Secrets Of Body Language And How To Use Them
Everyone uses body language to communicate and interpret the emotions, thinking, and behavior of other people and to influence others. Most of this business of gesturing and body positioning is done subconsciously and can be learned.
Benefits of Using Body Language
One method for using body language to one’s advantage and to understand other people better seeks to educate the thinking brain to be more in contact with and more receptive to the subconscious or feeling brain.
Three distinct areas of the brain are involved in interpreting and producing body language. Visual perception centers can activate reflex-like emotional body language regions of the brain and both communicate with the region of the brain that interprets emotion-like body language.
Research has proven that 55 percent of any face to face communication is centered on facial expression, body position, and gestures. About 38 percent is interpreted by voice tone and only seven percent from the words spoken.
Words convey information and body language negotiates for agreement with those words.
You can see this demonstrated in people who are influencers of other like politicians, sale people, preachers, and teachers. The hand gestures, movements, and body positioning that are most effective in gaining cooperation and agreement are a learned behavior.
If you are involved in international relationships in business or personal life it is a good idea to learn what common gestures in your native gestural language may be offensive or even a criminal offense in another country.
Four Basic Body Positions
There are four basic body positions that relay mood. A reflective position is usually indicated an open position (often with hands behind the head) that means the person is receptive to your ideas. An open position indicates a person is ready to be asked for their cooperation or agreement. A closed position means the person is waiting for you to depart and means you need to spur their interest. A combative position (hands on the desk and face forward) means a person is ready to argue with you.
A single gesture does not a sale make. Gestures need to be assessed in groups. Look for agreement between body language and a person’s words. All gestures need to be evaluated in the context of the conversation and surroundings.
Older people have learned to hide their true emotions though experience. People in general are not as attuned to the content of body language as they were in prehistoric and ancient times.
Women read and fake body language better than men because they are taught to pay more attention to their own emotions and the emotions of other than men are.
You should get into the habit of noticing how people hold their hands, how a person shakes hands, the presence of a smile, the type of smile, arm signals, hand and thumb gestures, hand to face gestures that indicate lying, hand and face gestures that mean boredom or evaluation, leg signals, seating position, and head signals, the angle of your body relative to the person you are talking to, smoking behavior during a conversation, foot pointing, and eye signals. This habit allows you to understand another person’s emotions and the level of mental and emotional involvement they have in what you are saying.
A good understanding of the emotional content of gestures tells you how close you should be to another person at a given time during a conversation. Intimacy is usually indicated by a distance of one and one half feet between the two people.
People use gestures to avoid interaction with other people in crowded situations and places. These gestures tell other you are not available for contact.