When we want to be able to properly read and examine anyone’s motives and actions, we tend to analyze their body language. We all do it from day to day – on everything we do. Some people place their hands in their pockets when they are nervous. Some people fidget and tap their foot. Some people bite their nails and suck on their thumb when they are anxious. Body language is essentially all the nonverbal signs we use to communicate. They make up a huge part of the communication process that we are a part of as human beings. It is actually the things we do not say that convey the biggest messages. Verbal and oral communication represents 50% of our communication. Body language and expressions make up the other half.

The eyes are constantly referred to as the windows to our soul – and for good reason. When we communicate, we look towards the face. Eye movements are natural and important to examining motive. Check their eye gaze. When someone has a direct eye gaze, this means that they are interested and paying attention. We all have experienced longer eye gazing. This can come off as threatening or intimidating. Constantly gazing away or avoiding eye contact can mean that the person is uncomfortable or trying to conceal a certain emotion or feeling. When a person blinks too much, they may be under extreme distress or simply uncomfortable. A lack of blinking is more often than not, intentional. This probably means that they are purposely trying to change their body language to conceal a fact or emotion. Like a poker face.

The mouth is just as important in reading body language. Watch for the bottom lip. Although a smile may come off as genuine, we all know about the possibility of fake smiles! Lip biting is often a sign of being worried or stressed. Pursed lips might be an indicator of disapproval or distrust. Completely covering the mouth is usually elicited when there is a strong emotional reaction such as experiencing a shocking scene in a movie or hearing the unfortunate news of a loved one passing away.

Gestures are also tell-tell signs of emotions and body language. As adults, we have figured most of these by now. The thumbs up or down can be signs of approval or disapproval worldwide. A clenched fist is often associated with anger or attempting to hold an emotion back. The “okay” gesture is also accepted wherever you go. Crossed arms are usually done on people who are closed-off or defiant. Think about when you were a kid. You most likely crossed your arms too when your parents did not give you that toy! Crossed legs is usually done to elicit a sense of ease and calmness.

Last but not least, we have posture. How we hold out bodies can give off an overall physical feeling from an individual. Sitting up straight, for example, usually indicates that a person is paying attention or focused. Slouching or hunching forward is usually a sign of feeling bored or indifferent. Having open posture involves keeping the majority of your body open and exposed to indicate friendliness and openness. Closed postures is the exact opposite and can be an indicator of hostility and unfriendliness.

Body language is a great way to communicate without using our words. Learning to read anyone’s body language is a great tool to have in your asset! By mastering even the most basic signals, you will be one step ahead of the competition!

 

References:

https://www.verywellmind.com/understand-body-language-and-facial-expressions-4147228

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/body-language/

https://fremont.edu/how-to-read-body-language-revealing-the-secrets-behind-common-nonverbal-cues/

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Tina Werner

Health Coach

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