80 - 93% of everything we communicate is non verbal.
Non verbal isn't just what your physiology is doing, for example crossing legs and crossing arms - because this could relate to being cold and needing to pee - but non verbal is things like changes in the vocal variety and voice tones, changes in skin colour of your face, your rate of breathing, the direction you focus your eyes - the small things that your subconscious picks up on when you are talking to someone.
Why does it matter? Well I've been getting some feedback about my communication skills and it turns out that the non-verbal stuff is what people remember, even though it may not be so obvious. Best to ensure your non verbal matches your verbal for success!
To improve the match motivational speaker Amanda Gore has a few great suggestions. One is changing the physiology of how your body responds to a given situation.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation which has a bit of an "OH NO" attached, try saying "THAT'S INTERESTING" instead. This way you stop your body from releasing adrenaline that help you run away and escape the situation and instead gets your body curious about what's happening and so more open to whatever communication occurs.
Every human on the planet has the same 6 basic needs:
In all dealings consider whether your communication, verbal and non verbal is meeting those needs. When the first 4 of these needs are met the communication and the relationship will continue to grow taking it to a place of growth and contribution. Where these needs to do not get met, the individual will move on and keep looking.
So as you encounter new and old friends and acquaintances, business associates and clients, family and even just the man passing in the street, if you feel an "OH NO" creeping in, take a deep breath and open yourself up to something new. Uncertain of the outcome, you can be certain that by making a significant connection with this person you create an opportunity for growth and contribution for you both.