Three Important Nonverbal Behaviours That Communicate Interest
There are many things we communicate non-verbally. But one key thing we communicate non-verbally, whether we realize it or not, is to show how engaged and interested we are in another person during a conversation. The question “How can I know if someone is interested in my conversation?” can be answered by identifying certain nonverbal behaviors.
For nearly a century, we have been told that maintaining eye contact and smiling are very effective at expressing our interest. Dale Carnegie described these methods in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, published in the 1930s. But there are other behaviours that come in to play, such as head tilting and crossing your legs while standing. If you stop to examine yourself, you will discover how often you communicate these behaviours even though they are done unconsciously.
Tilting Your Head
Standing with Legs Crossed
Bonus: Pointing Feet
There is one last note on what behavior to look for when trying to gauge a person’s interest. When talking to someone, observe the direction the person’s feet are pointed and that will give you an indication of where that person’s mind is headed. If their feet are pointed toward you, chances are they are interested in you. If they are pointed away from you, it is likely they want to exit the conversation. It may or may not be unconscious.
Try to observe these behaviors in yourself and others. Use these opportunities to learn more about the people you interact with and how you are presenting yourself. You can apply these techniques to improve conversations and relationships in your professional and private life.