How to Read Body Language

How to Read Body Language – Non-Verbal Communication



Do you ever wonder what the person you are talking to is thinking? We think that we only communicate through words, but that is only a small part of the overall communication. Most of the non-verbal impressions that we get, we take in without even knowing it. Our subconscious mind will then act from that extra information, which we are not really consciously aware of. But you can learn to become much more aware of this non-verbal type of communication and learn how to interpret and read body language, which will allow you to know what people are thinking. This way you will always be a step ahead and therefore don’t have to believe everything people are telling you.


Body Posture


Leaned Back: A leaned back posture symbolizes relaxation and laziness. This type of posture is only appropriate in informal situations where the people around you are friends and family. If people sit like this to a meeting or interview, they may come across as childish and arrogant people, who do not like authority and therefore choose to sit the way they like.


Erect: An erect posture can look very confident and professional in formal situations such as meetings and interviews. But if this posture is used in informal situation the person may seem stiff and too serious. This person may have a difficult time relaxing. A good dominant posture is good, but if it is overdone the person can look a bit too tense instead of looking confident.


Leaning Forward: A posture where a person is leaning forward toward the person they are talking to is a very welcoming posture. Here the forward leaning person shows that they are listening and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is a great posture to use if you have to come across as sympathetic and understanding.


Bend Posture: If a person has a bend posture with the shoulders down he will look shorter than he is. This body posture indicates insecurity and an attitude of being uninterested. This gives a very negative impression, as the person looks like he does not want to be where he is.


The Arms


Folded Arms: Folded arm can symbolized discomfort or dislike. But you have to pay attention to when the person uses this posture, as it can be a totally natural position for some people to do, especially women. So notice if the person switches to this posture when you say something they did not like to hear.


Open Arms: An open-arm posture is a welcoming position that allows the other person to come in and be a part of the conversation. Using your arms to symbolize openness and positively is something that will create a good conversation.


Arm Movements: Big arm movements are often used when we have to explain something and create a mental image to help illustrate our story. People who use big arm movements can seem energetic and enthusiastic but sometimes also a bit dominant as they take up a lot of space and want to be seen.


The Hands


Fingertips touching or finger at the mouth: If the person you have a conversation with holds his or her hands together while only letting the fingertips touch, this could indicate that the person is focused and is thinking. Placing a finger near the mouth in a calm and restful position can also symbolize a thoughtful or concentrated mind.


Unsettled hands: If you see someone constantly moving the hands or have to touch something while you are talking to them, it could illustrate that the person is nervous, as we have to use some of that extra energy we get when we are nervous. So if you notice someone playing around with their ring, bracelets, piece of paper, etc. he or she is probably very nervous if it is a stressful situation. If it is not a stressful situation but simply two friends talking, it does not have to symbolize discomfort but more relaxation, boredom or restlessness.


The Eyes


Dilating pupils: This is a great way to identify what or whom someone likes. If the pupils dilate during a conversation about someone or something, this shows that the person is very fond of the thought or person they are thinking about. So if you meet someone and notice that his or her pupils are dilated, and it is not caused by alcohol, the person may have a crush on you.


Real Laughter: If the person you are talking to get small wrinkles under the eyes while laughing often indicate that he or she is not faking the laugh. Shallow laughing will only show as a forced smile but will not affect the eyes in any way.


Blinking Eyes: Blinking eyes are often associated with lying. So if you ask the person you are talking to a difficult question and he or she starts to blink a lot, it could indicate that the person is lying, which is a good thing to be aware of.


The Feet


Feet pointing away: If the person you are talking to have positioned his or her feet pointing away from you, maybe towards the door, it indicates that the person want to go and end the conversation. This does not have to be a negative thing or because the person dislikes you, he or she could simply be in a hurry and therefore needs to get going. So don’t take it personally.


The Voice


High Voice: If a person suddenly changes from a normal tone to a very high pitch tone while answering a question, it may indicate that the person is lying, which causes people to automatically talk with a higher tone of voice.


So pay attention to the body language of people you are talking to and see how much you can interpret and read from that non-verbal language.