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Confident Life Skills – Reading Body Language


What effect are my words/actions having and how can I tell? Many people go through their daily lives whether at work or home talking to other people and not really knowing the impact or effect their words or actions or having on the other person…yet the words and actions we use on a daily basis can greatly influence others around us.
How any times have you heard the phrase… “what’s the matter with him/her or all I said was… ?
Or how about… “I really don’t know what I did but he/her seems to be upset…
If you took the time to study a person’s face it betrays many emotions and feelings and by looking for the signs you could easily adapt your words and actions using the skills and techniques we’ve covered in previous articles to make a positive and lasting impression on others around us.
Try it for yourself and look out for the tell tale signs that betray someone’s inner most feelings.
Maybe it’s an imperceptible tightening around the eyes or mouth when you think you are trying to explain something patiently.
A tautness of the skin or perhaps even a colour change from dark to light or vice versa.
Check out their body language, what is it “telling” you?
Are their shoulders tight, head to one side uncomfortably, are they shuffling their feet, perhaps crossing their legs, is their body tilted away from you, are they trying to distance themselves?
Do they feel comfortable around you or uncomfortable and how can you tell, what are signs to look for?
What’s their breathing like, is it deep, shallow, quick or slow?
Are their lips tightly drawn?
Do they speak and act towards you in the way you would like them to and if not think of the reasons why that could be?
Many people react to the signal or message that you might be unconsciously sending out with your own body language, so for example if you were feeling a little tense or uptight or edgy you will be conveying that feeling across to the other person who will in turn “reflect that back to you” making you assume that they are “hostile” when in fact the emotion or feeling is coming from you, so the first thing to do is to check out yourself, your language patterns, are you using the correct modality (we covered this in a previous article) to suit this person, what kind of body language are you using, are you too close them, too far away?
Take the time to see how they react with other people in the office or at home and take particular note of their expressions and body language as they are giving you very important clues as to what makes them happy or unhappy.
Observe how they interact with individuals that they like and also individuals that they don’t like and see if you can spot the differences in behavior?
Are their words congruent with their actions, what are they really saying and feeling?
We very often in life only notice when someone is upset when they start to cry, we rely too much on people telling us verbally how they feel, instead of using our eyes and ears.
We do not want to know if a person is angry with us by having a punch on the nose and we certainly don’t want to “hallucinate” all sorts of possibilities from a twitch of the eyebrows.
If you want to be a truly effective communicator this is one lesson you can’t afford not to learn!
All these exercise and much more can be experienced first hand by booking Garth Delikan, The Lifestyle Guy for a half day programme on “Confident Life Skills” where all these principles and techniques will be taught to you and your department in a fun role play situation where you will gain a greater understanding of everything covered in this article.
Telephone: 01354 658242

Confident Life Skills – Reading Body Language

Skills, Body Language, Life Skills

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