Body Language – What Is It Telling You?

There are some studies that have shown that during interpersonal communications, only 7% of what is verbally communicated is actually heard. That means 93% of the message is being sent non-verbally — more than 30% through the voice (tone and inflection), and 55% through facial expression and body positioning. Sometimes there are mixed signals between what is being said versus body language, and if this happens, then your best bet is go to with the body language instead of what is being said. Body language is the oldest way to communicate without having to form words. The way you handle your body says everything, without uttering a sound. It’s a great way to uncover how someone feels about you without ever having to ask awkward or untimely questions, like, “Soooo, what do think about us?” When you first meet someone, there are plenty of silent signs and signals to help you figure out what your next best move might be. But we don’t want to try too hard to figure someone out, and we don’t want to jump the gun when reading someone’s body language. The last thing that you want to do is misunderstand something when you are reading someone’s body language. Fortunately, everyone uses body-language.

Depending on what we are feeling internally, it is usually expressed through our body language in clusters. Clusters are easier to understand rather than studying each unique behavior, which could cause you to get the wrong impression. Here are some examples of types of body language clusters: Romantic, Bored, Defensive, Attentive, and Evaluating.

When you first meet someone, whether at a speed dating event, first date, or just a casual encounter, it’s important to watch the other person; most people can be hard to read in these situations, but they are quietly signaling their feelings about you and the situation.

Attentive/Romantic Body Language: If you are attentive and romantic, it is evident in your body language; even if there are distractions, it is obvious that we are still listening and we are interested in what is being said.

Leaning Forward: If you lean forward to listen to someone speak, you are showing that you are truly interested in what they are saying. If you lean forward too much, however, then you could look like you are desperate for attention.

Eye Contact: By making good eye contact with the person speaking, it shows that we are very interested in what is being said, and who is saying it. It also shows that we want to hear more.

Patience: If you have patience, you will demonstrate this by not interrupting and letting the other person finish talking before you say anything.

Open Body Position: By facing someone with no crossed arms or legs, then we are inviting them to come a little closer to us.

Preening: This is what we do when we want someone to really notice us. This could include using your hand to brush your hair, cleaning your glasses, or even brushing lint off your clothing.

Mirroring: This is done by mimicking the other person’s behaviors in a similar fashion.

Touching: By touching someone, it says that your comfortable with them and would like to take things further.

Closed and Bored Language Signals Distraction: If we are bored with any situation, we find other things to do. This may be demonstrated by looking at other things, doodling on a piece of nearby paper, or even looking at a wristwatch several times.

Exhaustion: It is not uncommon to catch someone yawning, slouching, or sitting with a blank stare on their face.

Repetition: This is when you constantly move some part of your body, like drumming your fingers or tapping your feet.

Crossed Arms: When you do this, it can be seen as a gesture of relaxation, but it also can be viewed as a physical barrier to protect you from others.

Crossed Legs: Covering vital organs is an indication of feeling vulnerable.

Keep in mind that one-time acts are not a good basis for judgment. Each person is unique, but by watching their body language, you can try to determine what is going on in their minds before you say a word to them.

2 Responses to “Body Language – What Is It Telling You?”

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