Offensive body language: Offensive body language doesn’t just come from your hands; while others are reading your body language they may become offended from different parts of your body.
Reading body language of offensive gestures
Your hands are used so much to communicate no matter what part of the world you are from.
Now in some spots of the world some symbols have different meanings than other parts of the world. So you want to say that everything is ok in the United States and think it’s a safe sign to pass off you may find that others who are reading your body language may be offended.
You decide that you want to give the thumbs up and think it’s a harmless action…
Once again as your nonverbal communication with your hands may confuse others who are reading your body language may get the sense you are being rude.
So you decide that you want to point at others, well that may not be considered rude all of the time or from many countries but it does lessen the effectiveness of your ability to persuade the person that you are pointing at.
Waiving a fist at a person can get you into a fight or altercation that can get out of hand so the waive of a fist for some may show power and for others it shows aggression.
This should not have to be mentioned but in the United States and other countries waiving a middle finger at a person or group is a giant step above the fist waiving and can be seen as a huge insult.
It is important to pay attention to the people that you are with or around when using body language that may offend others.
Reading body language of offensive feet signals
Your feet are the closest body part to the ground in most instances and to point at a person with your feet shows the person who is receiving the point may find that you have no value for them.
You walk on dirt with your feet
You step on less desirable items with your feet
So it would make sense that some people would find your body language offensive?
Reading body language of offensive touch
Now there are some social boundaries that seem like they should just make sense but there are some out there that just don’t get the social cues or they just do not care. Touching others in inappropriate places can get you in trouble. If you are reading the body language of others while watching interactions going on you may see some interesting facial expressions or reactions.
Touching others can be easy to remember so that you do not offend others. If you are a man and you are going to touch a woman the best and most appropriate place would be the back of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow, not the back, not the chest or the buttocks the arm. In some instances you can get away with the top of the hand.
Now for women who are touching men the rules may just as well get thrown out the window. If the touch is flattering to the man he will not care of believe the body language or touch is offensive. The same rules somewhat apply though even though with men the rule are more loose than with the women. The arm or the hand will work but not the leg, chest or stomach.
It is tough enough in some industries for women to be taken seriously because of their gender and if they buy into the flirting it may just hurt their real capabilities.
Reading body language of offensive proximity
There are some people who just don’t care how close you stand to them or if you touch them and then there is the rest of the world. Some men or women may find that your proximity to them may cause problems. A good rule of thumb is to stand at least 18 – 24 inches (40 cm) from people who you are not close with and sometimes more distance helps but not too much. If you are too far away from the man or woman they may find your body language not just offensive but strange.
Keeping the distance of the “bell bubble” will help others from reading your body language as offensive and combine the distance with offensive touch and you will stay away from dangers of getting too close for comfort.
Reading body language of offensive looks
Reading the “stink eye” or dirty looks causes people to be uncomfortable with the body language being presented. The “stink eye” may not always be on purpose. This facial featured look may just be a reaction on the part of the man or the women who is making the face. The “stink eye” can be more of a stare than anything else.
In some instances people will stick out their tongues or stick their fingers in their mouths when dealing with children as a way to have fun or scare children but when this action is done to an adult it may mean that there is no mutual respect or an anger or frustration involved.
One of the items that would go on the list of offensive looks would to be not to look at the person who is talking. By looking at the person who is talking to you it shows a level of respect. If you were to turn your back on a person as they talk to you it shows a lack of respect and create altercations, anger and sometimes physical interactions.
Having good eye contact will keep you out of trouble with not giving enough attention to a message.
A yawn may be an offensive action when done with noise and excessive action. It is possible to yawn without noise or the body language that can be read as being bored. Done as silently as possible with a slight hand cover will keep your body language from being read as offensive.
Reading body language of offensive sitting
How you sit while talking to another may be seen as offensive. Without sitting straight up the man or woman may not think that you take their message seriously. If you are sitting in a slouched position while they are talking or presenting you may be showing body language that you are bored. The same goes with having a fist or hand under your chin.
Crossing your legs can cause some harm if done too often to draw attention to your actions. If you are a female wearing a skirt this action may be seen as a way to create undue attention. Some may find this body language flattering or a form of seduction so be careful even if done on accident.
Rocking back and forth can also cause some attention that is unneeded and can be seen as a distraction or rude to someone who is speaking or presenting.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and or questions about reading offensive body language.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell
:Photo credit for reading offensive body language