By now I am hoping it has become obvious to everyone that allowing ourselves to remain shy and awkward is just going to keep holding us back.
If you can learn to read body language you will never have to guess if somebody likes you or not.
There are a ton of useful ways to figure out what a person isn’t telling us by observing things like hand movement.
Ever wonder why your brother touches his face a lot? Or maybe your best friend has a weird habit of playing with his shirt.
Some of these are signs that a person is uncomfortable and knowing this information we learn how to address them properly.
I have always been curious why people behave the same ways and why some of us seem to have a unique way to calm ourselves down.
Everything that has to do with how we move our bodies can tell something very special about another person.
Body Language – Hand Gestures
People will guess that a persons face is key to understanding what somebody is saying. But in reality, it’s the hands that actually convey far more information.
The very first place you should be paying attention to when meeting a person is where they have their hands. Are they holding anything? Are their hands visible? Are they moving them around or fidgeting?
When we see any of these indicators it tells us something key about how they are feeling. Holding onto a phone or another device can demonstrate to us that they are busy and not wanting to talk.
It’s also funny because sometimes we all just want to look as if we are important. By holding our phones we actually may be doing the opposite of what we really want.
Instead of holding on to a phone, grab a drink instead. This will show that you aren’t busy and ready to talk.
If you can’t see the persons hands, it can mean that they are purposely waiting for something or someone to arrive. This doesn’t mean you can’t approach them, it will often change when you glance or start moving closer.
Hands on hips indicate a comfortable and powerful stance which means you should be ready for a stimulating conversation.
The idea is to pay attention and see what the hands are doing, it may mean they are nervously waiting for a conversation to engage in and they just don’t know what to do with their hands.
You can comfort them quickly by smiling at them or waving.
Speaking of smiles, what do facial expressions tell us?
There are several universal ways to interpret somebodies facial expressions and it’s important to be able to tell what each one means to us.
Real vs Fake smile: Identify when a smile is real because it shows how interested they will be when you approach them. If they use a fake smile, they are not as likely to be worth the time to talk to.
You can tell when a smile is real by how it impacts the entire face, real ones show in the cheeks and around the eyes. Fake ones are just the upward pointing of the mouth.
To go along with a person’s smile they will likely use 6 other common expressions. The one-sided smile is contempt or they are feeling off-put by interacting.
Frowns will tell us that they are unhappy about something. When going to talk to them to expect to show empathy really quick. This will let you find out what is wrong or why they are unhappy and give you a chance to show you will listen.
Upward movements with the eyebrows are a way to show excitement, be careful not to mistake this for fear. A surprised look is great because they are likely showing to you that they may already like you from their first impression.
If you have scared them somehow, it goes a completely different way because they are not as likely to welcome you into a conversation and may, in fact, hit you for scaring them.
More about the facial expressions and how we can learn what to do
Besides just showing emotions, the facial expression is a good indicator as to what is on their mind. We all continuously think about things.
Some expressions you want to see when you are actually talking to them involve blinking. Slow blinking can mean they are trying to listen and fast blinking can mean they are thinking about themselves and trying to make sure they are blinking.
Another tidbit about the raising of somebodies eyebrows is when it comes to a topic. If the other person does this it shows they are actually more interested in that then something else you could discuss.
If a person is constantly avoiding eye contact it means they are distracted, if they just look away for a sec it can mean they are scared from something that was said and you should change the subject.( can also mean that they are shy themselves)
What can we tell from how a person stands or sits?
There are a few things we can take away from how a person is standing.
First are they standing with their legs spread or are they close together?
An open stance indicates power and confidence, a closed stance means they are more guarded.
This is almost the same as when they are sitting.
You will be able to tell from a person’s feet if they are engaged or want to be engaged.
i.e if they are talking to someone but their feet are pointing away from the other person, this means they are open to talking to somebody else.
If their feet point toward the other person they aren’t going to welcome another person into the conversation.
What if the person’s feet point to the exit?
This can mean they are feeling tired and getting ready to leave, so it’s best to not talk to them at this point in time.
A few more things I wanted to bring up
You and I will get better at noticing when a person should be engaged or not by how much we practice and work on these. You may not have the ability early on to realize everything you actually see.
It is far better to start with a few and work in more and more as you figure out each one. Once you are comfortable we can start to understand how emotions can be copied or gestures mimicked to make each person feel more at ease.
For now, the best couple of these you should learn are identifying hand gestures and whether a smile is real or fake. Try to pick up on how the feet point so you can identify if somebody is wanting to talk to you or not.
A smile or a wave is a great thing to see and also look for anyone who raises their eyebrows when a new question is asked or topic is brought up.
I hope you have found this enjoying to read and I will continue to create more ways to learn to read body language in the future.