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Body Language Basics

From a flip of the hair to hands on your hips, how you move, gesture, and make expressions can say as much as what comes out of your mouth.

Body Language Put to the Test continued...

First dates. First dates are laden with body language signs that can help you gauge whether or not a person is interested.

"Men tend to talk a lot on first dates when they're interested in a woman," says Wood. "If you're interested back, make eye contact and listen."

If either person isn't interested, and looks around the room and avoids eye contact, that's a sign that a second date isn't likely.

Other first-date tips?

"When men touch a woman on the small of her back to walk her through a door, that's a sign of confidence and interest," says Wood.

For women, it's the length of their touch that measures their interest. While short, less-than-a-second touches are appropriate, touches that are too long could convey an intimate meaning.

Job interviews. First and foremost, don't sit down while you wait for your interviewer to come and greet you; it puts you in an awkward position where you have to stand and gather yourself and your belongings in an odd sort of shuffle.

"Instead, stand and wait, or sit on the arm of a chair," says Wood. "And when your interviewer arrives, make eye contact, raise your eyebrows slightly in acknowledgement, smile, and then shake hands."

During the interview, she suggests you make eye contact when listening to show your interest, but don't stare. Sit up in your chair instead of slouching, and when you're done, leave strong by giving a good, palm-to-palm handshake.

Dinner with the in-laws. "One of the most important body language signs you should convey during your first encounter with your partner's parents is eye contact with your partner," says Wood.

Your partner's parents want to know that you are interested in and care for their child. The best way you can tell them that you are "the one" is to look at your partner with love and affection.

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Reviewed on December 19, 2007

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