The 2 little words that kill your first impression
When I first started getting better at reading people and their body language, I was fascinated by the teeny, tiny little things I noticed people doing that tipped me off to how they were feeling.
→ Have you ever noticed while someone’s talking to you they roll up their sleeves…even if it isn’t hot?
→ Have you noticed someone’s eye twitch right after you said something they disagreed with?
→ Have you noticed someone’s hand going to the back of their neck while they talk about a more personal topic?
These are just a FRACTION of the little things we unconsciously do that communicate how we REALLY feel. It is scary how unconscious doing this is. I sometimes catch myself playing with my thumb and first finger, or rolling up my sleeves during a conversation and I think: “Wow. I had no idea I was doing this.”
But all of these little movements SAY something. That we’re nervous. Unsure. We don’t know what to say.
Sometimes the deeper reasons are that we feel insanely self-conscious and are critiquing ourselves while we talk. It could be that our confidence is low, or that we’re just not happy with our lives. (If you watched Breaking Bad, Walt’s body language transformation is astounding.)
But it would take us a lifetime to go through each little tiny movement we make in social situations, try to critique it, and then change it. Usually when you stop trying to put band-aids over your problems–like power posing instead of addressing the core issue–all of those nervous tics you have can be organically solved by going to the root. (A method I use with my private coaching clients)
But for today, let’s go for a tiny win. We don’t have to go deep into your mind and figure out what all of your challenges are. Instead, we’re going to address the verbal tic that plagues almost everyone:
The Curse of “So….Yeah”
I can’t believe it. It’s like every time I hear someone talk, they say “So….yeah” at the end of their sentence as if it were a period. Instead, “so yeah” is a curse. It disqualifies what you’re saying, it puts an awkward taint to the conversation, and it isn’t a powerful way to end what you’re saying.
So I COULD tell you: “Just stop saying “so yeah”. So….yeah.”
But why do we say this in the first place?
I was listening to a podcast the other day with my man, and we noticed that the host said “so…yeah” every chance we got. My guy said: “Wow…he sounds really nervous.” For someone who’s had a podcast for a long time, you wouldn’t expect him to be that nervous.
But then I thought about it: WHY is this a phrase that’s such an easy crutch to fall back on? It reminded me of how people who are the ‘social clowns’ tend to use humor as a crutch to be liked and get approval.
And it hit me.
“So…yeah” is code for: “I’m not really valuing what I’m saying.”
It’s like when I was first elected to be president of my dance team back at Northwestern. I was excited…but CRAZY nervous. One of my biggest fears was: “What if they don’t listen to what I have to say?” (Sound familiar?)
And then I thought: “The only reason why they wouldn’t listen to me, is because I don’t listen to me. If I value what I say, they will value what I say.”
And so what I did to prepare was I recorded my voice every chance I got to eliminate the disqualifiers I used in my speech– the ‘ums’ the ‘ahs’ the ‘so….yeahs’. I practiced ending with power and poise, so that when it was game time, I was 100% confident in what I had to say. (I talk even more about how to have a more attractive voice in-depth in my course, Be Magnetic).
This is why “Just stop doing ‘X’” advice will never actually get you to stop doing ‘X’
It is way too overly simplistic, and it doesn’t take into consideration the deeper psychology, the triggers, and the situations that cause our ‘tics’ to come out in full force. Reason #3987 why I don’t talk about body language as a panacea to improve social skills. It’s important, but they are merely symptoms.
So here’s what you can do today
Instead of thinking: “Okay, I’ll stop saying ‘so….yeah’ now” try this:
- Simply start noticing when you do this. Don’t try to fix anything right away. Notice when it happens, and WHY. (An example is when I used to talk about my work, I’d use the ‘so…yeah’ qualifier because I feared that the people I was talking to wouldn’t ‘get it’. When I noticed that, I can isolate the incident and find strategies to deal with that instead of thinking I have this big hairy glaring problem)
- Then, identify WHEN it happens. What is triggering it?
- Once you know what the trigger is, you can A) Record your voice and practice ending with power and see what it feels like to not say “so…yeah” and B) Reframe the situation that triggers you. If it’s “I fear people won’t get what I do” you can say “I’m excited to talk about and share what I do even if I’m nervous”. See the difference?
Notice that the PRACTICE combined with the mindset is the winning combination. The mindset eliminates the triggering situation (over time, of course) and practice gets you DOING it so you know what it feels like…you get that small win…and then you want to do it again.
If you try this, let me know how it goes! Improving the presentation of how you sound and your voice is one of those small wins that make a HUGE difference in how people perceive you. It’s the difference between coming across as shy vs. confident, and whether or not people want to keep talking to you.
PS — One last note. I am so grateful for all of you who read my emails, have taken my courses, have worked with me, or even have been sitting behind your computer screen quietly reading for the past few years. Being able to help you with what I love is not what I imagined for myself, and you’ve all made it possible. What would absolutely be the best Christmas (Hanukkah, etc) is to email me and tell me: How has Instantly Irresistible helped you this year? It would make my day to hear.
Have a wonderful holiday season, and I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been cooking up for next year.[ztl_optin slug=”be-magnetic-automation”]