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So, You Call Yourself a Body Language Expert?
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 accurate.....how 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?
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!