How to Speak to People Using Your Body and Your Energy Field
Your body and your energy field aren’t just “parts” of you. They’re the broadcasters of who you are; your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. They’re the very foundation of how you present yourself to the wider world.
How do you think you present yourself to the world… and how do you actually present yourself?
Psychologists have examined this topic, “the presentation of self” in our everyday lives.* We assume that we can control the “self” that we present to our world through our dress, language, and mannerisms. Our thoughts and emotions, on the other hand, we presume are private unless we choose to reveal them.
That’s not necessarily true.
Even when you don’t speak, other people can still learn a lot about the type of person you are and what you’re thinking and feeling. How do they do this? By studying your body language. You don’t have to be an expert to learn how to read another’s body language.There are plenty of books on the topic.
All you have to do is identify the non-verbal messages a person is communicating to the world, regardless of whether or not they’re aware of it:
- Facial expressions: a frown indicates sadness and disapproval.
- Physical mannerisms such as fidgetiness suggests impatience;
- Crossed arms indicates resistance or a “show-me” attitude.
But there is another way to “read” a person that doesn’t involve understanding body language – and that is by reading their energy field. By combining the two, reading body language and the energy field, you avail yourself of powers of perception and understanding that will serve you well in your professional and social lives and especially in your intimate life.
More about that in a moment, but first, what is body language exactly?
Body language refers to the social messages you send out with your body gestures, tone of voice and facial expressions. Some body language experts claim that only about 7% of our messages to other people are communicated through the words we speak. The rest is conveyed through our body language. It’s relatively easy to figure out some of the body language signals by which we communicate acceptance, rejection, boredom and interest in others.
But what is the human energy field?
The human energy field (or HEF) is based on the view that everything in this world is made up of a universal energy. At the same time, this universal energy is intimately a part of every human being, as manifest in a person’s energy or HEF. In this view, even solid objects are made of energy and are moving (but at far slower rates so their movements are beyond human perception). In terms of the personal HEF, however, it shows up in our physical functioning – a healthy distribution of energy is often associated with good health – and it is particularly responsive to our moods and emotions.
Positive emotions lift us up, expand our energy field and open us to the world and to other people. Negative emotions, on the other hand, can distort and suppress our energy field and tend to close us off from others. When negative emotions become predominant in a person they become fixed in their belief system, which then adversely interferes with all of their encounters whether they be professional, social and intimate. The “downward spiral” that plagues people with depression is believed to be a function of internalizing negative emotions into their belief systems, which in turn, sours all of their contacts with the world. In these patterns of behavior, beliefs, words, body language, and energy field all communicates to the world a diminished state of being.
From a human energy field perspective, you’ve been sending non-verbal messages to others your entire life.
Some of these messages are encoded in body language, but others are a bit more elusive and are carried within one’s energy field. For example, when you were an infant, before you learned to speak, people were peering into your tiny face, looking at your gestures, and listening to your gurgles and cries. They were trying to *read* you to determine if you were hungry or wanted to be picked up and soothed. They were trying to decipher what kind of mood you were in since you could not yet speak.
Even though they may have not been aware of it, the adults around you were often taking in more than your body language, tone of voice or facial expression to ‘read’ you. They were also absorbing your energy and interpreting it to guide their interactions with you.
Here’s the good news!
The good news is that you have the power to impact your worlds positively by attending to your body language and your energy field. While some body language and energetic signals turn people away, other signals encourage people to come forward and positively approach you. If you adopt body language and send out energetic signals that are open and non-threatening, positive social relations often follow.
That brings us to the next level of insight into the human energy field: magnetism and charisma.
What is charisma? According to executive coach and author, Oliva Fox Cabane, charisma is the attractive quality that certain people exude. People with charisma attract attention, like a magnet attracts iron filings. Contrary to popular belief, charisma (or personal magnetism), is not an innate quality, but rather a skill you can cultivate. Why is this important? Cabane, explains why:
“Charismatic people seem to lead charmed lives: they have more romantic options, they make more money and they experience less stress.” **(Cabane, p. 2).
Marilyn Monroe’s Magnetism
To prove her point, Cabane references a story about Marilyn Monroe. The year was 1955 and Marilyn was on a photo shoot in New York City for a magazine article. She decided to conduct her own personal experiment about the malleability and control a person has of their own charisma and personal magnetism.
With the photographer in tow, Marilyn got on the subway at Grand Central Station and embodied the energy and mannerisms of “plain” Norma Jean Baker (her family name). Nobody recognized her. Later, however, she walked up the stairs of the subway onto a crowded sidewalk, glanced at her surroundings and asked her photographer, “’Do you want to see her?’” Obviously, the photographer agreed.
“’Then – there were no grand gestures – she simply ‘fluffed up her hair, and struck a pose.’”**(Cabane, p. 1). and began to radiate her enormous magnetism. With that simple shift in body position and energetic vibration, Norma Jean Baker became Marilyn Monroe. She was immediately recognized and surrounded by fans. They recognized the charismatic star and were attracted to her magnetic field, in other words, her Marilyn-ness.
Monroe’s life and success, illustrates – among other lessons of celebrity culture – the impact of understanding and using the human energy field’s capacity for projecting magnetism for self-improvement and advancement. At the same time, the tragedy of her early death as it has been linked to how her celebrity consumed her, underscores the raw power of charisma and personal magnetism. Keep those lessons in mind as you experiment with personal magnetism.
Here’s some tips on becoming more aware of how body language and energy field communicates:
Pay attention to posture. Whether you’re sitting or standing, aim for a posture that is upright and suggests that you are alert, yet relaxed. If you notice that your chest or shoulders are slumping, straighten up.
Pay attention to your breath. Become aware of the way you are breathing. Does your breath move in and out smoothly? Or does it move with jerky little stops and starts? To convey warmth, confidence and sociability, it is better to breath calmly and smoothly. If you notice that you are holding your breath, or breathing in a shallow, jerky manner, that is a sign of nervousness. In response, consciously tell the muscles of your body to relax. Use the natural rise and fall of your abdomen to help you breathe smoothly and deeply. Let the bottom part of your lungs fill up with air as well as the top. As meditators the world over know, following your breath is the gateway to feeling relaxed and present.
Pay attention to your hands. What are you doing with them? Nervousness often manifests in wringing, shaking or tense hands. Those who struggle with nervousness in social situations often report that they don’t know what to do with their hands! Fold them? Put them in pockets? Let them hang on your side? It is not uncommon to have the feeling that no matter what you do with your hands, it’s the wrong thing. If you are relaxed inside, however, your hands may find a way to relax themselves.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Stay aware of and focused on your surroundings and the people around you. If you find yourself tuning out your surroundings, you may start to focus too much on your negative inner sensations and thoughts. This can quickly increase your anxiety to a very uncomfortable level. Obviously, threatening situations call us to remove ourselves or protect ourselves. But assessing level of threat is a skill in and of itself. Anxious people tend to perceive more threat than actually exists.
Pay attention to your facial expressions. What sort of facial expression do you to have if you want people to approach you? In most cases, a gentle, pleasant smile will serve your purposes. Too much of a smile that never softens can look forced and scary. A stony face is hard for others to read and might make them feel wary of you. Generally, a pleasant smile with a twinkle in the eyes (that conveys your personal magnetism) will communicate to other people the impression that talking with you will be a pleasant experience.
Curious to learn more about the way you present yourself to the world? Then stay tuned for my upcoming in-person workshops and group programs beginning in this Fall, 2022.
Also, if you know someone who could benefit from the services I provide: private & couples coaching, combined with energy work, I would love to help them. Please send them my way.