Body Talk - What Are You Saying?
Body language - what are you saying?
Body language is the way communication takes place non verbally. It is the unspoken language of gestures, movements, minute expressions that can last for only 1/5 to 1/125 of a second. Are you paying attention to what you are saying? Are you paying attention to what is being communicated to you?
It has long been known that con artists, gamblers - even victims of abuse have a natural ability to read body language. I have seen statistics that quote that anywhere from 55% to 80% of all communication is non-verbal. It has a much bigger impact on your life than you might realize. Humans send and receive non-verbal cues almost entirely subconsciously. Imagine how you can use this to your advantage if you conscientiously employ this language.
Gamblers are notorious for looking for "tells." They look for smiles, smirks, a grimace. A good poker player will pay attention to facial gestures and body language above and below the table. Don't forget about the nervous patter of the free hand on the lap or the tapping of a foot under the table.
Body language can be useful in detecting lies, flirting, in the workplace, during interviews or knowing when you might be in danger. There are also always exceptions that need to be considered as well. For example, if a person is crossing their arms it indicates an unconscious barrier between themselves and someone else - or it could mean they are cold. I would look for signs to discern the two such as rubbing the arms or goose bumps. Folding arms can also be a sign of insecurity or defensiveness.
Did you really mean to say that?
Are you an open book?
That says it all!
During an interview a method of mirroring could be a skill the interviewer might use. This means they will lean the same way the interviewee is leaning or smile, laugh or adopt their posture. It is a means of making the other person comfortable. Leg crossing can be a sign of resistance. Females often take up smaller amounts of physical space and will sit at a table neatly stacking her things in front of her. They should not do this! It inidicates submission. Ladies spread your things out like the guys do!
Leaning forward when talking to someone means that you like the person. If someone leans away it means they don't like the other person or what is being said.
If two people are photographed together and they are leaning in toward each other - it usually means that they want to be together or are happy together. Using the eyes to gaze upward and downward - flirting. Touching the hair, the wink the slight smile - all flirting.
Another no no in the work place - dressing like a slut. Don't do this ladies. It has been proven that wearing low cut shirts, skirts, lots of make-up or even too much perfume - you won't ever be taken seriously. Also proven is that women who flirt get less of a raise and less negotiating power. The boss will take you out to lunch, pretty ladies, but you will never meet mamma or get that promotion.
Eye contact is also a reference point. Too much eye contact can indicate mistrust. The person can't take their eyes off the speaker because they don't trust them. Anxiety disorders also may cause someone to be unable to hold eye contact. For the most part - a normal person who is relaxed wil maintain good but not constant eye contact. Excessive blinking or lack of blinking also suggests deception.
We all have an imaginary bubble around us. We do not expect others to enter this bubble. When someone does it is space invading - a sign of aggression. If a person pounds on the table, a desk, door or wall they really mean, "this is you that I could be pounding on!"
A completely blank expression during conflict implies hostility.
If someone exposes himself to attack - perhaps holding their arms out and open wide, it is a sign of aggression - they are saying, "take me on - I will win." Levels of aggression tend to be related to gesture sizes. Smaller gestures are less aggressive. Larger gestures show more aggression.
Smirking is interesting - there is only one single meaning and it is contempt.
Smile - but don't smile too much. People won't take you seriously. Especially don't smile when you are giving someone bad news. Incongruence throws people off. So in other words, if your boss is smiling when scolding you - the two messages (good and bad simultaneously) are confusing to the recipient.
If your boss does speak to you in this manner, don't get upset! Don't say a word! You can say so much with just a single gesture!
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