Posture Language and First Impressions
Today, we see all types of police shows on t.v. that seem to rely on “reading” someone. Many of the characters in these shows are pretending to be psychic but in reality, they are just observant and understand all the nuances of posture language, or body language.
Your posture language can tell anyone a lot about you if they know what they are looking for. Knowing more about what body language is saying can help you out in many aspects of life.
Think how much easier it would be (if you were familiar with reading body language) the next time you saw someone who you were interested in.
It would make your life easier, and less stressful, if you were trained to pick up on subtle body language clues that made it clear that they were interested in you too… or not.
It’s not really all that hard if you slow down and pay attention. Here are some pointers on typical body positioning and what they can mean in a given situation:
1. Anger: tightness, leaning forward, fists and jaws clenched. The main word here is “tight”. People who are angry act as though if they don’t “hold on tightly” their anger will spill out.
Whenever you encounter someone who looks like they are about to burst, it’s probably a sign that they are very angry and might just be ready to do just that!
2. Excited: someone who is “up” and very excited about something will be just the opposite of angry.
Instead of appearing tight and closed off, an excited person will look open. They will have an open posture, as opposed to hunching over or leaning forward like they would if they were angry.
They tend to talk with their hands and have their palms facing upwards. Mouth and eyes are usually very wide.
3. Shy: people will generally look down and not meet your eye. They can also be hunched over and tend to walk that way. This is their subconscious way of “disappearing”.
4. Intimidation: if someone is trying to intimidate someone they will do just the opposite of a shy person. Instead of trying to make themselves smaller and disappear, they try to make themselves bigger.
They tend to lean forward, invade the space of others, talk more loudly, and stand up taller.
5. Dominance: this is displayed in similar ways to intimidation, though it may not have so much of the overt traits. For example, someone who is showing dominance may not talk loudly but they do tend to stand taller.
Another sign is that they will put their hands on their hips. This shows a feeling of superiority. They will keep their elbows out.
All of these can be visual clues as to what is going on inside the person you are with. Being able to recognize these clues, and interpreting them correctly, can help you out in many situations.
Think how helpful these skills would be the next time you were going in to ask your boss for a raise, for example. If he appeared fearful it might be a sign that he doesn’t want to lose you. That would sure help your bargaining position, wouldn’t it?
These are just a few basics in understanding posture language, but they can be a great place to start.
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