Ask The Love Coach

Don't let your body language sabotage you. My client Nancy had a disagreement with a coworker one afternoon, and it remained unresolved at the end of the day. She had a reception to attend immediately after wort, end, almost immediately upon her arrival, met a very interesting, man whom she definitely wanted to get to know better. He seemed interested in her as well—at first anyway. As they talked, she noticed his interest seemed to be wavering and she was pualed.

"Then I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror," she says. "Here I was, standing next to this perfectly gorgeous guy, and my arms were folded aCfOJS my chest there was a shadow of a frown on my face, and I looked like somebody who'd just sat on a pine cone." Fortunately, Nancy remembered what she and I had previously discussed about nonverbal communication. She *as able to stop and ask herself. Is tfirjf the image I uant to show thii gay? Am i really focusing on him, oris my coworker tending here betw&ift vi? She immediately switched her focus to her new friend, centering her attention on his attractive smile. Before long, her face and her body language reflected her change in attitude, and she was able to recapture his interest.

As Nancy discovered, we can sometimes let thing; that have absolutely nothing to do with the other person (or our feelings about them) affect the way we act. This can distort what we are trying to communicate, and can short-circuit the seduction. Try to really focus on the person across from you, thinking about the things you find attractive about him or her. You'll find that as your focus shifts from the difficult situation you're worried about to the pleasant situation you're in now, your body language will reflect the shift, and you will look much more approachable.

Body Talk Come Hither!

Lean forward Smile

Make eye contact Hands relaxed and empty Palms out

Go Thither!

Lean away

Frown, scowl, or look bored Look everywhere else Clenched fists or clutched item Knuckles out

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Come Hither!

Go Thither!

Feet flat on floor

Ankles crossed and locked

Leg s look relaxed

Knees pressed tightly together

Animated responses

Impassive responses (or none)

Fiddling sensually with a prop

Put prop aside brusquely

Subtle touching

No physical contact

Now let's look at some specific examples from our list, and see how they apply to your own body talk.

Leaning with Meaning

Have you ever been talking to someone and noticed the individual leaning forward in his or her chair as if ready to pounce? Didn't you feel as if the person was really excited about what you had to say? Though you don't want your partner to feel like wounded prey faced with a hungry predator, you do want to physically convey your interest. Leaning toward someone says, quite simply, that you want to be closer, while leaning away lets that person know that you'd rather be somewhere else.

Positions the Kama Sutra Never Mentions.

The way you position your body, especially your arms, hands, legs, and feet, can give someone a fairly clear indication of how you feel in his or her presence. While you can't (and shouldn't) try to lie with your body—any more than you should lie with your words—you can choose to be conscious of how accurately your position communicates your feelings. Think about whether you do any of these things:

• Do you assume a position that looks defensive, even though you're sitting with a person you like? Is this because you're shy or self-conscious, or because you have something on your mind that is adding to the stress of meeting someone new?

• Notice your hands. Are they open, as if waiting to accept a gift, or clenched tight, as if you were holding your last dollar in a room full of pickpockets?

• If you're a woman, are your legs so rigidly slammed together that they're screaming "You're never getting in here!" or are they more relaxed, saying "I have no need to protect myself from you."

• If you're a man, are you hovering over the woman you're interested in as though you're about to pounce on her—and is she subtly but progressively drawing back and looking around as if she's plotting her escape?

While I have presented some extreme examples here, you should ask yourself where your body talk falls on this spectrum. When I owned my own dating service, I made videotapes of clients as part of their membership package. As a coach, I have also videotaped clients in order to help them improve their presentation techniques or interaction skills. Upon viewing the tapes, many people are astonished at how frightened—or overly eager—their positions make them look.

Smile Without Guile

Smiling is one of the most dynamic forms of body talk. When you smile at someone sincerely, you're telling the person that you are enjoying the time you are spending together.

• When a woman smiles It is especially true for women that a smile goes a long way toward seducing a man. He wants to please you, and may even have a lot of his own self-image tied up in his ability to please. Therefore, when you smile at him, you're telling him that you're enjoying his company and that he's doing all right with you.

• When a man smiles A man's smile can communicate the same acceptance as a woman's, but his intent has a bigger effect on how the smile is interpreted. No woman likes to feel as if she's an hors d'oeuvre on a plate, waiting to be consumed. She wants to feel wanted, even lusted after, but she wants to be desired as a whole person, not just as a repository for a man's lust. So ask yourself, guys, whether your smile is expressing your appreciation for the person in front of you or for the person you hope will be writhing around naked later on. It really makes a big difference.

Eye Gotta Be Me

Since we've already determined that the eyes are the windows to the soul, it makes sense to be conscious of what your eyes are saying to the other person. The phrases "bedroom eyes" and "undressing her with his eyes" are good descriptions of some of the things your eyes can communicate to your partner. They speak so clearly of your intent—and your spirit—that they can deafen your partner to what you might actually be saying.

If you look at the person you're with and find yourself thinking that he or she is absolutely delightful, that delight will shine like a neon sign in your eyes. If you're looking at the person, however, and thinking this individual is the answer to all your emotional needs, that person will inevitably see you as some kind of emotional vampire, waiting for the opportunity to drain all of his or her energy.

Beyond the intent behind your eyes, how you physically focus on someone has an effect upon how you are perceived. You want to look into the other person's eyes while you are with him, but not with an unbroken stare. Look away from time to time, and allow the person some emotional space. You might even look at the person's hands sometimes while she's talking to you, as the hands provide animation to the dialog.

Animated Annie, or Wooden Wanda?

Consider also whether your responses to your partner's conversation are animated and alive, or stagnant and dead. If you look as if you're bored with someone, that person will give up on you in a hurry.

Heart Brake«

There are those people who see rejection as 3 challenge bo overcome. For people like this, you can forget about subtle hints to let them know you're riot interested. You might juit want to invest in a good fly swatter, though!

Heart Brake«

There are those people who see rejection as 3 challenge bo overcome. For people like this, you can forget about subtle hints to let them know you're riot interested. You might juit want to invest in a good fly swatter, though!

One caveat: Don't get all carried away with this animated-response principle, or you'll look like a puppy greeting its master at the door after a day-long separation. That can be scary to anybody. Find a middle ground—one that expresses your interest but doesn't make you look like a blithering nincompoop, or someone who hasn't had a date since Nixon resigned. Act toward that person as you would toward anybody you find interesting. Keep your eyes on him or her during the conversation, smile often, nod when appropriate—in short, make it apparent that you are really listening to what this person is saying, and you genuinely enjoy being in his or her presence.

The Proper Use of Props

Yet another way that you can seductively communicate without saying a word is through the use of props. Now, I know this sounds really staged, but it's something we

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