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17 Body Language Tricks You Need To Try

As Ursula once so wisely said, "Don't underestimate the importance of bod-ay language."

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2. BUT! If you're in a group of friends, crossing those arms is actually a good thing.

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According to Driver, crossing your arms forces your body to engage both sides of your brain, making it easier to focus and solve difficult problems. (You know, problems like where you all should go for lunch.)

4. Don't put your hands in front of your mouth or face.

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We get it, sometimes you have to rest the beauty of your face in your hands, but try not to. According to Dr. Nick Morgan, hiding behind your hands can signal that you're nervous or self-conscious. Which, in turn, can make people think you're untrustworthy.

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5. Adopt a "high-power pose" and avoid a "low-power pose."

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Positioning your body so that the torso is open — think of a superhero posing on a movie poster — increases testosterone and inhibits cortisol production, meaning you'll get a confidence boost with lower stress levels, according to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy. But be careful — doing the opposite means higher stress and lower confidence!

6. If you want to assert your dominance, go big or go home.

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That means when you speak, open your arms wide, plant your feet firmly and in a wide stance. Not only will those actions give you more of a presence, but it will actually help you to seem larger than life.

7. While wrapping your arms around yourself, or curling into your body, will make you seem small.

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This is called a "low-power" stance, and we tend to take this stance when someone else is making themselves seem bigger.

8. Use your hands!

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No, not like that! But when you're talking, get your body moving — specifically, your hands! The region of the brain that is active during speech is ALSO active when you're moving your hands. Carol Kinsey Gorman, a body language specialist, writes for Forbes that "gesturing as you talk can help power up your thinking."

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9. Master the art of the handshake.

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Behavorial investigator Vanessa Van Edwards argues that alphas — the people who run the show in group settings — can even assert dominance through a simple handshake. How do you do this? It's pretty simple: Just get on top! While equals usually just shake in an up-and-down motion, if you want to assert dominance, grip from the top in your handshake. Image management consultant LisaMarie Luccioni also says you should be standing for your handshake, and make it firm (duh) but not painful (also, duh).

10. Keep your eyes on the prize.

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Making and maintaining eye contact may SEEM daunting — even awkward, perhaps — but Kinsey Gorman says you should maintain eye contact for "50-60% of the time." She also gives a helpful tip — whenever you greet someone, make eye contact at least until you know what their eye color is!

11. Aim in the right direction.

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If you're trying to attract someone romantically — i.e., if you're on a date — position your body in the direction of your partner. But don't stop there. Body language expert Tonya Reiman says you should nod your head while they speak and tilt your head to the left, as this is proven to be more attractive. As Beyoncé said, "To the left, to the left!"

12. There are ways for your body NOT to be a wonderland, too.

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Reiman's list of no-no's: Don't text. Don't sit on your hands or put them in your pockets. Don't slouch your shoulders. Don't shift your eyes. And DON'T cross your arms. All of these are turn-offs!

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13. When you're talking to someone, don't touch your neck, ears, or heart.

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According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, touching those spots is a sign that you're trying to protect yourself and is considered a "low-power" pose.

15. When you want to make a great first impression, turn your body and focus to that person immediately when you meet them.

That means no half-assing your "hello," basically. Author Leil Lowndes calls this full-body maneuver the "Big-Baby Pivot," because it makes the person you're speaking to feel incredibly special. (Much like how newborns feel when people admire them.)

16. Keep your coffee away from your chest.

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According to the book The Silent Language of Leaders, the higher you hold your coffee, the more of a physical barrier you put up between yourself and the person you're talking to. Hold it lower, like toward your waist, when you want to seem open and engaged.

17. And most important of all, SMILE.

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Smiles help you go the extra mile. You're more memorable to people you meet when you smile because the reward center for the brain is more active, according to Duke University research, and smiling can also change the mood of people you meet for the positive. In other words, your smile CAN make other people happier!