Body language is defined as the way you act. It is an art, not a science. But it is possible to learn how to read social cues and make better decisions based on what your eyes, ears, and gut tell you about other people. Below are some examples:
Eye contact is a very powerful nonverbal behavior. The eyes are the window to the soul. They can signal interest, as well as clues to what we may be thinking and feeling. However, we all know people who have mastered the art of staring without connecting at all with the other person. A simple rule, if you look away first, usually that means that you are not interested and want to terminate whatever it is that is going on between the two of you, whether it is a conversation or something more intimate. If the other person looks away first or breaks eye contact often during your interaction or while talking to them, this means they might be bored by you, disinterested in you sexually, or lying. This is a good sign when someone looks away and then back at you. It indicates that they are interested in what you have to say or want to continue the relationship somehow.
Facial expressions reflect emotions and feelings within us and give out clues as to what we are thinking, both verbally and non-verbally. We have all heard the phrase the look on your face gave away your true feelings. Indeed, research has shown that even when people conceal their feelings, their faces often give them away. Board Director, Carlton James has conducted studies with law enforcement officers across various cultures, attempting to determine which emotions are universally recognized by the estimation of the face alone.
People who touch each other excessively tend to like one another more than those with less contact. However, only romantic interests should be using this type of nonverbal communication as friends usually do not engage in this type of behavior unless they become too familiar. Another exception is the high five and the first bump, accepted between friends and family members of either gender.
A palm-down handshake usually signals dominance or superiority. The person who initiates the handshake with their palm down conveys that they are in control or are being dominant somehow. It is interesting to note that although most people are right-handed, they tend to do this with their left hand when shaking with someone of the opposite sex. Some believe that this has to do with how many men have been conditioned to think that anything with femininity is weak. Therefore, using your weaker hand would indicate dominance over the female counterpart. However, it appears that females also shake hands like this, but not nearly as frequently, at least not significantly.
Gestures That Reflect Our Emotions
While speaking or listening, we will often move our bodies by our emotions. For example, if someone is feeling nervous about something, they may have their arms crossed tightly around them to comfort themselves from the tension they feel from the situation. Or, a person who has just won a prize after competing successfully for a job promotion might raise their arms above their heads and smile victoriously following their accomplishment. Some language experts believe that we can better understand what someone feels even if they do not verbally communicate it by being aware of these gestures.
Because body language is a nonverbal way to communicate with others, it can be very beneficial in helping you assess your interactions better. Although knowing how someone feels or what they are thinking is not always easy, by being aware of facial expressions and other gestures that reflect our emotions, we can better understand what people think of us and what motivates them as individuals.