THE BLOG

The Silent Language of the Body

04/30/2015 06:37 pm ET | Updated Jun 30, 2015

"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness" --
William Arthur Ward American Writer 1921-1994)

Have you ever observed or deciphered others, their nonverbal behavior, so you learn more about them or interact with them more successfully. Everyone has! Reading people successfully, learning nonverbal behavior to predict human actions is a task well worth your attention. With a glance you can learn to read their intentions. The body transmits what a person is thinking via gestures, facial expressions and movements. It is the universal language all its own... a nonverbal communication. It is a much talked about subject and a much researched ability through brain-scan technology and neural imaging. It has been established a most valuable asset to read the silent language of the body.

Learning to read "this body language" teaches you to read accurately many kinds of behavior and how to detect deception, fear, even hate and disloyalty. There are many expert books on this subject but a layperson can learn much by being attentive to body signals. You have met people who shake your hand but cannot meet your gaze. You remember a person making a statement -- and all of a sudden it rolls by your inner eye... and you realize it was a deception. Have you seen a couple cuddling yet seem to be totally disconnected...she is looking in one direction, he in another? Or someone saying constantly" "I truly mean it" and you know that the truly is not true at all. Or feeling betrayed in action, and we sensed the betrayal coming yet wished it away. This powerful insightful knowledge will enhance your personal interactions and will be helpful to enrich your life.

Elaine D. Papas.a Psychologist, Attorney and Business Advisor observes:

Involuntary body language is considered by many to be the most honest form of human expression because it is mainly an innate reaction or affirmation of what the person is really thinking and feeling. The lips may say 'Yes' or 'That makes sense to me,' while the jaw is clenched or their posture turns away from the speaker, both signs of 'No' or 'I disagree.' Use of body language with verbal language use is the need to eliminate uncertainty and aid in comprehension.

Here are five of the most common body language signs:
1. Obvious facial expressions, such as raised eyebrows or a smile tend to be less reliable. We all have smiled at someone we don't particularly like to be polite or avoid conflict. Along with the smile may be a clenched jaw or averted eyes which are the real expression a feeling of dislike.
2. A limp handshake or resistance to any proximity or touching can signify dislike, indifference or apprehension. While a strong handshake, standing closely, touch on the shoulder or kiss on the cheek can convey the opposite.
3. Body shifting - You are involved in a discussion and the listener's body shifts away from the speaker, instead of crossed legs toward the speaker, they are crossed away. This can be a sign of displeasure or disagreement with the speaker or what they are saying.
4. Arms crossed over the chest. This may indicate that a person is being defensive or disagreement with the opinions or actions of other individuals with whom they are communicating.
5. Finger tapping or when sitting, the tapping or swinging foot - Is a sign of impatience, anger or both, at to communicator.

However, cultural norms should also be taken into account. What is considered sincere expression of honesty and interest in the U.S., i.e. extended direct eye contact with your negotiating counterpart, may be considered rude and offensive to another culture. In many Asian, African and Latin American cultures, extended eye contact can be taken as an affront or a challenge of authority. Remember to observe your own body's reaction to your situations. Don't assume the other party doesn't know how to read body language because they may be reading yours too!

In a blink of an eye you see what the other is thinking! Nonverbal communications reveal true thoughts and feelings appear like on a screen. Even in our time of computers we often disconnect. People still need to meet to read the other's actions, there is a need to express and observe in person. Non-verbal communication is powerful and has meaning. It is a call applied to any situation. Observe the world around you, determine the meaning of the actions. It behooves everyone to detect honesty or deceit quickly and learn to 'read' the silent message of the body.

"In order to carry a positive action, we must develop a positive vision" --
Dalai Lama (Leader of Tibetan Buddhism, 14th Dalai Lama. 1935)