Reading body langauge: Knowing your social value

Reading body language: Learning how to read body language has many advantages for you
throughout your life.


The ability to look at non verbal communication and dissect its
meaning can increase your odds in just about any given situation.


More than reading body language it is important for you to
interact with people correctly. Just from knowing where to stand or sit can
make the difference between making the sale or getting the girl or guy.


What happen if you know where you can have a conversation or
not have one? How much money would you imagine that you have lost over the
years by making this easy mistake or how many times have you lost the girl or
guy because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong.


An important concept to learn when reading body language or
learning nonverbal skills is that of social value and what it means for you.
Social value would be the depth or value associated with your actions as other
people see what you are doing in real time while others are watching.


There are three types of social value:

  • Positive social value
  • Exempt social value
  • No social value or negative social value


Positive social value:
would be what others think of your body language or nonverbal communication
plus your conversation whether they as the judge or judges are listening to you
or just happen to be watching from a distance. Your ability to effectively
communicate or deliver your message at this point has lived up to the
expectation and there really is no conflict. Your clothing and your actions are
congruent to the place or context of the situation. You have demonstrated
control of your actions to the observers or the intended participants and your
message is effective.


Exempt social value:
would be where your message isn’t being watched or judged by the people around you
or even the person that you are listening to. In this case your actions would
be exempt. An example would be talking to someone on the phone in an empty


No social value or negative social value: This example could come from an ineffective message
through either actions or external influences like clothing or accessories. An
example of a mismatch that would cause low or negative social value would be
you as a CEO delivering a message to the board members of a company in board
shorts and flip flops. Your message would be judged from the people around you
or the people that you are associating with. In this instance your verbal and
non verbal actions would not match up.


An action could be you being angry in public where people do
not understand why you are having issues, from their perspective it would look
like you were throwing a temper tantrum that would not be needed. In this
instance your body language would give you poor social value.


Negative social value could be from you talking outside the
Bell Bubble, using weird hand gestures while having a conversation or even
standing in the wrong spot while having a conversation.


Being an effective communicator requires your knowledge and
control over the way that you use your body as conversations are happening or occurring.
These body language skills do take time and effort to learn. Your communication
skills are the key to your success in life and business.


As always I would like to thank you for your comments and or


Now go implement!


Scott Sylvan Bell


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19 thoughts on “Reading body langauge: Knowing your social value”

  1. Body language is sooooo fascinating.

    I was having a conversation with a woman at a networking event (who I had just met that night) and she was a “toucher.” She stood close and would frequently grab my arm and hold it for a few seconds. I was attempting to mirror and match her and I would touch her arm as I spoke but I could tell that it was making her tense and uncomfortable.

    Then I realized that when she touched me she would firmly grasp my arm, gently squeeze it and hold it for about a 5 to 10 count so instead of just touching her arm I would grasp it and hold it for several seconds.

    It was amazing, that slight change in my actions caused a very visible relaxing of her physcally and we talked at length and are working on a business deal together right now.

    Give me more on body language – I just love it.

  2. Outstanding post on the importance of social value or rapport. Makes all the difference in the world in getting across your message. Great web-site and Blog, I am glad i found it.

  3. Lots of content here–thanks for sharing it. I’m curious how one “stands in the wrong place” when speaking. To me that might be different depending on the audience or person one is talking to?

    It is also intriguing to me that social value is perceived by each individual, but you really never know the true social value you have in other’s eyes. For example, you might hallicinate you have a strong social value, but everyone else thinks NOT! Body language intepretations are very location/time/activity dependent, no?


  4. I think that Reading Body language can take, as you say, a lot of time to learn and can have many benefits for the person that gets trained. The social value is very important and some people should really learn some Body language.
    I travel a lot and go to different countries and find it difficult sometimes to feel confortable in some situations because you know that there is “something” taht you are missing with Body Language.

    Are there any studies of Cultural Reading Body Language?

    Hipnosis onicofagia

  5. Another home run article, Scott! I was recently at a tradeshow that dealt with animals. Having been there many times before, I knew it was a more relaxed atmosphere – but on this day, I decided to go there dressed a little better than “business casual” ( nice slacks, blue blazer and dress shirt with collar open ). I was definitely dressed more than 10% better ( closer to 50% ). I got weird looks from some, but some exhibitors that were helping people almost ignored that person and came over to see if they could help me. This was especially true at the industry magazine booths.

    Stay Extraordinary and Keep Doing Great Things, Neil

  6. This is definitely useful as someone who is speaking at the front of a room, or in a constant social environment (i.e. school) as being conscious of your actions can really mean having or losing the room as a friend. Definitely a good read.

    Always looking forward to more

    ~Mark Hogan

  7. The idea of social value invokes such a strong image of improving or diminishing a situation for others. I like to leave things and situations in my wake better than when I found them. You have got me thinking of how easy it might be to impove the moment for whose around me.

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