Is reading Body Language a dying art?

Sadly, I think it is.

Men and Body Language

During this Men’s Health and Wellbeing week, something they too can look at more deeply as we believe the stereotype that men can’t do emotions as well as women, or don’t do.  Well, this is one shared language we all have and it could, yes, help lonely men to open up, share, engage more with others – men and women (and children, animals and more!) – to find support, connection, friendship and even love and more social opportunities.  

I had cause to suggest smiling at people to a (male) client with low self-esteem and depression, so not wanting to engage, but also looking for love!   You can’t really engage without showing and understanding body language.  I have also on many occasions encouraged clients wanting to build their confidence and/or self-esteem ‘how to’ do it, how to ‘learn’ what is, really, a natural way of being for people!

At any age, we ‘show’ ourselves to others through unconscious body language – a language before words and social media!   We needed others to know if we were friendly and safe to be around – or not!  That angry face -brows pulled together, grimace of the mouth, fisted hands and strong steady stance indicated that we may be under threat for some reason 0 no words to share and explain, or words to understand themselves, our cavemen forefathers simply ‘felt’ and ‘reacted’ by instinct.

Body language is an instinctive language that we all humanly (and animalistic too) understand.

An animal will often respond to someone negatively or positively by relating to their ‘intention energy’ – barking at them, cats cosying up to people who ‘don’t like them’ (perhaps because cats are comforting animals).

Learn again to “read” other people’s body language

By that I mean consciously acknowledge it, recognise it, analyse it – and next time your instincts kick in you will realise what is happening, and either protect yourself – or go for it!

So if that smile you saw last week and again today seems inviting – go for it, albeit cautiously and care-fully, but read it for what it is – an invitation to engage, get to know each others, share and bond and maybe move towards friendship, trust and support – even love!

If you don’t ‘feel’ comfortable around someone – walk away!  Right away!

That is your defence mechanism and it is stronger than any – your survival depends on it!

Sometimes you might override it thinking that you are wrong – you’re not.  Move on now.

Dangerous people are exceptionally good at reading que’s on people’s feelings and they move in to manipulate them and take advantage of those trusting souls – narcissistic relationships stem from this, thieves and muggers, financial manipulators – even your children (naturals!) and sales people, or magicians (although these latter people rarely aim to harm but help they do better understand you than you do!)

Phones not used for talking

Talking is a dead giveaway if you listen!  Today, many of us don’t.  We all actually manipulate our ‘communication’ with others to seem more appealing and exciting in our lives than might be real.  Business do this all the time on social media, personally on Facebook which we all know is renowned for causing some people to feel inadequate comparing themselves to others with ‘real’ lives; yet, we are hiding from the truth.

Our voice (tone and pitch) hold clues and clear indications on our underlying intention and emotional state; our face and eyes tell a different story at times to the words we choose to use;  your stance and posture give more away than any pretend smile (that ‘doesn’t reach your eyes’) or efforts to laugh when you deep inside are crying and hurting, lonely and sad!

Yet people know.   They instinctively recognise the ‘facts’ but choose to ignore them for what seems more obvious – what they are told.

So reignite your instinctive Self and take better care of yourself and your life, your options and opportunities – your safety and development!  Learn to influence by being your real Self and share what is truly yours to give to help, and influence people to give back to you their genuine, real an honest Self too.

It’s there – if you only know where to look (or how!)


Further reading:

Guardian article on smiling