Body Language: How to Read Thoughts Without Words

Body Language

Everyone knows the technique of “body language” – they say that when a person scratches his nose or looks away, it means he’s lying. Such constructions are ingrained in the minds of many people who want to be successful and productive.

In reality, body language and gestures have many nuances that won’t allow you to limit yourself to familiar patterns. How to really understand the intentions of people and predict their actions?

The whole secret of body language lies in our bodies, which are both the most controllable and the most uncontrollable that we have. Even the most unemotional person in a certain situation can literally be read by knowing a few working practices.

Reading Gestures: Psychology

To read sign language correctly, be attentive to the details. Let’s consider the simplest gestures that give away a person’s true feelings.

Foot Position

There is a universal detail that helps to unmistakably understand the intentions of the other person, even if you do not have a developed empathy. It’s the feet.

The direction of the feet is as important a sign as facial expressions. The one whose feet are turned toward you is listening attentively and agrees with your position, as if “accepting” it.

The opposite direction indicates a desire to end the conversation soon, boredom, or disagreement with what you have said. It’s the legs that are the most difficult for us to control during a conversation. A person may nod and smile at you, looking honestly and openly in your eyes, but slowly take a step back a little away from you.

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The Look

The classic eye roll is everyone’s well-known dismissive “I’m smarter than you, I’m bored with you.” But what about the corner gaze?

When a person looks in the left corner, he is remembering reality, details about a topic, or something he knows for sure. The right corner, on the other hand, indicates lying, composing details quickly, and carefully choosing the words you need to say.

Any avoidance of looking is always uncomfortable for both you and your interlocutor: knowing this, the person may deliberately not look you in the eye.

Choice of Location

Subconsciously we all want other people to like us, especially at collective events, whether it’s a training session, a meeting, a game at or some open lecture. How to understand that the person is located to cooperate with you?

The easiest and most obvious is his decision where to sit. If the person is interested in you and your support – he will find a place and sit next to you, subconsciously as if “choosing” you and your position.

If the person chooses a seat right in front of you, it indicates that he or she is “watching” you, your opinions and intentions, and is likely to take the opposite position to you, not only literally, but metaphorically as well. 

Body Language and Gestures of the Leader

Leaders are the people who want to keep the whole group in check, prevent conflicts at the outset by bringing a constructive point of view.

A leader in a campaign gives away bright, confident body language and gestures. Do you get a firm “high-five” from the top of your palm? Know this: this person wants to take a dominant position.

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The leader’s gestures are full of pride, his head is often raised. His movements are free, sprawling: such a person treats everything with enthusiasm.

Another thing is people who are unsure, a bit slouchy, whose handshake is more like a hesitant touch. This is a sign of confusion, insecurity about the group or what is going on, as well as about oneself.

Those who are often worried and afraid of looking wrong try to close themselves off from other people, avoid staring, and fold their arms across their chest in an effort to calm themselves, so as not to say too much.

These are the most basic “rules” of reading other people’s gestures. The most important thing in this peculiar art is to look at the whole picture, to understand the context of the situation and to note details carefully.

Body language and gestures really do allow you to read other people’s minds. Every uncontrolled movement or facial expression is a manifestation of our true feelings and intentions toward others.

Obviously, someone who is furiously picking lint from clothes is trying to calm down, and someone who is packing a bag is trying to walk away from a conversation. Another question: what are we going to do in response? Be aware of other people’s feelings and gestures, and watch your own.