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So, You Call Yourself a Body Language Expert?

Updated on August 30, 2016
fpherj48 profile image

Paula has freelanced for nearly 40 years. She has a passion for her forte of Behavioral Science & continuing education in this field.

There's Help for that

In this day and age, there is no longer reason to suffer alone nor in silence. Regardless of the issues we may be faced with, there is a person or group who has a sure-fire method to handle and rise above any problem. Ask the question and there are answers. Bring on the issue and solutions abound.

Needless to say, there is an expert waiting in the wings, willing and ready to come to your rescue. "Expert," is one of those words that often rubs me the wrong way. I'll explain this a bit later. On the other hand, I may not need to.

Like many Americans these days, working our fingers to the bone, I've little time for television. However now and then when my day has come to an end, I can kick back, relax a bit and be entertained by the idiot box.

Often I will come upon a program that appears interesting and might just have some educational value. More often than not it's a type of news/talk show. One evening in particular, the host of a program was about to interview a body language expert who would offer expert advice to a perceived-as-non-expert-audience.

I'm fairly sure we all understand what is meant by body language and have paid attention to it in conversation or perhaps used it to get a point across.. It's just not rocket science nor does it seem necessary to establish a School of Higher Learning to analyze it.

According to this particular body language expert after having viewed a video of a suspect being questioned by police, in her expert opinion, the suspect was highly deceitful. Amazingly, she went on to explain her findings based on the brief video she watched.

What jumped out at me clearly, was the fact that this particular (self-proclaimed) expert saw nothing in the subjects' body language that any one viewing could not have been aware of or may not have formed a very similar opinion.

I'm confident anyone with eyes, ears and a functional brain is aware that avoiding eye contact, fidgeting in one's seat and either talking too much or not enough, could very well denote deception. Frankly, to arrive at this opinion is unimpressive and needless to note, does not require an expert. Agree, so far?

Having said this, are we all missing out on raking in the bucks, posing as an expert in the world of human behavior? Or perhaps sharing our finely-tuned talent with those unaware they could sharpen their own skills to succeed in doing what they pay us to do?

Getting back to body language translation. Tearing this alleged expertise apart, segment by segment, I have come away not only skeptical, but ready with numerous comments that you may easily filter through your own thought process.

What I feel is so vital to explore/question, is the blatant grouping-together of human beings in the same light. We need no genius to know that each and every individual is unique in numerous ways......the obvious, as well as that which calls for exposure. How could you decide to take even two individuals, completely different from one another, and determine his or her degree of deception under similar circumstances, by their "body language?" Think about that.

I am not willing to accept that all people, or for that matter, even the majority will display identical behavior.....movements, quirks, voice level, or reactions to a given situation or period of questioning. In other words, your basic demeanor may be that of a hyper/nervous-type individual, while subject #2 is a very laid back, calm, cool guy, ruffled by very little. How does our expert use a stock, policy-approved line of questioning, with both of these people.....and determine via "body language," who is being truthful and who is not? More importantly, if an expert opinion is accepted as did they get there?

The reality is, I say it's merely a game, a guessing game at best, a game of trickery, at it's worse. Yet, the experts scream, "Not so," and continue to figure out the intention, validity, sincerity, and level of deception of another human being, by using some secret formula or script.

I'm not buying it. Not only for the reasons I've presented here, but throughout my 40 year extensive investigation of human behavior, I have seen egregious failure in these experts.

It may be helpful to some degree, to have a number of opinions from a few individuals who have had years of experience in terms of questioning and or interviewing a variety of personalities. It is reasonable to expect that some will pick up on particular movements and attitudes, that more often than not, lean heavily toward the art of deceit. And if you've ever known a pathological liar, you agree it is an art form. The infamous Casey Anthony and more recently Jodi Arias, come to mind immediately.

I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb supposing that as you read this, you're believing that you yourself are pretty talented at reading people, so to speak. Don't those red flags pop up as you listen to some guy tell you what amounts to incredible nonsense? Seriously my friend, between you and me....just how difficult is it to smell a rat, when you hear one? If I had to vote on which I prefer to sniff out a line of "bull," I'd go for the individual with sensitive inner radar as opposed to someone reading from a text book! Agree?

