
    X

    1. Hey Christine, Thanks for your comment. I know I find myself in”shop shut” mode too – I guess it’s just could to be self aware!

      M xx

Comments are closed.

Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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