Reading body language: Are you making these common nonverbal mistakes?

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

 

Photo credits:

Reading body language: How to spot a liar part 2

Reading body language: When reading the body language of deception or lies there is a long list of items to look at to determine if a man or woman is lying.

 

There is one universal body part to look at while determining if nonverbal communication is accurate.

 

While reading the body language of a man or woman it is important to get a feel for their normal activities or body language signs that are normal for them. When you have taken the time to learn people body language signals that they use when they are being inaccurate it will almost seem that you can read minds or that you are clairvoyant.   

 

Take for instance a person who is nervous when they are under pressure they will have certain things that they do constantly. It could be that they:

  • ·         Rub their hands
  • ·         Sweat when nervous
  • ·         Dressed different than what they are comfortable in
  • ·         Shift more than normal
  • ·         Licking their lips
  • ·         Playing with their hair
  • ·         Touching their face
  • ·         Abnormal movement in their chair or seat
  • ·         Lack of eye contact or over excessive eye contact
  • ·         Breath differently taking deep breathes or even staggered breaths
  • ·         Tap their feet on the ground or their hands on a table
  • ·         Directing the feet towards an exit

 

Now everyone has a go to body language or non verbal “tell” when they are nervous and it is important to identify it when possible. This idea has been mentioned quite a few times in order to remind you that under any given circumstance people will react in a specific way. This nonverbal “tell” may even include a facial expression or a signature movement with the hands or even a nod. The problem is that many times “tells” of nervousness can be the same tells that a person uses when they are lying.

 

How to tell if someone is lying with body language
Is my girlfriend cheating on me signs of body langugae

 

How to tell if a man or woman is lying!

 

So what happens if you meet a person for the first time and you don’t have a lot of time to determine if they are telling you the truth? There are a few things that will help determine if what they are saying is as accurate as their body language.

 

One way is that their story may be too good to be true or over told to make up what they think would be a deficiency in their own story. In this example the story may seem like it is pushed through and either overly detailed in areas that you would not normally ask about or seem like the story is too fast and there are too many holes that do not make sense. You would be able to look for abnormal actions like touching the face or even using the lobster claw of deception.

 

One way that commonly gets confused when it comes to reading body language especially when it comes to lying is that of the direction and orientation of the eyes.

 

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming teaches that by looking at the location of the iris of the eye can determine the modality of learning for a person meaning are they:

  • ·         Visual or a person who learns from sight and sees what is going on.
  • ·         Kinesthetic or a person that learns and is comfortable with touch or feels their way through things.
  • ·         Auditory or a person who learns from hearing what needs to be done and listens intently.

 

Now there is an age old fairy tale that explains that when people look up and to the left there is fabricating going on or there may be a lie going on. In NLP this would signify visual construction (Vc) and if the person looked up and to the right this would signify visual remembered (Vr). The reason that this is thought of as a big deal is because in this theory visual construction means making up a story, fabrication or changing the story or even flat out lying.

 

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is not always right when it comes to any of their teachings but it does construct good guidelines for the way that things can be. When it comes to body language or non verbal communication there is not any rule that is 100% usable every time.

 

This theory of visual reconstruction would be great except that it is wrong and has been proven through a few studies done including one performed by Dr. Kevin Hogan. Police use this in interrogations, the military uses this style of lie detecting while interpreting stories about actions people have taken.

 

In some instances when men or women are lying they will not look at you while they are talking, now this may not mean that there is a lie directly going on but there is definitely something wrong with whatever they are talking about. This would also go with direct eye contact or looking someone in the eye. Now if a person has too much eye contact with you it is uncomfortable but if they do not make enough or if they break away too long at the wrong time it may be that there is a lie involved.

A good skilled liar knows this and may make the correct amount of eye contact and not really give off any signs of a lie. Most of the time when this situation happens you are dealing with a great manipulator and this type of person is great at guilting you into thinking that all of the problems and or issues are your fault. This is usually their giveaway more than
their body language and it is a verbal sign.

How to tell if your boyfriend is cheating on you
is my boyfriend cheating on me

Places to use body language signs or signals

 

Now where else could you use this information? There are plenty of places:

  1. 1.      A Job interview
  2. 2.      Dating or seduction
  3. 3.      Determining if a boyfriend or girlfriend is lying about where they were last night

 

Now what happens if you jump to conclusions too soon while reading the body language of males or females? You lose contracts, relationships, friends and you can even make some enemies. Understanding or interpreting body language and non verbal communication means you must be able to separate fact from fiction when it comes to knowing what is real and can help you or what is sometimes correct.

 

People have a tough enough time believing information and adding in the layer of detecting lies through nonverbal communication and half-truths makes this task even more difficult.    

 

What is body language? That answer will be up to you and what you think the other person communication is and how they fill in the voids of what you thinks as the viewer.

 

It is entirely possible for you to read a situation the wrong way and your reaction as it has been explained previously is what will cause a reaction in the other person. You must take the time to baseline people and understand their actions and why they perform them unless you are in a situation where you have to make a split second decision then go the direction where it keeps you the safest.

 

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is believing that one “tell” of a body language sign or signal is a definite. One of these items is the blinking rate of a person or touching the face means that there is a definite lie. In either instance when a person uses these “tells” this is an area where something just inst quite right but does not mean that there is a definite lie. Making the mistake of saying there is an absolute tell of lying would be inaccurate. These examples could be used for politicians all the way to salespeople.

 

The key is to take you time to understand what peoples actions mean nonverbally.

 

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

Now go implement!

 

Scott Sylvan Bell

 

Photo credits: Man by Salvatore Vuono, Woman On The Phone by Stuart Miles