Make yourself comfortable
Make yourself comfortable
Welcome to my home
Welcome to my home

Massive Takeover: REALITY TV. Let's look at another type of EXPERT.

The reality of your choice can be found on numerous TV stations, any night of the week. "Hoarders, Buried Alive," is one that I tripped over one evening (pun intended). You may have seen an episode or two. This program is far beyond the absorption power of the mind. What I mean by that is, you cannot believe your eyes. Seriously, you find it very difficult to imagine what you're seeing, really happens in homes across America.

Not to despair....the Professional Organizers are on their way. Call me a cynic, or worse. You won't hurt my feelings. The outrageous hoarding disasters shown on this TV program will not garner an ounce of Political Correctness from me.

As a matter of fact, I need to make it clear that my unprofessional solution for most of these incredible situations on "Hoarders" would be a bulldozer and a fleet of refuse-removal vehicles. OK? I'm just sayin..... Involving professional organizers in cases of massive, total neglect and mountains of junk and garbage collected over decades, seems to me a bit like a band-aid on a punctured aorta.

When I think of a professional organizer, I picture a properly dressed, well-spoken young lady with a clipboard, strolling throughout an office building suggesting the most attractive yet cost-effective way to create an efficient work environment. I just don't see her in hip boots and face mask, shoveling her way through a garbage heap in someone's home.

Ah yes, professionals and experts abound. I ask you, "What would we do without them?" It's truly frightening and perhaps a bit sad to think we may need to use our own intelligence and common sense. I mean, what has this world come to?

Please understand, I am not suggesting that numerous serious human issues do not often require professional attention. Of course many do and we're fortunate to have them to our avail. I hope you can see that I'm referring to what appears to be a sense of hopelessness and dependency within situations that require a measure of simple common sense and the willingness of normal people to take charge. With a bit of help and support from well-meaning friends and family, this can go a long way to alleviating a sense of such helplessness by some poor soul feeling so overwhelmed.

Obviously if this kind of assistance isn't readily available, then surely the experts must be called in to the rescue. We need to give credit where due and these particular professionals take their knowledge and talents very seriously. They are most definitely necessary in the case of possible mental issues being involved within the problem.

Suffice it to understand, there are situations and circumstances when a well-trained expert is not only a reasonable suggestion, but clearly necessary. A concerned effort and adequate investigation of what appears to be most needed to solve a specific problem, can easily be determined.

We can all claim to be "Experts?"

The point I would like to drive home is that most of us are not as helpless as we might be convinced we are! It's just that there are all these clever individuals who want us to believe that without their expertise, we are doomed. Nonsense, I say.

Of course, it may be quite beneficial in certain circumstances to have an opinion or suggestion from others. This is why we are inclined to seek advice and have helpful exchange with family and friends. The fact is, we've all found ourselves dealing with concerns and confusion. Just save your money. We have healthy, creative minds and if all of our faculties are in tact, the best person to truly solve our problems is US! Step up to the plate. Put aside all forms of denial, roll up your sleeves and get to work! You can do it. You are an expert!

View this short video. Honestly determine whether you believe the entire concept, part of it or none at all.


Submit a Comment

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 16 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I still want to know how that big empty space appeared in the middle of my page. Someone please rescue me. An EXPERT please! LOL

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Linda &


    Hi Ladies! Sunshine, thanks for "sharing." I have no doubt you are an expert when it comes to gorgeous, sexy men!! :) I love checking out these Stud Muffins!......

    Suzette.....What you say, is true. For me, it has a lot to do with whose opinions I really respect and how much I know about their background of expertise.......Do either of you ladies know why I have a BIG empty space in the middle of my hub? Help!

