Body Language 101. Seeing Past The Words.

“Head up, chin up, chest out” When people can see we feel low they often say phrases like this to us to make us feel better. Although their advice is often ignored, if practised,it can be an almost instant short cut to feeling better.

Although this sounds like a bold claim to make, body language experts across the world agree that behaviours that appear to defy gravity e.g. holding your head high or walking on your toes rather than the balls of your feet, are generally signs of a more positive and confident mental state.

Combining this with evidence from brain imaging studies, it seems that our actions can affect our thoughts just as much as our thoughts can affect our actions. To put it simply, practising gravity defying behaviours when we feel down in the dumps might be the best way to cheer us up.

Although we can consciously choose to use gravity defying behaviours as a way to manage negative emotions and make us feel confident, natural gravity defying behaviours happen without us thinking.

Controlled by a part of our brain with a fancy name that we will just call the “emotion centre”, these behaviours generally reflect a persons true thoughts and feelings. So the next time you find yourself wondering what your partner, friend or family member is thinking, keep an eye out for gravity defying behaviours, a lack of them may be a subtle clue that all is not as well as words would have us think.

Top Gravity Defying Behaviours Include:

1 Genuine Smile

2 Thumbs up

3 Toes/foot pointed up

4 Standing tall and straight

5 Head held high, hands in the air like you just won a 100 meter sprint

6 Dancing

“Fronting” (Body Language 101)

A technical term, “fronting” is simply when a person turns their whole body towards you. Although you wouldn’t think it, you can learn a great deal about how a person feels about you by the degree to which they face you.

One of many unconscious behaviours we perform, body language experts across the world agree that fronting is controlled by a primitive part of our brain called the limbic system. As fronting someone exposes vital organs such as the heart and lungs, fronting inherently puts you at risk should the person you are facing wish to attack. Although such violence is rare in modern society, real or imagined, our limbic system is designed to protect us from all threats. As a result, our limbic system simply won’t allow us to perform fronting behaviour in the presence of people we dislike or distrust. Given this, although often overlooked, fronting is a clear indication that a person is comfortable with, trusts you and likes you (potentially even romantically).

So, the next time you notice someone stood at an angel whilst talking to you, think to yourself, is this person stood at an angle because they are simply in a rush? Or is there a deeper reason, perhaps one of distrust or dislike that you can rectify.

Life Hack (communication 101)

1. Stop looking around the room!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was playing with something, stood side on to you, or who kept looking over your shoulder as you talked? It doesn’t feel nice does it, rude in fact.

The thing is, we don’t have to dislike or be disinterested in someone to do this. Weather its because we’re starving and can’t stop thinking about tea, or because we’re stressed and worried about deadlines, right or wrong, body language such as looking around the room while someone is talking to us communicates the same message, that we would rather be somewhere else talking to someone else! So, the next time you catch yourself fiddling with a pen lid whilst someone is talking to you, stop, put yourself in the other persons shoes, and ask yourself, do I really want to communicate disinterest to this person?

If the the answers no, remember, your actions often tell a different story to your words, so stop playing with your tie and looking around the room, face the person head on, look them straight in the eye, and show them what they mean to you by giving them your full attention. After all, “Five minutes spent fully engaging with one person as if he or she is the only thing in the room at the moment is worth 10 times more than 15 minutes half-heartedly tittering on about the dullest subjects”

Especially on dates…