You’re Standing Wrong, Part 2

You’re Standing Wrong, Part 2

Stance - distance and angle

In Part 1, you chose the stance that matches your image. Now let’s discuss how to use it…

A PERFECT STANCE REQUIRES THE RIGHT PERSONAL DISTANCE

Personal space is an important part of body language, and it has a huge effect on whether your potential partner is comfortable or uncomfortable with you.  

Believe it or not, there is an entire field of study — proxemics, derived from the word proximity — about personal space.  First studied by Edward T. Hall, he made the argument that you have four zones — “reaction bubbles” —  surrounding you:

  • Immediately surrounding you is your intimate space (body to 1.5 ft/0.5 m)
  • Beyond your intimate space is your personal space (1.5 ft/0.5 m to 4 ft/1.2 m)
  • Beyond your personal space is your social space (4 ft/1.2 m to 8 ft/2.4 m)
  • Beyond your social space is your public space (8 ft/2.4 m to infinity)  

(Checking out this picture may make this more clear.)

You can really turn off your potential partner by being in the wrong space at the wrong time.  You should not be in the intimate space of a potential partner whom you have just met because that is too close, too fast.  By the same token, you should also not talk to your potential partner from 8 feet away because is too distant, literally and figuratively.

When you’re talking to a stranger or an acquaintance, use your new stance on the border of personal space and social space — about an arm’s length away from him or her.  By being in the right zone, you’re non-verbally saying that you’re interested, but that you also aren’t going to pounce.

A PERFECT STANCE REQUIRES THE RIGHT GEOMETRY

Once you’re standing at the right distance, you can focus on standing at the right angle.  Start by imagining two people in your head.  There are a few ways they can stand in relation to one another:

  • Directly facing each other (i.e. face-to-face)
  • Facing towards each other at an angle
  • Facing complete away from each other (i.e. back-to-back)
  • Facing away from each other at an angle
  • Facing the same direction as each other (i.e. shoulder-to-shoulder)

What does each stance communicate non-verbally?

Two people standing back-to-back is extremely impersonal because they can’t even see each other.  Similarly, two people facing away from each other at an angle is impersonal.

Two people facing in the same direction, shoulder-to-shoulder, is still quite impersonal because, even though they’re looking at the same thing, they’re not looking at each other.

Two people facing each other, face-to-face, is personal.  In fact, it can be too personal!  Talking face-to-face with a stranger can almost feel confrontational because it causes him or her to feel “locked into” you and “locked out” of what is happening in the surroundings.  That may be too intense.

Here’s what you really want to know:  How do you talk to a potential partner without being too impersonal or too intense?  In other words, how do you find the angle that is just right?

Before I give you the answer, maybe you want to write this in your Action Plan.  Now, the answer…

The key to keeping your potential partner from feeling uncomfortable when you first meet is talking to him or her while standing at a 40 or 50 degree angle.  For the visually inclined, think about angling yourself so your bodies are positioned like this \ /.

DON’T STAY IN THE \ / FORMATION TOO LONG

Here’s the crucial follow-up to that advice….

Once you know that your potential partner has taken an interest in the conversation, begin closing that angle and narrowing that \ /.  Ultimately, when both of you have committed to the conversation, you want to be looking at each other face-to-face.  Now it is okay to be “locked into” each other, to the exclusion of the people around you.

MANY PEOPLE THINK THIS IS THE COOLEST ADVICE

You can imagine that when I tell people I’m a dating coach, they’re first question is, “What is the best advice that you give?

 As you know, I take pride in giving advice that’s grounded in science.  So, often times, I demonstrate the value of starting a conversation at an angle.  People love it!  It blows them away because it makes so much sense when they think about it.
That’s why I want you to share this article.  If you’ve never shared any others, this is the one to share.  It’ll make you look like an expert on an aspect of body language that most people don’t know — but will be fascinated when they do.
Ready to blow someone’s mind? Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon

QUICK REVIEW

  • Choose the stance that is right for you
  • Stand about arm’s length from your potential partner
  • Start by standing at a 40-50 degree angle and close the angle as the conversation progresses
Jeremy Hamburgh
Happy dating,
Jeremy Hamburgh

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PS:  This is a chapter in Hitchcraft Dating’s *FREE* STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO DATING SMARTER AND FINDING LOVE FASTER.  You can get it quickly and easily at by clicking here.   You also get other great freebies:

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Comments

  1. Tony Langdon says:

    This is a great post. I’ve learned this stuff over many years trial and error, and thinking back while reading, it definitely applies and those who master it will do better socially, in general, not just while dating.

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