Fake it till you make it.
We’ve all been there. You’re given a beautifully wrapped gift from a loved one, and as you open it, you realise you actually kind of hate it.
What is the right thing to do in that moment? It’s probably to come clean, and figure out a way to exchange it for something you’ll enjoy, but this is easier said than done, particularly if your gift-giver’s eyes are lit up with hope.
In this instance, you may want to choose peace and try and hid your real feelings with a spot of tactical body language. Thankfully, one body expert is happy to dole out the advice on how to act in this awkward moment.
According to Funky Pigeon’s body language expert Inbaal Honigman, there are six steps you can take to hide their disappointment.
- Raise your eyebrows and widen your eyes. Don’t blink.
- Try and “send” your facial features and limbs wide
- Raise your shoulders and arms
- Relax your jaw, and let your mouth make an ‘O’ shape
- Turn to your gift-giver and raise your voice higher to thank them
It’s also important not to do this for too long, because, as Inbaal points out, genuine surprises don’t last long. If you overdo it, your gift-giver will cop on.
Inbaal also recommends following up with a genuine-sounding thank you. For this, you should clasp your hands together at your chest, narrow your shoulders, lower your eyebrows, convey the word “awwww” with your face, and thank them in a deep voice.
Finally, Inbaal states that it’s important that there is consistency between how you stand and what you say.
She said: “The beauty of body language analysis is that we’re doing it all the time. We sense whether someone is dishonest, just from the way they hold themselves. So, when you need to fake your body language, your key effort has to go into matching everything up – your words, your posture and your facial expressions have to send the same message.”
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