Up to 93 % of communication is non-verbal. Including tone of voice, eye movement,
posture, hand gestures, facial expressions and more. The pressure of body language can
especially be felt in emotional situations. Body language usually prevails over words.
Are you good at reading body language?
The eyes communicate more than any other part of the human anatomy.
gazing at others can create pressure and tension in the room. Gangs have fought over the
way someone looked at them. Researcher suggests that individuals who can routinely out
gaze another develop a sense of control and power over others not so inclined. Maintained
eye contact can show if a person is trustworthy, sincere or caring. Shifty eyes, too much
blinking can suggest deception. People with eye movements that are relaxed and comfortable
yet attentive to the person they are conversing with are seen as more sincere and honest.
Eyebrow muscle draws the eyebrows down and toward the center of the face if someone is
annoyed. If someone is empathetic and caring during dialogue the eyebrows will not show
the annoyed facial grimace.
The smile: There are 50 or so
different types of human smiles. By
analyzing the movements of over 80 facial muscles involved in smiling,
researchers can tell when a smile is true. Look for the crinkle in the skin at
the middle, outside corner of the eyes and if it is not there, the smile is
probably fake. Authentic smiles are smiles that "crest" or change rapidly from a
small facial movement to a broad open expression.
Bodily cues are the most reliable of all nonverbal signals of deception
to help you read body language. This is
because a person generally has less conscious control over these than other signals.
(Springer, 1996; Ekman & Friesen, 1974). Hand-to-face gestures and shrugs are strong
markers of deception. Playing with or touching things nearby during conversations has been
found to be associated with deception (Cody & O'Hair, 1983). Deceivers also are likely
to have increased illustrator activity--quick and animated use of hands/arms during
Vocal cues can predict deception.
More and lengthier pauses during conversation; a
lot of such sounds as "uh," "um," word repetitions; intruding sounds
not part of the actual speech, less lengthy answers or explanations where they would be
expected to be.
Space is important. Personal space is needed and if it is invaded intentionally and
at times by oversight can cause an individual to feel uncomfortable or threatened.
have shown that individuals that do not respect others space are less popular and often
rejected by others.
Gestures communicate. Hand signals can communicate without the use
of any speech.
Touching communicates. Touching can be friendly or it can be aggressive. The way a person
stands reflects their level of confidence and comfort level. If a person stands
tall so to speak they are seen as more confident. If someone is standing
with their hands on their hips that can indicate aggression or alertness. See
our recommended reading list on body
language and gestures.
When you interact socially develop your listening and observations skills. The
above are a guide for looking for the clues to deception they are not fool proof.
Watch your body language.
Avoid shifting eyes and head quickly during conversation
when someone asks you a question. Do not look down or to the side. Look directly at the
person with a sense of confidence but not overbearing or threatening in nature.
See article Body Language - Is yours turning people
Note: If you want to win someone over a good rule of thumb is to mirror his or
her body language. Read their body language and follow their lead.
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