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Why You Need To Be Careful When "Reading" Someones Body Language

Sometimes, not all people mean what they say. They could be:

  • Lying to you about something.

  • Pretending to be something they’re not.

  • Or just afraid of how you’ll react when they tell you what they’re thinking of.

Psychological research has proven that body language plays a major role in our interpersonal relationships. From hand gestures to body movements and facial expressions, all of these have different meanings and people interpret them in several ways.

Considering this, you need to be careful that YOUR particular way of reading body language is correct. Lets examine this now...

Areas To Be Careful On

The following are the points you should be careful about when it comes to expressing and interpreting body language:

  • Cultural Differences: Cultural differences can pose a major threat in interpreting nonverbal communication. An example would be giving a thumbs up. In the United States and England, the gesture means the appreciation of something good. Meanwhile, a thumbs up in the Middle East is vulgar.

  • Different Perception: Body language also depends on a person’s perception. Let’s say you went to a friend’s house and he had a frown on the face as he opened the door. You might feel unwelcome because of this. But what you don’t know is that perhaps something unpleasant happened just before you came.

  • Different Habits: Different people have different habits. You probably saw a new girl in the office with her hands on her hips. This might give a negative connotation to you since you don’t know her that well, but for her, it might just be a habit.

It's Worth It To Get It Right

Basically, body language is used to identify people’s emotions. Therefore, when you know how to read someones body language, it gives you the opportunity to better connect with others.

In the same manner, it also allows you to build a better relationship with your family, partner, friends and colleagues. In relationships, be it at home or at work, nonverbal communication helps you:

  • Read people’s emotions.

  • Build a sense of trust by sending nonverbal signals that would let the other person know that you mean what you say, thus creating transparency in the relationship.

  • Respond positively through nonverbal signals.

  • By using nonverbal communication effectively, it can have a harmonious effect on how we get along with others.

We use body language in 90% of our interaction with others. More often than not, we do them involuntarily. It is best that we always stay aware of our actions because they will always give away our true feelings.

Need more help?

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