Body Language an Introduction

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“Emotion always has its roots in the unconscious and manifests itself in the body.” Irene Claremont de Castillejo

This article explains the art and science of reading and understanding body language, and how acquiring such knowledge can be life enhancing as you gain insight into the feelings and intentions of others, as well as into how you portray yourself. Beyond any doubt, body language remains an exceptionally essential aspect of communication.

People often believe what they see before they believe what is said, and so, knowledge of this is vital to avoid misunderstandings and to get the intended message across. The article then goes on to explain how you can benefit and learn body signs to identify dishonesty, truthfulness and even attraction from others. In addition, it reveals how to understand the various cultural differences in body language and then how it proves, with practice, to be an amazing tool to improve your public speaking skills, and gain the attention and interest of your audience.

Prepare to delve into the intriguing world of reading and understanding body language.

The art and science of reading and understanding the body language

Wouldn’t we just love to read the minds of people, so that we could know exactly what they were thinking or how they felt? Well, while that’s still not completely possible, peoples bodies often give clues, many times unwilling to their owner of how they’re feeling or what they’re intending. In fact, numerous statistics show that over fifty per cent of judgement others make about other people is based upon their body language, our gestures; eye contact; expressions; posture; touch and personal space actually speak louder than words for most people.

By understanding the art and science of body language and identifying the subconscious ways people often move their bodies, you can decode feelings and intentions, sometimes getting to know more about a person than the person themselves. Knowing this behavioural science will be beneficial in many ways as getting across the right message could be life-enhancing as well as boost confidence and give those great and lasting first impressions you’ve always wanted. However, the reading of the body is an art, and its best done discreetly. Focusingin on or noticing body language in a very obvious way can make others feel uncomfortable and defensive.

How knowledge of body language is vital in communication

Effective communication is vital in our daily interactions with others, whether that be on a professional level at work or on a personal level, pertaining to our relationships with others.The influence of body language is great, and reveals better and deeper insight into the feelings of others. You may need to show yourself as being open, be it for an interview or meeting. You may feel nervous, and because of that, your body language could give off the wrong signs to others noticing you. It’s common when people feel nervous or tense to show signs of being closed, when what you really want is to know how to show signs of being open to the ideas or opportunities being presented.

Sometimes, you may need to talk about a sensitive subject, which requires the listener to be open and ready to listen. They may say “go ahead”, but happen to be in a bad mood and show signs of being closed and not open, so in this case, it may be best to choose a better time to talk.By being aware as to what your body is showing, you could avoid misunderstandings, as the signs we give to others are instantly read into. Some people could just be giving out the wrong signals without meaning to.

The body says it all: reading potential signs of dishonesty, truth or attraction

Sometimes there’s really no need to speak, as the body says it all. Signs manifested by the body of hesitation, guilt and a tense body are common tell-tale signs that someone is being dishonest or lying. You can even be your own truth detector by understanding how people’s bodies react when someone is telling the truth. Moreover, signs of possible attraction between people can often become very apparent, as feelings are often hard to hide and show themselves in a variety of ways. Matters of dishonesty, truthfulness and attraction are strong feelings, and the body often unwilling to the person, will act in hidden ways. Techniques to reading such signs can help you become aware of who is lying, telling the truthas well as signs of attraction.

Understanding cultural differences in body language

Body language, like the language of speech is different depending on where you are. Of course there are some universal similarities, which happen to be the same no matter which culture or country. However, the fact remains that some signals of the body can have different meanings depending upon the situation and culture or country of a person.

When meeting someone from a culture that regards direct eye contact as a sign of challenging the other or disrespect, you could then understand why the person isn’t looking at you in the eye, as in your culture, eye contact is valued as a sign of attention and respect for the other.

We often try to use hand signals when we travel to a foreign country or encounter someone we cannot communicate verbally with, but we could potentially be implying the wrong message other than what we intended. A simple hand signal to you to mean a certain number could mean an offensive insult to someone else. A basic grasp of certain hand signals and common body signals is definitely worth looking at and investigating, especially when meeting people from and visiting other countries.

A tool for successful public speaking

A lot of time can be spent working on that perfect public speech address, but if you’re not showing you believe in what you’re saying or your body language gives off signs that you’re bored, it could pose a negative outlook. The audience will be, without a doubt, making visual judgements comparing what you verbally say to what your body reveals and the tone of your voice.

In addition, if you notice that the audience seems bored or uninterested, you could use your body to show signs of confidence, persuasiveness, and attract the attention to make them listen with eyes open wide. Isn’t that the dream of every public speaker?

Body language is a very interesting science and art to learn, it can give us the skills to help us greatly in our daily lives and we can use it to our benefit in many ways. It can boost our personal relationships and job prospects, as well as many other advantages. As most of our judgements about others are based on body language, it’s unquestionably a very valuable knowledge to master.

More about this author: Matilda Willows

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