Although Neon Lizard is primarily focused on visual communication, being able to read body language is critical to success in almost any career. Only 7% of communication is actually verbal, meaning the other 93% comes from visual cues. Based off these traits and non-verbal communication signals, humans are able to predict intentions and personalities in under seven seconds. First impressions are everything.
Body language is a physical transcription of all our subconscious thoughts and emotions.
Body language is essentially how we feel, but visible. Though a lot of nonverbal communication is subconscious, it can be controlled by the communicator to influence social situations.
The number of people who can effectively interpret and project body language is shrinking as our world relies more and more on digital communication. A great way to change that is by putting yourself in social situations that allow you to follow these tips.
To better understand body language, we need to understand animals. It may seem silly, but in many ways, human body language mirrors animal behaviors.
When animals want something from us, they will point with their nose in the direction of their focus and will periodically look back at us for approval or to make that they still have our attention. Say your dog wants to go outside. Likely he will nudge the door with his nose. Admittedly, it would be weird if a person did this, but humans communicate directional attention with their feet rather than their noses. In social situations, your feet point to the person you are most comfortable with. Perhaps you are uncomfortable, in which case you may notice that your feet are instinctively pointing towards the door as you subconsciously desire to leave.
If you can’t leave and you are still uncomfortable, you may make a subconscious effort to distance yourself by building a barrier. Crossing one’s legs, crossing arms, or zipping up jackets are all ways of showing social discomfort. On the other hand, standing with your legs slightly apart or using more open body language will communicate that you are comfortable and confident.
Humans typically identify body language subconsciously, but unless we know the person in question, it won’t always be accurate. This is because there are over 700,000 signals and visible expressions; 250,000 of which are facial expressions, 5,000 distinct hand gestures, and approximately 1,000 different postures. The best way to improve your body language reading skills is to read more body language. Analyze people (In a non-creepy way) and get to know them better in order to discern habits and traits from the relevant signals.
Here are some key common signals that you can watch out for while reading people:
Here are some tips to give off positive and confident body language.
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