Body language is the unspoken or non-verbal mode of communication that we use in every single aspect of our interaction with another person. It is like a mirror that tells us what the other person thinks and feels in response to our words or actions. Body language involves gestures, mannerisms, and other bodily signs.
Would you believe that in real life situations, 55% of the messages that we convey to other people are transmitted through body language and the actual verbal communication accounts for the other 45% – 38% in tone of voice and only 7% in the words we use?
Our ability to use body language in a positive way and to read other people’s minds through their body language separates the men from the boys (or women from girls), and can be a powerful tool to our overall personality development. Imagine creating a great impression for work, business, and love by being knowledgeable in this not-so-common yet powerful field of study. It is the unspoken tool to a successful life.
We use body language everyday in our lives to get our message across, to achieve positive feedback in our lives, and to get whatever we want. We use this language all the time, but we may not be aware of it. Moreover, this language doesn’t only involve the mouth but the whole body as well.
Could you even imagine the awesome power of applying it? With it, you’ll be able to interpret other people’s inner emotions even if they’re not directly expressing it. You’ll also be able to modify your behavior to fit the situation. You’ll get them to like and trust you. What words cannot do, body language can.
It is important to know if people are interested in what you are saying; otherwise, you are just wasting your time. You simply could not take the necessary steps to adjust to their learning needs.
Here are some of the movements exhibited by people who are interested in what you are saying:
– They maintain eye contact more than 60% of the time.
– The more wide-opened the eyes are, the more interested the person is. In fact, a person maintains eye contact more when listening than when talking.
– Their heads are inclined forward.
– They are nodding their heads. Such action means that they’re agreeing with you. That means they’re attentive and listening.
– Their feet are pointing towards you. They smile frequently. But take note, not all smiles convey the same feeling. An oblong smile is not genuine. It is used to show courtesy, but not necessarily happiness or friendliness. The lips are withheld completely back from the upper and lower teeth, forming the oblong shape. This is usually the smile that many people exhibit when they feign to enjoy a lame joke.
Indications that they’re more open to agree with you
When you were a young child, have you ever tried to decode what your parents’ facial expressions mean when you ask them to buy you a new toy. As you grow older, it has become a necessity to be able to detect if other people will agree with your decision or proposal. This is an ability that will truly help negotiators, employees, and even lovers to succeed in their ventures because they would be able to change their approach early enough to adjust to a specific situation.
There are certain hints to indicate if people are more receptive in accepting your ideas. Some of these are:
– Their hands are flat on the table. Their palms are open.
– If they’re stroking their chin, they’re thinking. They may agree with you after careful evaluation.
– Their heads are inclined forward.
– They are nodding their heads.
– Their legs are spaced out from each other.
– They smile frequently.
– They unbutton their jackets. This indicates friendliness and willingness to collaborate with you.
– Their hands are open. This also indicates genuineness.
– They place their hands in their chest. This signifies openness and conveys sincerity, honesty, or dedication. However, a woman putting her hands in her breast is a defensive position and may indicate that she is surprised or astonished.
Indications that they are thinking
People think all the time. But different individuals make different body movements based on the type and intensity of their thinking. Some of their actions are written below:
– They’re stroking their chin. This means they are assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal/idea being presented.
– They take their glasses off, after which they may either (1) clean them, or (2) put the tip of the frame in their mouth. They are buying themselves some time to think things over. A frame in the mouth would also likely indicate that they need more details and they are willing to listen.
– They are pinching the bridge of the nose most likely with eyes closed. People doing this are engaged in very deep thought. They may be involved in a difficult situation, where they are aware of the consequences that may occur as a result of making crucial decisions.
– They put a palm below the chin, index finger pointed and extended along the cheek, while other fingers placed beneath the mouth. This gesture more likely indicates thoughts that are criticizing or antagonizing other people.
– They walk with the head down and hands behind the back. People who walk this way are probably worried about their problems, and they are thinking of ways to solve them.
Indications That They Are Action-Oriented
People who are goal-oriented and highly motivated may not only be recognized by how they speak. Their actions actually speak louder.
– They walk at a fast rate while swinging their arms loosely.
-They put their hands on their hips, usually with legs apart.
– They walk with hands on their hips. This may indicate a spurt of vitality at the moment, but may be followed by sluggishness.
Indications That They Are Defensive/Hiding Something
The mouth might keep a secret, but certain gestures could indicate that people are hiding something they don’t want others to find out, such as:
– They walk with their hands in their pockets.
– They cross their arms.
– They hide their hands any way they can.
Indications Of Boredom
Imagine your boss is doing a presentation and all employees are required to listen. You noticed that many of them are clicking their pen, tapping their feet, and drumming their fingers. After the meeting, you hear the boss ask them, “Did you enjoy the presentation?” They would say “Definitely!”
But you know better. Their actions indicate just how bored they are. It feels good to know body language, doesn’t it?
Some signals conveyed by people who are bored and disinterested include:
– Head supported by the palm, often accompanied by drooping eyes.
– They show inattentiveness by staring at a blank space (eyes not blinking) or by looking around frequently.
– They are pulling their ears. This may also signify that they want to interrupt while another person is talking.
– They are clicking a pen non-stop.
– They are tapping their hands or feet.
– They yawn incessantly.
– Their feet or other body parts are pointing to the exit, as if they are very eager to leave.
– They move restlessly in their seats. This could also mean that they are not cozy or at ease, or they might just be exhausted.
– They cross their legs and constantly kick their foot in a very slight motion (particularly done by females).
If you’re the one making the presentation and you discerned that your audience are displaying signs of boredom, don’t start talking faster or louder. Restrain from such act even if your instinct tells you to do so. Instead, say, “Hold on. I feel that I’m losing your attention. What’s up?” Hear what they have to say. You may discover what’s actually preventing them from keeping up with you.
Don’t jump to conclusions!
Every person has a unique body language. Although silence usually denotes that an individual is reserved and relaxed, some people keep their anger within themselves and stay quiet. (This is very unhealthy because rage kept up inside can explode furiously anytime, causing serious casualties). A wide open mouth may indicate shock or astonishment for one person, while another person who performs this gesture could just be concentrating intently on a task he’s doing. Constantly touching the mouth may indicate lying, although the real reason might just be that the mouth is itching.
One way to overcome this dilemma is to watch out for other signals that jive with the body language being exhibited. For example, you can confirm if a person is really nervous if he exhibits many of the qualities of nervousness described above. Judgment based on one or two gestures only may not be accurate enough, although they can be dependable. Be aware of the body language, but also combine your observations with the spoken words to get more hints regarding the inner feelings of another. Use this power to your advantage.