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

    I think 'expert' is in the eye of the beholder. Between television and the internet we are bombarded by 'experts.' Yes, the examples you give are excellent - any average, normal (?) person can be an 'expert' in the area of body language (we have been doing that for all our lives - I'm a teacher) and hoarding (my mother is one) so I challenge any 'expert' in these two areas. I think today, with the bombardment of 24/7 TV and internet we have to evaluate who we think are experts and who are not. Again, like beauty, 'experts' are in the eye of the beholder.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I'd like to think I'm a body language expert...especially when it comes to Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Johnny Depp :)

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks Tammy....that always what is going on in my mind when I see this crazy stuff on TV......Is like.....WHAT are these people thinking??? What's WRONG with them?

    Another human being has to come in and EXPLAIN that something is wrong here? It really takes an expert in something or a professional to help you see and understand you're living in filth and massive clutter and raw sewage and cat crap and have nowhere to sleep or eat or bathe???!! Yeah, OK.....I get it. I can see where this might just go unnoticed by you......I understand why it takes friends and family and psychologists and organizers for you to be motivated TO CLEAN YOUR FRIGGAN ENVIRONMENT UP!!!! Hello?

    And WHO the hell can't read and interpret Body language?? Do these experts think they have the market cornered on brains, common sense and awareness?

    Ah...excuse me Mr. "Expert" but do you think most average people can't tell that when someone is scowling at you, gritting their teeth and cracking their knuckles and turning all red.....that he's about to break your nose?? I suppose we should get your expert opinion on body language real quick like, just to be sure??? Please!!

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. I started watching hoarders and it makes me feel like a domestic goddess. Just this week though they had an episode on and the family was living in a home so bad it was full of septic waste. They didn't consider moving or cleaning till the "expert" came in. I couldn't finish watching it. I think the spouses that tolerate that are just as sick as the spouse collecting the stuff. And.. they fight the experts who try to convince them to change.. OYE! I am not a fan of reality tv but I must say I do like Dr. Phil. This is a great common sense hub and I think everyone should read it!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Well, now I have to confess yet another of my STRANGE behaviors....Due to HABIT, stemming from my days of "raising children," I cannot fall asleep without a TV going. Before you think I'm crazy (well, OK, I am a little) but for a long time I worked 2 jobs...would come home around 9 or 10 pm...having had no contact with what went on in the world while I was busily supporting children. So I would prepare for bed & get comfy with some news on. This would obviously LULL me to sleep and I did it habitually. So, this is when I watch TV now, as well. I get in bed, turn it on, set the timer....and I'm all set. AGREED!! Hoarders drives me nuts. I want to SLAP those people! Hey! Wake up! Take a look around buddy...what the HELL are you thinking?? LOL

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Effer - fun read for sure! I can't even stand that hoarder show - can't watch it - bothers my stomach. I keep thinking about all that mess! EWWWW!

    I don't watch that much television...during the day i leave cartoons on for my parrots:) lol They don't need to pick up any language other than PG:)

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Sharyn..........I DO feel better. I'm very adept at "purging" CRAP that annoys me! Isn't it fun and liberating?? This is why women don't commit as many murders as men!! lol

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    Hi Paula,

    I certainly hope that you are feeling better for getting all this crap out and onto the keyboard. I totally agree with your expertise. And, uh, stopping watching TV.


  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jaye..Yes, in most cases the truth NEEDS to be funny, or we'd all be crying, non-stop. What seriously gnaws at my last nerve is the insistence of "experts" that whatever the issue, it is a "DISEASE." Before the birth of "political correctness" at all cost....I seem to recall 90% of these current illnesses were referred to as...Laziness, slovenliness, lack of self-control, immorality, & selfishness, with a dash of ignorance thrown in. Go figure.

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Loved the hub, especially the description, "...a bit like a bandaid on a punctured aorta."

    Too many experts are self-appointed with no credentials other than their own egos. Common sense is a mostly undervalued commodity these days.

    As for reality shows, I will NEVER be that desperate for entertainment. I sincerely doubt I could be entertained by the sight of a professional (or otherwise) organizer wearing a face mask and rooting through decades-old garbage. Nauseated, perhaps....

    Terrific hub--humorous, but the chuckles are surrounded by lots of truth.


