Reading body language: When reading the body language of men there are a few things that you must do in order to interpret their activities. Communication skills for men or women go far beyond just having a verbal conversation, what is the body saying while the words are being used?
If you are a woman looking for a date or even someone in business who is trying to get an upper hand you may find it easy to understate the value of understanding the body signals and interactions of men.
Reading body language or nonverbal communication can be as difficult as you want to make it but for the most part reading the body language of men may be less complex than reading the body language of women.
With reading the body language of men or women the first thing to do is to look at the situation first to baseline what is going on. Using this simple 9 step process you can determine what his body language signals are saying nonverbally.
Step 1 – Reading men’s body language – What is the proximity?
Understanding body language begins with looking at the context of the situation; are the people close or are the far apart. By close are they within the bell bubble or 18 inches (45cm) from each other or is the distance greater?
The distance between the man and the other or others will determine how close the person or the people are as friends or if they are strangers. Usually people who are intimate as friends in that they have known each other for a while can enter into the 18 inch barrier (45 cm) and show no signs of discomfort or lack of trust.
Now this 18 inch (45 cm) barrier is a general guideline and not an absolute there are some men or women who have a 36 inch (91cm) proximity comfort zone while some men or women may not mind another person being near them even close enough for touch.
The proximity of people and men will determine what communication is taking place and how intense or how intimate the interactions are.
When women flirt with men sometimes they will touch or enter closer into the man with proximity. Now with flirting it does not always mean that the woman will get closer to the man in proximity but it can happen.
Step 2 – Reading men’s body language – What position is the body in?
Once you have determined how far away the person or the people are away from each other you can now look at the position of the body.
Knowing the position of the body will clue you in to understand what the context of the situation is.
- · Is the man standing
- · Is the man sitting
- · Is the man leaning
- · Is the other person or people in relation to the man doing similar activities or are they in other positions?
The context will tell you what type of interaction that the person or group should have. This information will set the stage for base lining the signs and the signals that the man should have with his body language.
Typically if he is sitting the other people should be sitting also, if he is standing the other people or person should be standing also. Now this is a general rule and not always an absolute as in many instances with body language.
If the man is flirting with a woman he may draw in closer to her and position himself so that he has a communication advantage with her.
Step 3 – Reading men’s body language – Look at his hands
Looking at a man’s hands when he is interacting with others may define the situation as it is happening. The hands will determine the situation and some of the context along with defining some of the proximity.
Depending upon the situation and the amount of people the hands will show if:
- · There is common ground between the two people ar the group
- · Aggression between the people or the person in question
- · How close intimate the group is and sometimes it may judge how long they have known each other
When people are under stress or duress their hands will normally close as a way that begins the protection process. When people are about the fight they ball up their fists and will leave them at their sides in order to make a strike. Almost every time when people have their fists balled up it is to help “protect” the body subconsciously.
If the hands are flat open it is normally a sign that things are ok and not aggressive. Nonverbally the hands say and determine much of the body language.
Is the man holding something? If he is holding a drink is it in front of him where it is a barrier? If the man does hold the drink in front of him it may show a lack of confidence or a non verbal barrier to keep others away.
If the man is holding a drink to his side it may just mean that he is comfortable. It may not always be a drink that the man is holding it may be a book, it may be a briefcase it could even be a jacket. Know that just because there is something in front of the man it does not mean that he lacks confidence.
The hands of a man sometimes will be open or more animated when fliting and may even do so when the man is excited in general.
First determine proximity then the position and then the hands and you can understand why his body language is acting the way it is even without verbal communication.
Next up will be the next 3 steps in reading men’s body language.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and or questions about reading body language.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell
Photo credits: Handsome Young Man Looking Up by photostock, Young Man by photostock