Body Language (A complete guide)

What Is Body Language? 

Body language is the implicit component of communication that we use to uncover our actual sentiments and feelings.

In other words, it is our instinctual method of nonverbal communication.

Our hand gestures, facial expressions and physical stance are examples of human body language. 

At the point when we can “read” these signs, we can utilize it to further our understanding of what another person is thinking and feeling.

For instance, it can assist us with understanding the whole message of what somebody is attempting to say to us and to improve our comprehension of individuals’ responses to what we say and do. 

We can also use it to alter our own body language so we show increasingly positive messages to those we wish to better connect with. 

Someone who is unable to read body languages or social signals may have Hostile attribution bias.

Types of nonverbal communication:

There is a wide range of types of nonverbal communication body language, which includes: 

« Facial expressions – The human face is very expressive, ready to pass on endless feelings without saying a word.

The facial expressions for bliss, pity, outrage, shock, dread, and sicken are typically the equivalent across societies, thus making facial expression an inclusive communication method across cultures. 

« Body movement  and posture – Consider how your view of individuals is influenced by the manner in which they sit, walk, stand, or hold their head.

The manner in which you move and hold yourself conveys an abundance of information to the ones to talk to and encounter in your day to day life.

This sort of nonverbal communication includes your stance, bearing, and position.

« Gestures – Gestures are woven into the texture of our day to day lives. You may wave, point, beckon, or utilize your hands in other ways when talking animatedly.

Unlike facial expressions, the importance of certain gestures can be totally different across societies. While the “OK” sign made with the index finger and thumb, for instance, passes on a positive message in most English-speaking nations, it is considered hostile in nations, such as Germany, Russia, and Brazil.

Along these lines, it is critical to be cautious about how you use gestures to prevent unintended offense. 

« Eye contact – Since the visual sense is predominant for the vast majority, eye contact is a particularly significant kind of nonverbal communication.

The manner in which you see somebody can convey numerous things, including interest, fondness, hostility, sadness, or fascination.

Eye contact is likewise significant in keeping up conversation and for checking the other individual’s reactions. 

«Physical  contact – We convey a lot through touch. Consider the different messages given by a feeble handshake, a warm hug, or a tight grasp on the arm, for instance. 

« Physical space – Have you at any point felt awkward during a due to the other individual standing excessively close to you?

Or heard someone ask for personal space?

Most people have a certain level of personal space they are comfortable with and that can also depend on the culture they were raised in. 

« Voice – It is not exactly what you say, but how you say it. At the point when you talk, others interpret your tone of voice to fully understand what you are saying.

Your manner of speaking can demonstrate joy, curiosity, mockery, outrage, love, certainty, or any other emotion.

Body language gives a stunning understanding of what other people are thinking in the event that you know what to search for.

Who has not had any desire to guess people’s thoughts at one point or another?

What are the ways to read someone’s body language?

You as of now get on more body language prompts than you are deliberately mindful of. UCLA conducted a study that indicated only 7% of correspondence depends on the literal words we state.

With respect to the rest, 38% originates from the manner of speaking and the other 55% originates from body language.

Figuring out how to become mindful of and to decipher that 55% can help you to understand other people. 

When you are trying sincerely and doing everything you can to accomplish your goals, anything that can give you an edge is helpful and will streamline your way to progress. 

Next time you are in a gathering (or even out on the town or playing with your children), watch for these signs: 

« Crossed arms and legs typically signal defensiveness. Crossed arms and legs form physical boundaries that suggest the discomfort or dislike of the topic at hand, the situation, or the individual they are engaging with.

Crossed legs or arms could also signal that a person is intellectually, inwardly, and internally closed off based on what is in front of them.

It is not always purposeful, which is the reason it is so noteworthy. 

«Smiles –  Genuine grins crease the eyes. When it comes to smiling, the mouth can lie, yet the eyes cannot.

True grins meet the eyes, crinkling the skin to make crow’s feet around them.

People regularly smile to conceal what they are truly thinking and feeling, so whenever you need to know whether somebody’s grin is authentic, search for creases at the sides of their eyes. 

« Duplicating body language – Have you at any point been in a gathering with somebody and seen that each time you cross or uncross your legs, they do likewise?

