Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Body Language

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It is said that when talking to a person the information that we receive can be broken down as:
  • 10% from what the person actually says
  • 40% from the tone and speed of voice
  • 50% is from their body language.
HEAD 
  • Lowering one’s head can signal a lack of confidence. If someone lowers their head when complimented, they may be shy or timid
  • Touching or tugging at one’s ear can indicate indecisiveness
  • Sincere smiles encompass the whole face (noticeable in the eyes)
  • A false smile usually only engages the lips
  • Tilting one’s head can symbolize interest in something or someone
  • Overly tilted heads can be a sign of sympathy
  • Closing of eyes or pinching at the bridge of one’s nose is often done when making a negative evaluation
  • When a listener nods, this is usually a positive message and relays that they are interested and paying attention
  • However, excessive nodding can imply that the listener has lost interest but doesn’t want to be rude
  • Touching/rubbing one’s nose may indicate doubtfulness or rejection of an idea
  • Sticking out one’s chin toward another may show defiance
  • Resting a hand on one’s cheek is often done if they are thinking or pondering; and stroking the chin can mean the person is trying to make a decision
UPPER BODY 
  • Pushing back one’s shoulders can demonstrate power and courage
  • Open arms means one is comfortable with being approached and willing to talk/communicate
  • Folded arms show that there is a sort of barricade between them and other people (or their surroundings) and indicate dissatisfaction
  • Resting one’s arms behind their neck shows that they are open to what is being discussed and interested in listening more
  • Pointing one’s finger can be construed as aggression or assertiveness
  • Touching the front of the neck can show that someone is interested and concerned about what another is saying
  • Hand movements that are upward & outward signify positive and open messages
  • Palms that are faced outwards towards another indicate one’s wish to stop and not approach
  • If one’s fingers are interlaced or if the finger tips are pressed together, it usually shows that a person is thinking and evaluating
  • If offering ideas to other people, many times the sides of one’s palms are close together, with fingers extended
LOWER BODY 
  • Putting your hands on your hips can show eagerness and readiness (also, at times, aggression)
  • Hips pushed forward, while leaning back can show that one feels powerful (also can be a suggestive gesture)
  • A wide stance – where one’s feet are positioned far apart – signifies more power and dominance
  • When one sits with legs open and part, they might feel secure in their surroundings
  • Crossed legs can mean several things: relaxed/comfortable, or defensive – depending on how tense the leg muscles are
  • When you cross your legs towards another person, you are showing more interest in them than when they are crossed away in the other direction
  • A confident and powerful position is the “Figure of Four Cross” when one’s ankle is atop the other leg’s knee and the top leg is pointed sideways
  • Bouncing your foot if your legs are crossed can show that you are bored or losing patience
EYES 
  • The lowering of the eyes can convey fear, guilt or submission
  • Lowered eyebrows and squinted eyes illustrate an attempt at understanding what is being said or going on
  • A lack of confidence or apprehensiveness can be displayed when you don’t look another person in the eyes
  • One tends to blink more often if nervous or trying to evaluate someone else
  • If you look directly into another person’s eyes you are displaying self-assurance
  • Wide eyes show more of an interest in a subject or person
  • If you are irritated with a comment made by another during a conversation, a common movement is to take a quick glance sideways
  • Staring at someone can be an aggressive gesture or suggest that the one staring feels dominant
  • Recalling a memory is usually done by looking up and to the right
  • Looking directly upwards can indicate that one is thinking
  • Eye contact is normally broken if someone feels insulted by another

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