Effective communication does not just mean knowing the right words to say. Emotions and body language also play a very important role in getting your message across. In fact, body language says a lot about what you’re feeling and thinking as of the moment. People who are transparent could get themselves in trouble.
Most Hollywood celebrities and salespeople have already perfected the technique of keeping a poker face and staying still in the midst of a major hurdle (as with the case of gossip-ridden movie stars) or if they are being told something quite contrary to their point (as with people in the sales industry).
However, most of us do not have this skill of controlling our reactions to events and things said. Thus, knowing how to read a person’s emotions based on his or her body language and gestures is important for effective communications. Not only will this knowledge be able to help you rise above the pack, but also keep your nose clean.
How do you know if somebody is anxious, angry, happy, surprised, or sad by judging only his body movements? Here are some ways you can read emotions by observing body language.
If a person is happy he…
– smiles a lot. We might even find him doing a little skip as he walks.
– has relaxed facial muscles and fluid movements
– hums or sings to himself
If a person is anxious he…
– has a pale face and dry lips
– starts perspiring profusely
– fidgets a lot and has shifty eyes
– keeps shaking his leg or tapping his foot
– makes sudden movements after a while of being still
If a person is angry he…
– pounds his fist on the table and uses a loud voice to speak
– clenches his fist and leans forward when talking to you
– bares his teeth and appears to be snarling as he talks
– has tense muscles
If a person is surprised he…
– suddenly opens his mouth (hence, the expression ‘my jaw dropped’)
– suddenly takes a step back
– widens his eyes or clamps his hand over his mouth
If a person is sad he…
– has trembling lips
– is not able to look you straight in the eye and sometimes even has tears forming
– slumps his body
– uses a rather flat or weak tone of voice
These are only a few of the indicators of the key emotions any human being feels. Some might even overlap. For instance, a person with shifty eyes may be either lying or just nervous; so, in order for you to effectively interpret what he is feeling, you have to take the context of the conversation in point.
When you think about it, part of body language reading is skill and part is sensitivity. There really is no clear-cut rule as to what kind of body language pertains to what emotion, but there are general signals that can be found in most people.
In short, reading body language does not take knowledge of rocket science. Because body language is part of daily living, anybody who does not exhibit any kind of body language is considered wooden, as with a mannequin that has just one expression and pose all throughout. Because we are humans, we succumb to our emotions sometimes. And it is through body language that we convey messages that we don’t have the courage to say out loud.
By Michael Lee