8 Body Language Mistakes you Might Be Making due to your Chronic Illness & How to Fix Them
Body language is visual communication that expresses negative and positive information but is often overlooked. We all use body language in our social lives and in a business environment communication is important to help you subconsciously and consciously get your dream job or make new friends. However, with an invisible illness I must be more conscious of my body language – as it is not always conveying the right message.
May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness month, so I wanted to create a post based on the condition…
This post will reveal how living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome causes me negative body language and some simple tips I have used to overcome them – which I hope can be beneficial to you to.
The Links Between Chronic Illness and Body Language
- Holding objects tightly – portrays uneasiness to share and a negative attitude.
- Weak handshake – represents anxiety and a lack of confidence.
- Slumping and poor posture – communicates a lack of confidence or boredom.
- Repetitive movements – portrays you are bored or like to be in control of the situation.
- Folding your arms and legs – communicates defensiveness and someone is uncomfortable.
- Lack of eye contact – communicates rudeness and hinders trust being formed.
- Touching your face – portrays you are being deceptive
- Putting your hands in your pockets – represents you are unsatisfied with how your appearance
You know might be wondering how does my illness cause me to do all these things?
Slumping and poor posture
Holding Objects Tightly
These four things above are due to my weak joints. I frequently stand in awkward positions to relieve pressure off my joints. When my head becomes too heavy for my neck, so I will rest my head to the side, no matter where I am… and holding objects tightly and repetitive movements are to test I am strong enough to carry the weight of the objects.
Lack of eye contact
Due to not being blessed being with height (5ft 1) I must look up at most people when I am talking to them. The problem with this is that it means I am also looking at direct sunlight, which is not ideal when you have photosensitivity to light.
Folding your arms and legs
I often fold and uncross my arms to relieve the tension in my shoulders because I spend a lot of time typing on my placement at work. I also cross my legs a lot to minimise hip pain.
Putting your hands in your pockets
I will my hands in my pockets when I hard to regulate my body temperature to try and warm up.
Touching your face
Eating and drinking foods can cause my flares up on my skin. So, I often to touch my face to check that I do not have swelling.
Tips to Overcome Negative Body Language
Weak handshake, holding objects tightly, repetitive movements – Buy wrist support braces, buy a hand exerciser, practice holding objects more in your private down time.
Slumping and poor posture – Buy medical ankle / knees, neck braces, lose weight, start physiotherapy.
Lack of eye contact – Ask people to sit down when talking to them, ask for the lights to be dimmed.
Touching your face – Cleanse and moisturise your face daily and look in the mirror less.
Folding your arms – Buy ergonomic equipment to help you work comfortably. You can buy ergonomic keyboards, chairs, leg rests & more.
Putting your hands in your pockets – Keep wheat bags handy, buy gloves, or wear more layers
I hope you have found this post useful , even if you don’t have a chronic illness.
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I would love if you shared my post to help those minimise negative body language.
Have your Say
What are your negative body language habits and how do you overcome them?
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