Here is the most important rule of body language:
Your body language must be congruent with your personality and temperament. Otherwise, people get the sense that it is an act, and then it actually reduces trust and makes you look like a desperate poser.
I made that mistake once.
It was around ten years ago, when I was working in a finance company. Most of my job involved running training programs, and I felt that others in the company weren't taking me seriously or treating me with the respect I deserved.
So I read a few body language books and decided to adopt some "assertive" postures and other body language techniques. I also tried to emulate my boss, because I noticed that people always took him seriously.
You can probably guess what happened...
At 5' 6", I'm certainly not on the tall side, and folks basically laughed at my efforts to appear confident and accused me of having a Napoleon complex.
A few people even complained to my manager (the one I looked up to and tried to emulate), and he had to have a quiet word with me in his office.
Because I misunderstood how body language works. I made the mistake many folks make, and tried to adopt what I was told was the "right" body language.
Later in my career, I learned how to project power and confidence in a way that is congruent with my personality and temperament.
You see, I'm not a loud "macho" guy – I'm more reserved and introspective, and anyone who meets me can sense this in a heartbeat.
When I started using strong, confident body language that matched these traits, people started taking me seriously. They'd listen to me more intently, treat me with more respect, and value my opinions more.
It was almost like a switch.
There's no such thing as "right" body language. There's only "right-for-you" body language. Anything else will usually backfire or at least fall flat.
That is the reason why you cannot learn body language from a book.
It's why you cannot learn it from following tips you read from the internet, or emulating what you see in YouTube videos of your favorite celebrities.
(These things aren't just a waste of time. They can backfire and cost you valuable opportunities – as my story shows.)
That's why I created my new Body Language Success Code program. It's the only home study program that shows you how to adopt powerful and confident body language while being completely authentic to who you are.
On the next blog, I'm going to go "inside the box" and show you what is in this course and why I believe that it's the best body language program you'll find.