Ten Helpful Tips On Understanding Body Language

By Rob Wicker

We don’t always tell one another what we are actually thinking. That’s why understanding body language is important.

Robert Phipps is a body language expert from Great Britain. These are ten tips from Mr. Phipps to help you understand unspoken behavior.

  1. Maintaining eye contact shows respect and makes people feel comfortable with you. Be careful though—one hundred percent eye contact makes people nervous, like maybe they’ve got a dab of ketchup on their chin. Keeping eye contact around 60% to 70% of the time when you are engaged in a personal conversation is sufficient to convey your interest and respect.
  2. Just as your Mom said, posture is important. Keeping the head up will make you feel better. Good posture also projects confidence.
  3. Tilting the head to one side indicates that you are interested and receptive to what is being said.
  4. Folding your arms across your chest indicates that you are unreceptive. Keeping your arms at your side with your head up shows that you are receptive and open.
  5. Most of us angle towards people we like and find attractive, and shift away from the people we’d rather not be around.
  6. This is also true for feet. If they are angled away from you, feet indicate that a person is ready to leave. If the feet are pointed in your direction it indicates that the person finds you interesting.
  7. Palms slightly up and out shows that you are open and friendly. Phipps suggests that you offer your handshake upright and vertical because this implies that you consider the other person an equal.
  8. Get too close and you are considered pushy. If the person is leaning even slightly away from you, you’re probably too close.
  9. Pursing the lips suggests that a person is considering what you said; a pursing of the lips with a wrinkled brow can also indicate that someone is holding back a comment.
  10. Although most of us can’t move our ears, you can show that they are being used by not speaking too much. Listening is the best way to display your interest and respect for the other person.

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