Reading And Interpreting Body Language
Statistics project than more than half of the time, human beings communicate with their bodies rather than actual words. Sometimes a close observation of people around you can broadly reveal their states of mind such as whether they are happy, tired, angry or frustrated.
Body language comprises of various expressions and gestures, out of these some are deliberate while others are done unconsciously. The study of these gestures representing the body language is known as Kinesics. This science is relatively new, since body language has intrigued the human mind only in very recent years.
Body language is universal not only amongst human beings all over the world but also in animals. Apes from which human beings are said to have evolved share common gestures such as covering the face on being frightened, embracing to show affection and rubbing their stomach to explain hunger. All human beings are born with the knack to communicate non-verbally. People in different regions use similar facial expressions and gestures to convey certain fundamental feelings such as interest, joy, distress, anger, disgust, fear and shame. However, some particular gestures have different meanings in different corners of the world. Therefore, it is prudent to stick to the familiar signs of body language, when traveling abroad.
Every part of our body has the potential to project a different emotion. The face itself can express six basic emotions. Surprise can be identified by widened eyes, lifted eyebrows and dropping of the jaw; during fear wrinkles appear on the forehead, eyebrows come together, eyelids are raised and facial muscles appear tensed; disgust is visible by a raised upper lip, wrinkled nose and lowered brow; sadness can be read on a face with quivering lips, going up of the inner corners of the eyebrows and welled up eyes; happiness is the easiest to spot with a smile showing the teeth and making wrinkles on the outer part of the eyes and finally anger can be interpreted by narrowed eyelids, flared nostrils and tightened lips. Eyes are another vital part of deciphering body language. An eye contact means interest; shifting eyes show discomfort or dishonesty and excessive blinking can be a sign of nervousness.
The hands also convey specific messages. One can communicate positive and negative feelings with the hands. The common positive hand gestures are raised thumb, waving of hand, clapping, rubbing of hands and putting the hand forward to someone. Hand gestures passing a negative message are thumbs down, pinching the nose and pointed finger. Sometimes a single hand gesture can be read differently such as a handshake can be friendly, competitive, secure or limp. Also some unconscious hand gestures can reveal a lot. A liar may cover the mouth and an anxious person may clench the hands unknowingly. The posture of the body plays a potent role in non-verbal communication. A straight body posture portrays a confident and positive attitude, constant shifting of weight from one foot to another may indicate an untrustworthy person, facing or pointing the body towards someone during a conversation shows interest and leaning or standing close projects the need of further intimacy.
The ability to read and interpret the body language can be very valuable. Personally, a little concentration towards one’s own body language can help to be portraying a confident and in control image; while understanding the body language of others can help you to gain information. These days’ lawyers, psychologists and even salesman are utilizing the body language to make a success of their careers. Reading the body language is a good hobby as well. It ensures that one never gets bored in any gathering!
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