Monday, July 12, 2021

Be Successful at Virtual Dating with Body Language - Tips from a Former FBI Agent



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If you are into your date, mirroring his or her body language shows you are interested, former FBI special agent Joe Navarro explained. Virtual dating is hard. It can seem nearly impossible to make a genuine connection while constrained to the flat rectangle of a video screen, but there is still a lot that people can gather from a person's body language.


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When on a video call, a person's body language changes tremendously compared to in-person interactions, said Joe Navarro, a retired FBI special agent and author of Be Exceptional: Master the Five Traits That Set Extraordinary People Apart.


Body language experts say a clean, well-lit video can help you make a good first impression on your virtual date. 

“People are used to seeing each other in a more nuanced way, such as seeing all of the body including hand movement and changes in skin and lip color. You don't normally focus on those things because they happen naturally, but the absence of that leaves us lacking, however, there are ways to read your date's body language over video call and put your best foot forward for a successful virtual date,” said Navarro.


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Making a Good First Impression 

According to Navarro, one of the first steps to starting a date on a positive note is to show your hands throughout the video call. Humans have a primal necessity to see each other's hands, so include hand gestures when talking.

For a Video Call 

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Navarro recommended bringing your hand motions closer to your body so they appear on the screen and slowing them down so they do not look like a blur. If you are interested in your date, mirroring the person's body language shows that you are interested, Navarro explained. Some common examples of mirroring include sitting in the same way and copying body language like nodding. 

Be genuine and make sure you are interested in the other person instead of being interesting, said Lillian Glass, a body communication and body language expert based in Beverly Hills, California. "This is your chance to be real and not play games and not waste time so that you can find the perfect person who's good for you," she said. It is also important to hold the video call in a well-lit room with a clean background because it allows the other person to see you better, Glass added. If the lighting where you live is not the best, she recommended investing in a ring light or other portable lighting device.


Signs Your Date Likes You 


You can read your date's body language to decipher if he or she is interested in you, Navarro said. According to Navarro, someone who is entranced by another person will tilt his or her head toward him or her. "We only expose our necks to people we're really comfortable with," he said. 

Some people may lean their whole bodies toward the camera, Glass said. Frequent and lasting smiles also show your date is off to a good start, she said. 

People who are interested in each other are more likely to preen, according to Navarro. Preening behaviors include fixing your appearance like touching your hair and straightening out your clothes.


Signs Your Date is Not That into You  


Not all virtual meet-ups end with your date falling madly in love with you and that is all right. One sign a person is not feeling the love is if he furrows the glabella (the spot between the eyebrows) more, Navarro said. "This will happen, especially if the other person is saying something that's really dumb or stupid that's not attractive to you," he said. 


Your date also might not be attracted to you if you see she is pulling away from the camera, or if she is moving a lot, Glass said. If your date is looking away frequently or appears distracted, that is another warning sign, she stressed. “Over a video call, people should take reading eye contact with a grain of salt, because it is normal for people not to know where to look or to look away periodically,” said Glass.


Navarro said, “Some people may also have more tension in their lips and even shift their jaw if they are not interested in the other person.” 


Red Flags to Look Out For  


There is no single behavior indicative of deception, said Navarro. Some behaviors indicate stress and anxiety. That can leave hints about whether your date is being truthful or not. When bothered, people often touch the suprasternal notch, the little notch above the sternum, he noted. When a woman is bothered by something, her hands move up there, and if a man is bothered, he tends to grab his neck, according to Navarro. "If I was asking somebody 'Are you dating somebody at the moment?' and they're touching this area, I'd have to wonder why," he said. 


Fidgeting can also be a sign someone is not being honest, said Glass. "If they go on and on and they go off on a tangent, that may give you a red flag as to whether or not they're telling you the truth," she added.

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