The way a person holds their body and the gestures they make all speak volumes. Learn to read a few common features of body language and your friends will be an open book to you.
The person you are talking to may appear chilled, but look carefully at the way they are holding their jaw. Are they clenching their teeth? Can you see a muscle twitching below and in front of the ear? Then in reality they are probably very stressed and may be preparing to dig their heels in, or even go on the offensive.
What this person is saying is very important to them. They feel strongly or are enthusiastic and involved. They really want you to understand and enter into the same spirit. However, they may not be so interested in hearing what you have to say.
Again, this is a wish to be close, to show agreement and sympathy. When you are in a group you can identify who is close to whom by looking at the direction in which they are leaning. Sometimes this can be quite subtle – for instance, legs crossed towards a person can mean interest in them, even when the rest of the body is turned elsewhere.
This is a sign of fibbing – even downright lying! Remember Pinocchio and the nose that grew and grew! If the person you’re talking to does this repeatedly, take what they say with a pinch of salt. However, do remember that a really practiced liar will have thrown themselves into their role. Even if they do not specifically know about this body language, they may have the instincts not to give themselves away.
This is a sign that the person is defending themselves, feels insecure and wants protection. It may also denote stubbornness. But notice the way the arms are held. If the stance is relaxed and comfortable it may be just that – someone who is relaxed and comfortable, and does not have to project themselves.
We all have a sense of ‘territory’ around us. If someone comes too close it can feel like an invasion. Gesticulating, waving arms close to your face and patting or stroking you means this person wants to make a big impression or even take control. This may not be a sign of aggression or dominance, however – it could be driven by nerves. Anxious not to be overlooked, this person is going over the top.
Anxiety, disapproval, concentration, doubt – all these are indicated. But if someone reacts to what you say and do with a frown, they are really focussing on it, and may come up with a good idea.
Anyone who slouches is sending out a message of carelessness. It may be that they’re not bothered about the impression they’re giving, they may be supremely confident, or even rebellious. Take note of the details. Legs and arms apart, head thrown back? They could be saying they don’t give a damn and feel they own the world. But slumped shoulders and sagging head send a different message – they speak of a lack of self-esteem.
People who do this can make you uneasy – and that may be just the intention! By the way they are looking at you they are asserting their dominance. This is very likely to be the case if they are frowning slightly, with the head lowered. However, an open-eyed stare coupled with open body stance – palms upwards, arms open – means that the person truly wants to understand you.
This person is carrying the weight of the world and doesn’t want to be burdened any more. If you make demands they may give in, because they are too dispirited to object. But they may not do a good job because they are probably too negative.
This is a sign of honesty, but also of submission. Don’t assume this person is a pushover, however. They want to please and to reach understanding, but they aren’t necessarily weak.
We have looked at a variety of different body language, to help you read the thoughts of others. Truly, this is not difficult. Even if their behaviour isn’t described above, all you have to do is really look and get the ‘feel’ of what the body is saying. Sometimes the impressions you get from others can be puzzling or upsetting. That’s when you need to check out your intuition with our expert Readers. They can set your mind at rest, put you on track and enable you to be really wise about what’s going on in the hearts and minds of those you care about. Don’t delay and feel uneasy – call today.
PUBLISHED: 27 April 2017