If you can’t figure them out, then you are probably not reading their body language. Human beings sometimes speak without even moving their lips, so you just need to know what to look for. For instance, have you ever held a conversation with a woman for long and then, all of a sudden, she crosses her arms, and then the vibe of your conversation just shifts? Perhaps you’ll start feeling a little bit defensive because you’re convinced that’s how she is feeling. But, wait, are you reading her right or just jumping into conclusion?
Truth is, if you misread people’s body language, or better still you fail to detect them, you are missing out a great deal. It is approximated that about 80% of what we say is nonverbal. This means that looks, gestures, eyebrow movement, lip twist and many more will send a strong message out there. No wonder experts have been studying the science of body language for years, and what they’ve found is enough to help you figure out what the opposite sex is saying.
The 3 Vs
We usually communicate with people verbally with words, vocally with tone and visually with body language. Think about an individual who tries to put on a good face during their trying moments. They might say they are fine yet they frown when saying it. That’s the reason why reading body language matters. In short, these parts tell the truth even when we try hiding it.
According to experts, noticing them is the trickiest part of all. Out of a thousand facial expressions we make, so many will pass by in flashes that won’t even register to us. But you can always train your eyes to catch them, even though you’ll miss out on a few.
How do you learn to read the face? Start by practicing what most poker players do. They are good at nonverbal cues, so if you watch them very closely, you’ll realize that sometimes they blink too fast while licking their lips just before they smile. When they do this, chances are that they are bluffing.
According to John Gottman, who is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and also co-founder of Gottman institute, an individual can catch even the most fleeting facial expression, though it takes practice to get it right. He says people should watch the mouth, because that’s where most of the nonverbal cues on the face comes from.
For instance, should a waitress twitch her lips to one side when you order a cheap drink as opposed to an expensive one, it’s a sign that they know they’ll be getting very small tip from you. Or let’s say you gave a girlfriend some gift and they didn’t like it, they’ll attempt to smile with their lips being the only feature on their face moving.
Now, if it were a genuine smile, her cheeks would lift, her eyes would lighten up and their general facial expression would show how happy they are.
And when you take the example of wide eyes, they may say something to do with fear or surprise. But the mouth is what will tell the difference. The mouth will drop open when one is surprised, and pull back when the same person is scared.
How the body responds to facial cues
When the face communicates, the body will also respond in mysterious ways. For example, the feet are the most loyal and honest part of the body when it comes to communicating. For instance, when someone’s feet is pointed towards you, it’s a sign that they are enjoying your company. However, if the feet is turned away from you, then it’s a clear sign that their mind is somewhere else.
Again, when it comes to the body and how it communicates, not all signs may mean what you think. For example, we’ve been told for years that when someone crosses their arms, it’s a sign of being defensive. But how about when their arms are lightly crossed on their chest, instead of being tightly locked? They may simply do this because they don’t know what to do with their arms, or they are trying to give themselves a hug.
Sending the right message
It’s a known fact that ladies will try to fine-tune their movement in order to attract men they are interested in. However, it’s also important to note that behavioral patterns associated with personality or temperament are at least 50% genetically influenced. For instance, if someone is naturally high strung, getting their body to calm down might be a little bit tricky. The best thing is that people can always learn how to use nonverbal cues even if this is their nature.
It’s also true that women have mastered this art of communicating with their body language. You might see a woman seated somewhere in a corner, say at a local pub. When you happen to catch them looking at you, they may be thinking about something which concerns you. So you must watch a second and probably a third time to be sure that they want you near them. If this is the case and you pretend not to be aware of their presence, they’ll fine-tune their body even better hoping that you’ll read the signs correctly. So if you’re not careful, you might just miss out on the opportunity to strike a conversation with them.
Bottom line is this
There are so many ways in which people express their nonverbal cues to others. But it takes practice to pick up the signs and know what they are saying. People use this form of communication because they are not confident enough to say it using their mouth. So they just hope that you’ll make out whatever they are saying. Again a little more practice can help you understand their language.