What you can tell from body language

Is it really possible to tell what someone is thinking?? 

Well, it's kind of what I do for a living so I'm not going to give away too many trade secrets. But what I will show you is a few techniques that you can use in everyday life to become more intuitive to other people's thoughts. Sound cool? 

  1. Ultra open body language. It's generally good when someone displays open body language. But when does it become too much? Usually when someone is trying to spread themselves as large as possible to assert themselves in a social setting. When we make our body wide and spread it out, it naturally increases the amount of testosterone and lowers the amount of cortisol (Stress hormone) in our system. This can be quite a useful to do before a presentation or an important meeting as it will put you in a good frame of mind. If you on the other hand spot someone doing it while in your company, it's quite possible that they are trying to assert themselves or show signs of dominance. 
  2. Bouncing foot (when sitting). Often people mistake this as a sign of nervousness, if you see someone doing this you can be sure that something else is on their mind. Something that's preventing them being fully present with the current conversation, and something that maybe causing them some anxiety or tension. Often smokers will be bouncing a foot/knee when they feel like they want to go for another cigarette. This is because nicotine levels have decreased, and they are feeling stressed. When they smoke they get a boost of a dopamine, this is something that the body produces which makes them feel good and relaxed...until the nicotine levels run low again. I suggest reading "the nicotine trick" for more information on this.  
  3. The person who looks over your shoulder while talking to you. They are looking to escape or feel insecure and uncomfortable. It can come across as rude when people do this, especially if they seem confident so try to be forgiving and patient. The confidence is usually cover anxiety and insecurities. The best thing to do is to try and engage in conversation and to also reveal something makes you nervous or uncomfortable in that situation. It often puts others at ease knowing they are not they only one. 
  4. Biting nails, clicking fingers, stroking face, all of these are called self - Pacifying behaviours. It's the stuff we do to make ourselves feel calmer when we feel nervous, anxious or stressed. If you see someone repeatedly doing one of these actions perhaps the conversation is making them nervous or stressed? 
  5. Hands - if someone is using open hand gestures while talking it means they are opening up to you and that they feel comfortable around you and like you. Tip - use this to your advantage. Use open hand gestures and show your open palms (try not to look like a weirdo) to make others feel warm and comfortable around you. Studies have shown that people trust other people more when their hands are on show! 
  6. Heavy eye contact - a person who can maintain eye contact is often perceived as someone who is more charismatic, present and confident. Use this to your advantage. BUT be warned.. too much eye contact without breaking it will make you look like a psychopath and people will not want to be your friend. Don't say I didn't warn you!
  7. Looking down. Unless there is something on the floor or they're checking to see if all their buttons are done up this person is checking in with their feelings. You have just said something that is making them question how they feel emotionally towards the current subject matter.  

So there you have it. Some nifty little tricks to get you well on your way to over analysing any social situation you now find yourself in. 
You're welcome :) 

Alex WardComment