Body Talk

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“Where body language conflicts with the words that are being said, the body language will usually be the more ‘truthful’ in the sense of revealing true feelings.”
Glen Wilson

Noticing the signals that people send out with their body language is a vital skill. Some of us can read it naturally and some of us are notoriously oblivious. Fortunately, with a little extra attentiveness, we can learn to read body language, and with enough practice it can become second nature.

Watch their head position;

Tilted heads mean that they are confused or challenging you, depending on their eye, eyebrow, and mouth gestures.

Lowered heads indicate a reason to hide something. Take note if someone lowers their head. If it is when he is complimented, he may be shy, ashamed, timid, keeping distance from the other person, in disbelief, or thinking to himself or herself.

Mirroring you.
If someone mimics your body language this is a very genuine sign that they are trying to establish rapport with you. Try changing your body position here and there. If you find that they change theirs similarly, they are mirroring.

Check their arms;

People with crossed arms are closing themselves off to social influence. Though some people just cross their arms as a habit, it may indicate that the person is (slightly) reserved, uncomfortable with their appearance (self-conscious and trying to cover it), or just trying to hide something on their shirt!

If they are rubbing their hands together or somehow touching their own body, they might be comforting themselves (which means they are not enjoying the current situation).

If someone rests their arms behind their neck or head, they are open to what is being discussed or just laid back in general.

If their hands are on their hips, they might be defensive, impatient or just tired.

If their hands are closed or clenched, they may be irritated, angry, or nervous.

Watch their feet:

Feet tapping can usually be discerned depending on the context; if you are currently talking and they are tapping their feet, that is an indication of a desire to leave. Slow shuffling indicates boredom with the current situation.

If the person is sitting, feet crossed at the ankles means they are generally at ease.

It is easy to spot a confident person: they will make prolonged eye contact and have a strong posture. They may also sit or stand very correct.

When a person often tap their fingers on something it is usually a sign of excitement or impatience.

Watch your own body language, see what message you are giving off…..The body never lies!

‘Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words. ‘
Deborah Bull

 

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