  • mandymoreno81 profile image

    mandymoreno81 5 years ago

    Sometimes I think it's ridiculous that we have experts on what seems like a lot of common sense things. I think it has to do with the specialization of jobs in society and finding the best way to handle things. In this case, a body language expert could help you portray yourself favorably in a job interview etc.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you so much, andersonmoore. It's good to hear from you and I hope you stop by again. Good luck to you in your hub-sharing!

  • andersonmoore profile image

    andersonmoore 5 years ago from USA

    I would be very thankful if you continue with quality what you are serving right now with your blog...I really enjoyed it...and i really appreciate to you for this...

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Dzy...Hi there! Good to hear from you again! No perfection? Oh darn, and I was hoping to find an expert to tell me I'm perfect!!

    vocalcoach...Funny you should say many people have that same sensitive nerve! We are in the age of Reality and Experts? Fortunately, not dumb enough to fall for any of it! lol So glad you stopped by...appreciate your input! Peace.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    Oh boy - did you hit a nerve with me! Reality shows are at the bottom of the barrel as far as I'm concerned. And there are so many of the darned things. And your bit about experts is wonderful. So glad I came across your hub. You can bet that I will be visiting you regularly.

    Voted UP!


  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    What can I say but, "Uh-huh!" Agreed--these stupid so-called "reality" TV shows are about THE dumbest concept since, well, since dumb was invented! They make those for one reason only: they are CHEAP to produce because they don't have to pay actors!

    And "experts!" Pfffttt!! They are selling a bill of goods, tricking us into the false promise of perfection (as defined in THEIR terms). As if anyone is better than anyone else--hello--looking for perfection? You're on the wrong planet.

    Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Frank I would NEVER lie to you, my friend!! I appreciate you stopping by!! Thanks for the comment. I can't see your face, but I hope you're smiling!!

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

    What a good Hub.. there was a television show that sparked court interest on reading facial expressions.. I think it was called Lie to Me.. I do forget.. but this was a good Hub :)

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jeannie....Well, you never heard of them before because before there were "experts," there was just your average, basic individual having the eyes, ears and common sense to be able to read most body language on their doesn't TAKE an expert....just as you seemed to pick up on while watching the "cat behavior expert!" lol...I too am sure you could do that job!! All any of us need to do is call ourselves an EXPERT!! This was somewhat my point in writing the hub. Thanks so much Jeannie....your comment is appreciated!!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Cogerson....I'm always pleased when you stop by. I follow some of the "professional" explanations pertainng to hoarding...really, I can understand what you are suggesting. I'm guessing you never saw the program? You see, my question would be, what can empty boxes, 2 year old spoiled food, mile-high stacks of papers and magazines, 52 cats and litter boxes, crushed paper cups and 200 empty pop cans, your living room, bed rooms and kitchen be "memories" of that you just can't let them go?? lol. I'll tell you that after the first time I saw this show...I tore into every closet, cupboard, cabinet and drawer in my house. I wasn't taking any chances!!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is a great hub. I've never even heard of a Body Language Expert before, but I am willing to bet I could be one. I saw a show with a Cat Behavior Expert one time and I don't even own a cat, but I was pretty sure I could do that job, too. Awesome hub and voted up!

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

    A very interesting hub that I enjoyed reading...awesome job fpher48. Luckily I have never had to deal with anybody that is suffering from "hoarding disease"...but ususally people that suffer from that are trying to hold on to memories of their past....and they feel if they are let something leave they will never remember the memories ever again.

    Funny comment can not enjoy all those channels if you can not get the remote to work...

    I am voted this hub up and interesting....from one expert to another

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Sunshine......thanks for your kind remarks as always.....back here in the "boondocks" we're just catching up with the rest of the world...I actually have an Uncle who was still using "rabbit ears" last I heard. How can there be 800 channels??

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Actually I consider myself a professional expert on excellent hubs and I give this one a thumbs up (picture my body language). UGH to reality TV! Enough said there. 80 channels?!? We have over 800 channels and the best part is it's free since my son-in-law works for the cable company. I would possibly watch more if I knew how to use the remote control, but I have zero tolerance with it. I still mostly watch the 3 channels your parents watched plus CNN and HLN. I'm rambling, ain't I? Superb hub, I understand where you are coming from Paula!:)

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