“By a man’s fingernails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boots, by his trouser-knees, by the calluses of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt-cuffs, by his movement – by each of these things a man’s calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent enquirer in any case is almost inconceivable.”
– SHERLOCK HOLMES, 1892 –
Have you ever encountered someone who can walk into a room full of people and within minutes give an accurate description of the relationship between people and their feeling?
Have you encountered someone whom you talk to, look deep into your eyes as if you are totally naked in front of him. Every little thoughts in your mind was no secret to him. You felt that you couldn’t hide all your insecurities, your fear, your past, your emotion. All you can do was to be honest with him, telling things that perhaps you were unwilling to let others know.
In fact, body language is our original form of communication before language was created and evolved till the present. Every tiny details in your body language reflects your thought and your emotion. You hear this quite frequently: 70% of the communication done is through non verbal communication. That includes body language, voice tone etc.
Here, I shall elaborate on body language. The vibe that you exert on other people mainly comes from your body language, including your body posture, facial expression and gestures. So, let me divide body language into these 3 sub-categories. Each of these will be elaborated, with self-improvement techniques in latter posts.
The way you stand, sit and your body response to others. No matter what you do, you body posture reflects your true identity, your personality.
You might have heard your teachers, parents or some other people telling you to stand straight, sit straight. Why is that so? Why can’t you relax and look like a zombie? Well, you are literally telling people you are a zombie, walking among humans.
Thus, body posture is very important to show your personality. You most probably realised by now, how do most confident people stand or sit. When you meet a confident person, does he have hunch back? Does he stand static like a tree trunk? No. They always stand at shoulder length, move back and forth when engaging in conversation.
This is what people see on your face, simple right? No. You are only half right. Facial expression goes both ways. Your facial expression is what you think is on your face, and what actually seen by other people. Smile to the mirror like you mean it. You think you are sincere. But if you examine your image in the mirror, it may not look like it.
Thus, this comes to my point. Your emotion shows on your face, whether you like it or not. You can try to hide, but someone sensitive can pick that up on your facial expression.
This is important as you use your hand to stress a point. Let me give you a scenario. You are talking to this person about you winning a lottery. Your hands folded while saying, “Hey! I just won a lottery! Lets go celebrate!” Other people’s response will be, “Are you serious…. Don’t joke around.”
Thus, body gesture makes you congruent with your expression. Body gesture is like a flow of water. It should flow with your expression. If you have swing your hand too much, you look as if you are exaggerating. If you does not even move your hand, other people will be thinking, “Are you serious?” They will be very skeptical of your words.
Note: Your whole body language comes in one package. If any of your tiny movements doesn’t match with the rest, you will be deemed incongruent and thus lose credibility in the eyes of others.
Introduction to Body Language based on my experience.