IF YOU WANT to learn how to read body language and understand human actions, then this will be the most exciting article you will read today.Did you know that 93% of all communication is non-verbal? If you weren’t born with telepathy, you can still cultivate something very close to it: The ability to read body language. In the blog post “10 Surefire Signs You’re Telepathic,” you learned how sometimes a tingling sensation could be a giveaway for picking up other people’s thoughts.
That’s not all, you might have a number of intuitive hits under your belt that are enough to prove to yourself that you really can read people’s minds. What happens when you’re not so gifted? Don’t fret.
You can still supercharge your super sleuth skills to find out what the other person really means by paying attention to their body language.
Learning How To Read Body Language Uncovers Hidden Secrets
One of the key tips in our article “9 Signs You’re Waking Up” is the ability to wake up and know your neighbor. This means having the ability to read what they are saying, not just listen and accept what has been said.
If you’ve already woken up to the fact that the media lies and that most of what you hear on the news is nonsense, then you’ll know how valuable it is to know when someone is deceiving you and when they are not.
Dr. Albert Mehrabian hypothesized in his book entitled “Silent Messages” that 93% of most communication are non-verbal. That included 55%, that was due to body language, added to another 38%, which had to do with tone instead of words. When more than half the message is being implied in body language, it can be a very good skill to cultivate. Here’s how, by looking for these subtle cues:
1. How To Read Body Language: Fake Smiles
People who want to hide the truth often do it behind a smile. However, it’s actually one of the hardest things to fake a smile because a natural smile creases the corner of the eye in a way that is hard to simulate artificially.
A natural smile creates small crow’s feet on the corner of the eye because a smile is generally conveyed through the eyes, not via the mouth. So, no matter how toothy the grin, if the eyes are blank and lifeless, it’s probably safe to say the smile is being faked.
2. Defensive Postures
Crossed arms and legs can be a clue that the person feels threatened, although it can also mean someone is being polite. In India, it’s normal for people who are attending a meeting to cross their arms in front of them, but it would be seen as a way to create a barrier towards connecting in a more open culture, like the United States.
Some body language is culturally dependent, and you should take that into account when trying to determine what message is actually being relayed.
3. Averted Eyes
Another dead giveaway that someone is not being totally honest is when they avert their eyes from your gaze. However, this too can cause some misunderstanding as more traditional cultures might train people to avert their eyes as a sign of submission to a higher authority. Take into account the context of the situation and the person involved before jumping to conclusions.
Keeping eye contact too long can also be seen as an attempt to thwart the desire to avert the gaze.
4. Awkward Movements
This might be sitting too still for too long or fidgeting when it’s inappropriate. Again, the context is important. Someone who is sitting rigidly in an interview may just be a little uncomfortable due to the power imbalance, but does not necessarily reflect a willingness to deceive. However, someone that is not comfortable in a dating situation, where the power dynamic is more equal, could be saying a lot about what they’re actually feeling.
5. Paired Behaviors
Maybe someone is averting their eyes because they are being respectful, but when it is also paired with fidgeting, then it can be a surefire sign that they are uncomfortable and potentially deceptive. The truth is people who like to lie or deceive others tend to be a little more polished than that, however, and may instead be highly talkative, giving out extra details while they attempt to sway you with too much eye contact, instead of averted eyes. The two behaviors apart might mean nothing, but together, they spell trouble.
6. Feet Direction
Are the feet pointing away from you like the person is trying to make their escape? Maybe, they are. Feet can tell you a lot because it can be hard to control feet fidgeting and the desire to flee. Someone whose feet aren’t pointed directly at you while they’re talking may not be someone who is fully paying attention to what you have to say.
7. Personal Space
Most people will have an auric space around them that they want free of interference and most people will respect that. However, when people become intimate or someone is trying to intimidate you, they often step into that space to make a point. Other body language that deals with personal space is the simple act of listening. People who like what you have to say will often lean into your space to hear more. Those that don’t will literally step away.
To Finish Up
You must practice a lot to Improve Non-Verbal Communication. In the post “3 Essential Recognitions Most People Never Have” you were asked to increase reflection in your life. This advice is also a good exercise to expand with other people’s behaviors and what they mean. The simple act of paying attention in our daily lives can help us overcome a variety of obstacles, including how to spot liars and con artists. Never be oblivious again, by taking the time to learn body language.
Please Share And Discuss
I’d love to know what your thoughts are on how to read body language. Have you tried it? if so, what was the outcome?. Leave a comment below telling me which part of the article inspired, surprised or taught you the most.
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- Dachis, A. Lifehacker (2011) How to Read Body Language to Reveal the Underlying Truth in Almost Any Situation. Retrieved from: http://lifehacker.com/5852572/how-to-read-and-utilize-body-language-to-reveal-the-truth-in-almost-any-situation
- Black (n.d.) How much of communication is really nonverbal? Retrieved from: http://www.nonverbalgroup.com/2011/08/how-much-of-communication-is-really-nonverbal/
- Riggio, R. Psychology Today (2013) 5 Surprising Facts About Body Language. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201312/5-surprising-facts-about-body-language