Greensboro -- The holiday season is here and first up is Thanksgiving. The one holiday that tends to lean towards the extended family all getting together at once.
It's also the season of awkward moments. Let's be honest, we don't feel the same about all of our family member and like some more than others. The others, we "tolerate."
What is the best way to get along during those visits so that you don't let relatives get under your skin.
Body language expert, Blanca Cobb explains how you can navigate awkward situations at the dinner table and throughout your holiday weekend.
How do you handle the "monopolizer," that family member who is a talker, who tends to take over conversations by talking louder and by interrupting us.
You close the physical gap by invading the monopolizer's personal space. You want to position yourself within 12 to 18 inches from their shoulder, standing slightly behind them. You want the monopolizer to be able to turn slightly and face you without turning completely around to see you. Then you hook your thumb under your chin while placing your index finger vertically across both of your lips and pucker your lips as if to say "shhh." Next, you tilt your head slightly away from the monopolizer and rotate your face to look directly at the monopolizer with a hard stare.
How do you welcome a new comer (a visitor, new spouse, new dating partner) who is keeping to him or herself. Many times a visitor or a family member who doesn't feel like a part of the family may keep to him or herself.
If the new person is sitting down then you want to sit in front of new person, making sure that your body is lower than his/her body and that you are facing each other. By looking up at someone, you are communicating respect and sensitivity. Periodically, you also want to use open palm gestures with your palms facing up when you talk.
How do you fake interest in someone's story. We all have a family member who exaggerates stories. Or, may be it's someone we really don't like. How do we "fake" interest to not hurt their feelings?
You want to make eye contact. Keep your focus within an Imaginary an upside down triangle where the base of the triangle includes your two eyes and the tip of the triangle is the tip of your nose. You can look at this person anywhere within this triangle. When listening, you want to tilt your head slightly to one side and nod occasionally which sends the message that you are interested.
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