This article written by Bud Smith tells you how to make body language work for you. Keep in mind that these are subtle yet strong indicators. So the next time you are conversing with your colleagues....not only observe them but also try and conscientiously improve on your body language.
Body language is fascinating. People rarely recognize how much information they give off and how noticeable it is to the human eye. Even to the untrained human eye. It is said that no less that 50 percent of information on a person's character, impact and credibility is conveyed through no verbal communication.
The following is a list of some common body postures and states the persons position.
- Arms crossed: Defensive and cautious.
- Resting chin on palm: Critical, cynical and negative towards the other person.
- Dropping eyeglasses onto the lower bridge of the nose and peering over them: Causes negative reactions in others.
- Slowly and deliberately taking off glasses and carefully cleaning the lens: The person wants to pause and think before raising opposition or asking for clarification.
- Pinching bridge of the nose: Communicates great thought and concern.
- Nose-rubbing or nose-touching: A sign of doubt, it often reveals a negative reaction.
- Rubbing around ears: Performed while weighing an answer, commonly coupled with 'well, I don't know'.
- Resting feet on a desk or chair: Gestures of territorial hegemony.
- Swaying back: Weak ego.
- Retracted shoulders: Suppressed anger.
- Direct Eye Contact: Interested, likes you
- Smiling Eyes: Is comfortable
- Relaxed Brow: Comfortable
- Limited or No Eye Contact : Lying, uninterested, too confined, uncomfortable, distracted
- Tension in Brow : Confusion, tension, fear
- Shoulders hunched forward : Lacking interest or feeling inferior
- Rigid Body Posture : Anxious, uptight
- Crossed arms : Can be just cold, protecting the body, or defensive
Tapping Fingers : Agitated, anxious, bored
- Fidgeting with hands or objects (i.e., pen) : Bored or has something to say
- Leaning forward : Interested
- Fingers Interlocked placed behind the head leaving elbows open and armpits exposed : Very open to ideas, comfortable
- Mirroring you : Likes you and wants to be friendly
- Still : More interested in what you are saying than anything
- Eyes open slightly more than usual: Gives people the impression that they are welcome.
- Breath faster: Nervous or angry
- Inhaling loudly and shortly: Wants to interrupt a speaking person
- Loud sigh: Understand the thing that is being told.
- Twisting the feet continuously : A person is nervous or concerned, but can also mean that a person is stressed or angry and that he don't want to show that to everybody.
- Legs wide apart or Sitting straddle-legged: Shows that a person is feeling safe, and is self - confident. Can also show leadership.
- A big smile that goes on longer and disappears slower.: Unreal or fake smile
- Crossed legs with highest foot in the direction of the speaker.: Relaxed and self-confident and they are listening very carefully.
- Rapidly nodding your head : Shows impatient and eager to add something to the conversation
- Slowly nodding: Shows interest and that they are validating the comments of the interviewer, and this subtly encourages him to continue.
- Dangling the loose shoe from the toes : Signals physical attraction
- Rubbing your collar: Nerves
- Adjusting your tie: Insecurity
- Pressed Lips: Pressed lips convey disagreement and disapproval. It communicates a desire to end the discussion. A raised chin implies aggression that may be acted on if the conversation is not ended.
- Pursed Lips: This is also a sign of disapproval. It indicates that the person has fixed views that cannot be changed. This usually reveals an arrogant and superficial character.
- Biting the Lips: The person expresses embarrassment when he bites his lips. He also communicates a lack of self-confidence.
Reading Hand Signals
People have been granted with two hands: the left and the right hand. The left has been dubbed as the "emotional hand" since an imaginary line can be drawn from the third finger leading directly to the heart. This is why the wedding ring is placed on this finger. The right hand, literally on the other hand. has been named the "proper hand" since it is with this hand that people communicate a blocking or stopping signal.
- Open Hands: Open hands may be demonstrated by showing the palm of one's hand, especially in a conversation or an argument.. This expresses a trust in other and an interest in their opinions. It also offers an opinion and invites the sharing of the other person's view.
- Covered Hands: This is expressed by raising the back of one or both hands against others. This indicates the setting up of barriers or the keeping of distance. It is an act of concealing feelings and covering insecurity
- Clinging Hands: Those who cling to objects, such as handbags. files or tables. show a need for support. This action conveys confusion or insecurity. It expresses fear and difficulty in coping with the current situation.
- Twisted Hands ( crossing both hands then clasping the palms together) : Expression of a complex personality. It may indicate a difficult emotional life. The way the palms are held together conveys a need to hide something.
- Clasping the hands : indicates defence.
- Shrugged shoulders: You can recognize stressed shoulders by the fact that they are a bit shrugged, which does make the head look smaller. The meaning of the signal comes from crouching in dangerous situations.The meaning of this posing depends on the combination. In combination with big eyes it means that someone is concerned about something that is going to happen. In combination with a face that is turned away it means that the person wants to be left alone. An introvert person has nearly always those stressed shoulders.
- Difference in level of both shoulders: By most of the people the left and the right shoulder are of the same height. When they are not, it often means that someone is doubting about what he is going to do. With this movement we simulate (unconscious) that we are weighing the possibilities. Sometimes when someone makes this movement, his head will move a little like he is looking above.
- Crossed arms: There are a lot of different explanations of the meaning of crossed arms. When someone has crossed arms and he is shaking his head it means that he does not agree with you. But he can also cross his arms when he is frightened, then his arms give him some protection. Another option is that he is feeling cold and he is trying to hold his body-warmth with him. When someone is sitting in a chair with his arms crossed, it indicates that the person is relaxed.
- Making a fist from your hands: A fist is a sign for aggression. It comes from hitting someone. But it is seldom used with a threatening meaning. Most of the time it is used to indicate that you are angry or irritated.
- Holding the hand before the mouth: Holding a hand before your mouth means that you are hiding something. In western countries it is impolite to belch or to hiccup. So someone can hold his hand before his mouth to hide that he is hiccuping. When someone puts his hand before his mouth when he is talking it indicates that he is saying something or has said something that he did not want to say.
- Making the eyes look larger: The meaning of making the eyes look larger can be that someone is astonished. In that case he opens his mouth a little. It can also mean that he is happy or that he likes the thing that is talked about. And because it means that you like something, you can use it on purpose. It pleases people when you have your eyes opened a bit further.
- When people open their eyes a bit further it can also mean that they are unhappily surprised. Then they will frown their eyebrows.
- Raising the eyebrows: Raising the eyebrows shortly means that people are surprised. They raise their eyebrows to allow them to look better. But it can also mean that somebody is looking at you, and that he likes you.
- Raised forehead: A raised forehead often means that someone is remembering something he has seen. This often happens very quickly. It can also be a sign of a certain emotion. It is a biological reflex that you raise your forehead a little when you are crying so the tears can move easier.
- Pursed lips: When somebody purses his lips it means that he has to make a decision and is thinking about that. Sometimes he also moves his lips, like he is saying the possibilities. When somebody purses his lips, he often looks a bit upward.
- Firm Handshake: The strong, firm handshake usually is given by a person who is sure and confident of themselves.
- Weak hand shake: People who give these types of handshakes are either nervous, shy, insecure, or afraid of interaction with other people.
- Cleared your throat: Nervousness.
- Bitten your fingernails: Nervousness.
- Wring your hands: Nervousness.
- Paced the floor: Nervousness.
- A person is bouncing their legs and their arms are crossed over or their torso is slumped: Closed off
Written by Bud Smith, a co-webmaster of http://www.infoweb.co.nz/. Infoweb is the place to go for information on musical instruments and creating websites.