Or then again maybe they lean their head a similar way as yours when you are talking?

That is really a good sign. Reflecting body language is something we do unknowingly when we feel a bond with the other person.

It is an indication that the conversation is progressing with a connection between the two people.

« Posture – Have you at any point seen a person stroll into a room, and promptly, you have realized that they were the one in control?

That realization is due to the body language of that person. The mind is designed to compare power with the measure of the room people take up.

Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a strength position; it seems to boost the space you fill in a room.

Slumping, then again, is a fall of your posture; it seems to occupy less room. 

« Eye contact – It has been found that it is difficult to maintain eye contact with someone when you are deceiving them.

Be that as it may, that is such basic information that people will regularly purposely hold an eye to eye connection trying to conceal the way that they are lying.

The issue is that a large portion of people overcompensate and hold eye contact to the point that it feels awkward when they are attempting to get away with a lie.

In case you are chatting with somebody whose gaze is making you squirm – particularly in the event that they are still and unblinking – something is possibly wrong and they may be lying to you.

On the other hand, when eye contact is being made in a comfortable, continuous manner, this suggests that the individual is genuinely interested in what you are talking about.

«Over-the-top gestures –  Gesturing largely and seemingly disproportionately to what is being said, it could signal tension about the topic at hand.

When you are talking to somebody and they gesture exorbitantly, this could imply they are stressed.

«Tight jaw – When someone tightens their jaws or lips, this could signal pressure. A held jaw, a fixed neck, or a wrinkled forehead are for the most part indications of stress or anger.

Despite what the person is stating, these are indications of uneasiness.

The discussion may be diving into a topic they are on edge about, or their thoughts are somewhere else and they are concentrating on what is worrying them.

The key is to consider what the person says and what their strained body language is letting you know. 

Bringing It All Together

Most importantly regardless of whether you cannot peruse a person’s accurate musings, you can gain so much from their body language and that is particularly obvious when words and body language do not match up.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the four types of body language?

There are many different types of nonverbal communication or body language, certainly more than four!

They can include:

– Facial expressions

– Body movement and posture

– Hand gestures

– Eye contact

– Physical touch

– Personal space

– Tone of voice

The key to understanding body language is to pay attention to inconsistencies between the words a person is saying and their physical (re)actions.

How do you read someone’s body language?

Some ways to read a person’s body language is the following:

– Study the eyes

– Search the face

– Pay attention to proximity of your bodies

– See if the other person is mirroring your movements

– Observe the head movement

– Look at the other person’s feet

– Watch for hand signals

– Look the position of the arms and legs

What is negative body language?

Negative body language is an expression of sadness, anger, nervousness, impatience, boredom, lack of confidence, or other emotion that is not positive through nonverbal means. This can be conscious or unconscious in the person.

What is good body language?

Positive body language is an expression of positive feelings through nonverbal movements and gestures.

They can be communicating joy, interest, enthusiasm, and other positive reactions to what some else is saying

How do you describe someone’s body language?

There are many ways to describe a person’s body language.

Here are some adjectives that can be used: worrisome, loose, assertive, nervous, humble, clear, tense, leery, uptight, readable, tense, resistant, unspoken, subtle, subtler, possessive.

To learn more about body language, check out these books:

The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior

This book explores the hidden meanings within a person’s body language and how to interpret them.

Written by a retired FBI agent, this book is a field guide to nonverbal communication, describing and explaining the more than 400 behaviors that will allow you to gauge anyone’s true intentions.

The Definitive Book of Body Language: The Hidden Meaning Behind People’s Gestures and Expressions 

This book intends to enrich the reader’s communication skills through simple strategies and explanations of various aspects of body movements.

The authors have over thirty years of experience in the field, as well as cutting-edge research that demonstrate what happens in the brain in order to examine every component of body language and give the reader the basic vocabulary to read attitudes and emotions through behavior.

Secrets of Body Language: An Illustrated Guide to Knowing What People Are Really Thinking and Feeling

The author intends to give their readers an awareness of the true importance of body language in all contexts.

The book explores how body language is embedded in our genetic makeup and has the remarkable ability to transcend verbal language barriers and communicate universal meaning. 


Understanding body language and facial expressions, VeryWellMind

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