Who among us has not wanted one day to read other people’s thoughts and what goes on in their heads?
There is no doubt that it is an idea that everyone has had at some point, and contrary to what some think that it needs some superpowers to become a reality, it is actually possible to know what other people are really thinking!
This is done through what is known as body language, which are those non-verbal movements and gestures that people make unconsciously most of the time.
Body language gives us a lot of useful information about what is going on in the head of the person in front of us, as research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), showed that only 7% of the communication process takes place through verbal language, while the rest is distributed as follows:
_ 38% by tone of voice.
_ 55% through other body languages from gestures and movements of the hands and feet and the way of standing or sitting.
In today’s article, we will put in your hands 8 great ways that you can understand the body language of the people around you, and use them to build better personal and professional relationships:
1- Know who is against you by moving your arms or legs
You can find out what the person in front of you thinks about what you are saying by analyzing the movement of their arms and legs. Having arms and legs crossed usually means that the person across from you has set up physical barriers indicating that they are not accepting of what you are saying, and are not open to your ideas. Even if this person is smiling and enjoying the conversation, their body movement expresses what they are actually feeling without their awareness.
As an example, authors Gerard Nirenberg and Henry Calero each videotaped over 2,000 negotiation processes that all failed because one party was holding their legs or hands during the negotiation!
Psychology interprets this as crossing hands and feet as an indication that this person is emotionally, mentally, and physically separated from what is in front of them. This sign appears subconsciously, which makes it very visible.
2- Distinguish between real and fake smiles through wrinkles
When it comes to smiling, the lips can definitely lie, but that’s impossible with the eyes.
When someone smiles at you sincerely, his smile will reach his eyes, and small wrinkles appear around them, like the traces of birds’ feet!
This is your guide to whether or not someone is really happy to see you. The smile is often used as a mask to hide a lot of feelings and thoughts, but in these times it is an unreal smile and does not exceed the lips fold up.
A fake smile does not necessarily mean that the person in front of you is plotting something against you, but it may be an indication that there is something else that worries him and preoccupies him during the conversation, which prompts him to compliment you in this way unconsciously.
3- Imitating your body movements is a positive thing
Have you ever been in a meeting with someone and noticed that every time you change your sitting position he does the same and imitates your movements? Or is he shaking his head the same way you shake yours too?
In fact, this is a very positive sign. We unconsciously imitate the movement of the person in front of us when we feel that we are closer to him.
Not only that, the occurrence of such a thing during the conversation is a good sign that communication is going well and that the other party accepts the speech with open arms.
Business owners can benefit from this method of knowing how others feel while negotiating a deal with them. If they imitate the movement of the other party’s body, it means that they agree with him and that the deal will end nicely for both parties.
4- Your posture says a lot
Have you ever seen in your work someone walk into a room, and immediately knew it was someone in charge? If this happens, it is due to body language.
The brain has become accustomed to associating a person’s strength with space it occupies around them. So standing up straight with your shoulders raised is a strong posture because it takes up more space. Likewise, a slouched body or an arched back indicates weakness and lack of self-confidence, since in this case, the body takes up less space.
Thus, you can learn a lot about a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence through the way he stands or sits, and the size of the space he takes around him.
5- Eyes don’t lie
Many of us have grown up hearing phrases like: “Look into my eyes and you are talking to me!” Our parents adopted this method out of the belief that it is difficult for a person to stare at the other end when lying, which is true to some extent, but it has become so well known that Many people maintain eye contact while lying.
However, you can still tell if someone is lying to you or not… If you’re talking to someone, and they’re staring at you in a weird way that makes you feel uncomfortable, it probably means they’re hiding something, especially if they don’t blink at all while staring at you.
6- Raising the eyebrows indicates discomfort
Three main situations may require you to raise your eyebrows:
_ When feeling afraid.
_ When feeling surprised.
_ Or if you feel anxious.
So, it’s really hard to make that move while talking about a topic that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. But how do you use this information to know what other people are thinking?
Well, if you are talking to someone, and you see him raise his eyebrows, although the subject of the conversation is not causing concern, fear, surprise, then know here that this person feels uncomfortable, and his mind is preoccupied with you about something else.
7- Exaggerated head nods indicate anxiety
The nod of the head does not always mean approval, as there may be other feelings besides the “approval” that you are ignorant of, but which are evident through body language.
When you ask something from someone, and you find that he nods his head in agreement excessively, know that he is concerned about what you think of him, and he may feel that you doubt his ability to complete this task successfully, which leads him to shake his head more in an unconscious attempt to convince you of his ability. To successfully implement what I asked of him.
8- A clenched jaw indicates tension
A tight jaw, a tight neck, or a knotted brow… all are signs of stress.
No matter what a person tells you, showing these signs is a strong indication that they are upset. Perhaps the subject of the conversation is worrying him, or perhaps he is thinking about another topic that worries him and makes him tired.
Here you need to focus on the contrast between what the person is saying and what their tense body language is telling you to determine if the reason is the subject of the conversation or something else you don’t know.
We conclude from the above, that although we may not be able to read exactly what is going on in someone’s head, we are nevertheless able to learn a lot through their body language, especially when their body language contradicts what they say verbally.
This undoubtedly contributes to improving the communication process and understanding how others feel about what we say or do. It also helps us understand ourselves, and know what we’re really feeling by observing our own body language, too.