Most people don’t think much about body language or even pay attention to it, however it can give you a lot of information about somebody or a situation.
Body language is non verbal communication and signals that can be used to influence people and to show confidence and conviction in ideas or a particular person. This type of communication is mostly unconscious, however it can also be a conscious purposeful act.
Even though most people wouldn’t think it but experts believe that your body language speaks louder and tells people more about you than the words that come out of your mouth. It’s believed that up to 70 percent of all communication is actually done with our body language.
When it comes to the eyes, there are certain things to look out for.
Eye contact – maintaining eye contact usually sends out the signal and is perceived that you are paying attention to a particular person. Of course the opposite is perceived for not maintaining eye contact. Also somebody may not maintain eye contact if they are distracted or uncomfortable doing so.
Blinking – blinking more often than usual is often a sign of distress or discomfort. Slow steady blinking is often a sign that a person is relaxed and comfortable. However our blinking rate can be controlled consciously.
This is one of the most common and obvious types of none verbal communication. facial expressions can be a good way to judge someones emotions, such as whether somebody is happy, sad, distressed, confused or angry.
Most people are very much aware of their own facial expressions, and because of this, facial expressions can easily be faked. Some people who are sad or even depressed can make it seem that they are happy and content by faking their expressions. Plus not everybody equally shows their emotions through their facial expressions. So relying on facial expressions alone to judge someone else’s emotions is very limited by itself.
Open postures can mean someone is friendly, approachable and relaxed.
Closed postures can indicate somebody does not want to be approached, unfriendly, perhaps unwell, anxious or uneasy.
Learning forwards or back – Certain body postures, the way someone stands, the way they sit down can tell you a lot about someone’s current mood and whether they are relaxed or not.
Leaning back either seated or standing often shows that someone is relaxed, in control, confident and not stressed. It can also be an indicator of social status within a group, it can give the impression that somebody is not seeking attention or approval which are qualities that leaders often have. Or it could simply mean that a person is indifferent to a situation or group.
Leaning forwards can be a sign of tension, unease or that they want attention or approval, or even show a lack of confidence.
People often place their feet pointed in the direction that they want to go, or need to go. If you are talking to somebody and their feet are both pointed in your direction it probably means they are happy in the interaction with no immediate plans to leave.
If somebody’s feet or one foot is pointed away, it may indicate that they either want to end the interaction or that they have to go.
Standing too close
Standing close to someone (within a few inches) is usually a sign of a close or intimate relationship. It could be a sign of aggressive or threatening behavior, or if someone has a lack of awareness of acceptable personal space.
Standing toe to toe
This is classic threatening or intimidating body language, avoid it especially when talking to strangers. Standing shoulder to shoulder at an angle is much less aggressive, it is far better when interacting with people especially those you don’t know.