Reading body language: How do I avoid making people uncomfortable while communicating effectively? This is a common question that is asked of those who know how to explain body language or nonverbal communication.
The answer isn’t always that simple.
Sometimes people just don’t get it or they just don’t care. When communicating with others there are nonverbal things that can be done to make the people who are being spoken to entirely uncomfortable and when these offenses are done it could be a complete accident or the pther person is oblivious as to what they do.
Have you ever walked away from a person and have not understood why you were uncomfortable with what they said to you, or it could have been you were just creeped out and walked away with the chills?
Chances were that the body language or the non verbal communication skills of the offender were not that good or they were just someone who lacked social skills so that their style of communication was unusual and or very uncomfortable.
Do you make these common body language mistakes?
Here are some of the ways that you can unconsciously offend those around you and cause your message to not be delivered. Now it doesn’t matter if you are in sales, looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend or just talking to a friend you can make these mistakes.
Body language of the eyes: Now for many people visual contact will make or break the way that your message is or not delivered. It usually isn’t the lack of eye contact that causes a problem it is the location at which the people look. Here is the most common issues that people find themselves in besides lack of eye contact:
- · Staring at the lips, not this is usually a sign of sexual advance and not the best way to nonverbally communicate while talking to a man or a woman unless it is a sexual advance that you want.
- · Staring at body parts, now for men it is difficult to look at some women without looking at specific places especially when the clothing allows a distraction.
- · Shifty eyes, there are some people who just look at everything and it seems as if there may be a possible drug problem.
- · When having a conversation with a person the best area to look at is across the eyebrows to the bottom of the nose. If you would like to make a person uncomfortable you can stare at their chin or forehead and this can be used as a ploy for some negotiators.
The rules of nonverbal communication include proximity
When it comes to making people uncomfortable with body language next on the list would be proximity or how close people are to you. There are a few offenses that people can make when it comes to not understanding proximity that should be used in a given situation. Here are the most common mistakes that people make when identifying the distance that can be comfortable while communicating.
- · Standing too close to the person who you are talking to. This is uncomfortable and causes the person to not listen to the message but question in their head “why is this person standing so close” the whole time you are talking to the
- · The opposite of standing too close would to have a conversation form an uncomfortable distance. When communicating either verbally or nonverbally there is an acceptable distance to stand away from the person who is communicating with you. If you are too far away it just seems strange and doesn’t feel like the message can be delivered. The communication is strained and then has a tough time being effective.
Does body language include touching another person, or is that seduction?
Last on the list of uncomfortable body language or nonverbal communication skills is touch. If you are a man there is a double standard for sure when it comes to touching another person. It is perfectly acceptable for a woman to touch a man or a woman but when the situation is the other way around it is not always acceptable for a man to touch a woman. This is a social norm you can’t really change.
Some people will move too quickly with touch if they are attracted to the other person, it may seem like it is a hypnotic response where touch seems required in their mind but it is too much too soon.
- · Touching someone too soon into a conversation or even a relationship is not a good idea. Kinesthetic people or those who are more touchy feely have a tough time with this boundary and then do not understand why there is such a bad reaction to their style of communicating. If you touch a person before you have acceptable rapport can cause mistrust or even cause a confrontation. This can be confused by them because they as a kinesthetic person do not have a problem standing or sitting in close proximity to another person.
- · Touching someone in an inappropriate place is a huge offense. Now you may not think that some places would be off limits so the best place to touch a woman is usually on the upper arm from between the elbow to the shoulder. If you do not know the person very well the upper arm is the only location to touch besides the top of the hand when appropriate. Now this rule may be entirely different if you are trying to attract or even seduce another person.
Your ability to deliver an effective message is up to you. Your body language and non verbal communication skills are going to determine what people think when they are done with a conversation with you. What communication is may not always be defined by you.
To learn more about the different styles of learning or modalities NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming would be a good start to build better rapport or even to learn how to communicate more effectively. This would include kinesthetic, visual and even auditory modalities of learning.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comment and or questions about body language.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell