How to Read Body Language

Body language provides an incredible amount of information on what other people think if you know what to look for. And who didn’t want to read people’s minds at some point?

How to Read Body Language

8 Ways to Read Someone’s Body Language

You have already received more body language cues than you know. UCLA research has shown that only 7% of communication is based on the real words we speak. For the rest, 38% come from the tone of voice and the remaining 55% come from body language. Learn to become aware and to interpret that 55% can help you with other people.

When you work hard and do everything you can to achieve your goals, anything that can give you an edge is powerful and simplifies your path to success.

1. Crossed arms and legs signal resistance to your ideas.

Arms and crossed legs are physical barriers that suggest that the other person is not open to what you are saying. Although they smile and participate in a pleasant conversation, their body language tells the story. Gerard I. Nierenberg and Henry H. Calero filmed more than 2000 negotiations for a book they wrote about reading body language, and neither of them entered into an agreement when either side crossed their legs during the negotiations. Psychologically, the crossed legs or arms indicate that a person is mentally, emotionally and physically blocked by what is in front of them. It’s not intentional, that’s why it’s so revealing.

2. Real smiles crinkle the eyes.

When it comes to smiling, the mouth can lie but the eyes can’t. Genuine smiles reach the eyes and wrinkle the skin to create crow’s feet around it. People often smile to hide what they really think and feel, so the next time you want to know if someone’s smile is genuine, look for wrinkles in the corners of their eyes. If they are not there, that smile hides something.

3. Copying your body language is a good thing.

Have you ever been in a meeting with someone and have you noticed that every time you cross or cross your legs, they do the same? Or maybe they bow their heads the same way you do when you speak? This is a really good sign. Reflecting body language is something we do unconsciously when we feel a connection with the other person. It is a sign that the conversation is going well and that the other party is receptive to your message. This knowledge can be particularly useful when you are negotiating, because it shows what the other person is really thinking about the deal.

4. Posture tells the story.

Have you ever seen a person enter a room and have you immediately understood that you are in charge? This effect is mainly due to body language and often includes an upright posture, gestures made with the palms down and open and expansive gestures in general. The brain is connected to equate power with the amount of space occupied by people. Standing straight with your shoulders back is a position of power; It seems to maximize the amount of space you fill. Crouching, on the other hand, is the result of the collapse of its shape; It seems to take up less space and project less energy. Maintaining good posture requires respect and promotes commitment, whether you are a leader or not.

5. Eyes that lie. 

Many of us probably grew up listening: “Look me in the eye when you talk to me!” Our parents were operating on the assumption that it is difficult to keep someone’s eyes when lying to them, and to some extent they were right. But this is such a common knowledge that people often deliberately make eye contact in an attempt to hide the fact that they lie. The problem is that most of them compensate and maintain eye contact to the point of feeling uncomfortable. On average, Americans maintain eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we listen than when we speak. If you are talking to someone whose gaze is twisting you, especially if he is very still and without batting an eyelid, something is happening and he may lie to you.

6. Raised eyebrows signal discomfort.

There are three main emotions that raise eyebrows: surprise, worry and fear. Try to raise your eyebrows when you have a relaxed informal conversation with a friend. It is difficult to do, right? If someone who is talking to you raises his eyebrows and the subject is not one who would logically cause surprise, worry or fear, there is something else.

7. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. 

When you say something to someone and they nod excessively, it means that they are worried about what you think of them or that they doubt their ability to follow your instructions.

8. A clenched jaw signals stress.

A narrow jaw, narrow neck or forehead groove are signs of stress. Regardless of what the person says, these are signs of significant discomfort. The conversation could delve into something they are anxious about, or their mind may be elsewhere and they are focusing on what urges them. The key is to be aware of that discrepancy between what the person says and what their body language tells you.

Bringing It All Together

The bottom line is that even if you can’t read a person’s exact thoughts, you can learn a lot from their body language, and this is especially true when words and body language don’t match.

What other body language clues are you looking for? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, as I learn from you as much as you do.

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