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Body Language

Body Language

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Published by milljames
Body language has all sorts of influences on people and we use it to communicate in many situations without even being aware that we are doing so. Most of us have a vague understanding of what body language is but might be hard pressed to pin a definition on the concept. Essentially though it is reasonably straight forward. Body language is any method of communication using our body. It includes both verbal (what we say, our tone and the volume we use) and non-verbal (body movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and posture. These different elements sometimes communicate more than we mean them to and they have accurately been described as ‘a silent orchestra that can have long-lasting repercussions’.
Body language has all sorts of influences on people and we use it to communicate in many situations without even being aware that we are doing so. Most of us have a vague understanding of what body language is but might be hard pressed to pin a definition on the concept. Essentially though it is reasonably straight forward. Body language is any method of communication using our body. It includes both verbal (what we say, our tone and the volume we use) and non-verbal (body movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and posture. These different elements sometimes communicate more than we mean them to and they have accurately been described as ‘a silent orchestra that can have long-lasting repercussions’.

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Published by: milljames on Nov 08, 2013
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04/21/2014

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Body Language – Common Myths and How to Use it Effectively
By Dr. Ale Drewnic!y
"hat is #ody language$
 
Body language has all sorts of influences on people and we use it to communicate in many situations without even being aware that we are doing so. Most of us have a vague understanding of what body language is but might be hard pressed to pin a definition on the concept. Essentially though it is reasonably straightforward. Body language is any method of communication using our body. It includes both verbal (what we say, our tone and the volume we use) and non-verbal (body movements, facial epressions, hand gestures and posture. !hese different elements sometimes communicate more than we mean them to and they have accurately been described as  "a silent orchestra that can have long-lasting repercussions#. In recent years body language has entered into popular culture, helped in no small part by television game shows such as $ould I %ie to &ou' and crime dramas lie !he Mentalist and %ie  to Me. Even in the political realm body language has become a hot button topic with speaers# every move being analysed in freee frame to identify which candidate wins the body language contest during the presidential debate. It would be rational to thin that we could easily tell what someone is thining and whether they are lying *ust from a hand gesture or a crossed arm, but of course it is far less straightforward than that.
“I speak two languages, Body and English” - Mae West 
Myths of #ody language
You can always tell what someone is thinking 
!hat a little nowledge is a dangerous thing is a truism that definitely applies to body language. +s the sub*ect has become increasingly popular it has led us to mae assumptions about what a person is thining based on their body language. $hen we see a person covering their mouth or when their voice becomes high pitched we automatically thin they are lying, whereas in reality these actions can simply indicate that the person is feeling under stress. esearch by aul Elman and others has found that we are etremely poor at telling when a person is lying - around /0/ or about the same as if we guessed randomly.
People who are lying aoid eye contact 
!hey will not meet my eye so therefore they must be lying1 !his is a common misconception about body language and comes from the belief that a person who is lying nows they will be found out because their eyes will show the deception. !he corollary is that people who loo us in the eye are telling the truth. 2owever, some people are so confident that they can braen out a situation where their lie may be uncovered that they can loo at the listener directly even though they now they are lying. Indeed, because it is commonly nown that maintaining eye contact is ey to being believed some people overcompensate by staring at the other person. Interestingly, psychopaths, sociopaths and other psychologically malad*usted individuals have often developed the ability to maintain fied eye contact. Interestingly, in some games such as poer the myth may hold out. layers who avoid eye contact sometimes do so because they are bluffing with a low value hand.
People look to the right when they are telling a lie
!he basis for this is that we thin creatively with the right side of our brains and therefore if we mae up something that is false we will instinctively loo over at that side. 2owever, humans actually store memories in different places and we all loo at different points when we are retrieving a memory. !his may be to the left, right or dead centre and can be up or down, depending on the person. !herefore if a person loos in a particular direction it does not prove that a person is either telling the truth or lying. 2owever, people are consistent so it is possible to gauge with an untruth with greater accuracy if we do a little groundwor. If we as a couple of 3uestions that we now will elicit a truthful response, such as how they travelled in that day we can identify where the person "stores# their memories. !hese anchor 3uestions can guide us as to the person#s future responses and tell us when they are telling the truth.
!rossing your arms means "#o$% 
+lthough it sometimes does indicate that the person does not want to listen to the message they are hearing it can also mean that the person feels comfortable in that position or even  *ust that they are cold. 4rossing arms can also help
 to concentrate. !he same is true for people who cross their legs. 5ften people are *ust comfortable in this position.
 
&ast talkers are not to 'e trusted 
+nother common myth about body language is that people who tal 3uicly are hoping that they will not be 3uestioned because they are preventing people from raising ob*ections or disputing what they are saying. 5ur average taling speed is between 67 and 77 words per minute. +t the lower end people give the impression of being in control, authoritative and truthful. +t faster speeds listeners often put up mental barriers to what the speaer is saying. 2owever, in reality people who are telling a lie often spea more slowly because they have to spend slightly more time maing up the what they are saying. !hey initially have to process the truth and then alter this to fit the lie. $here a person#s speech is slow, broen up with pauses and lacing in contractions ("I would lie that# rather than "I#d lie that#) it is more liely that they are telling a lie.8imilarly if someone acts in a nervous way we tend to thin they are not to be trusted. 2owever, people find different situations stressful and may simply be reacting to the occasion. 8ome poer players thin wrongly that a person who is nervous has a wea hand when in reality the nerves often come from ecitement about having a strong hand.
Mas!ing
eople use masing in social situation for a variety of reasons, some positive and some negative. $e can thin of many eamples where it would be inappropriate to show our true feelings and because of this it becomes preferable to hide them. If you were out to dinner and found yourself net to a particularly boring or disliable person you would probably smile politely and hope the meal passes as 3uicly as possible (hopefully avoiding dessert and coffee at the end). !here are countless situations when we stic a smile on our face and get on with things hoping we can move on with our lives before long. In these situations a smile helps everything run smoothly. !here may also be times when we hide our feelings for less altruistic reasons, such as lying to get ourselves out of a tricy situation. oer players sometimes act in a friendly way towards other players after they have made a bet, if they have a wea hand and are bluffing. !his is because they subconsciously want to avoid a confrontation.In situations such as these it can be useful to develop masing sills. 5ne way we use masing is to mirror the body language of the person we are speaing to. !his involves positioning our bodies in the same way, including their posture, how they hold their arms or turn their heads. !his techni3ue is commonly used when people are consciously trying to build rapport and can be effective because the congruence of body language suggests agreement, which is vital for rapport, and other people are less liely to distrust someone with whom they have this connection. &ou can test whether you have built rapport in this way by mirroring the other person for a while in a reactive way (following the other person#s movements) and then trying to lead by, for eample subtly changing posture. If the other person follows your lead then it is liely that you have built rapport. If we lie our body language can get thrown out of ilter because there is a disconnect between what our voice is telling the listener and what our body language is saying. +s people tend to believe what they see more than what they hear a conflict is created between the two sets of messages. In this situation listeners will often believe the body language over the person#s words.
“When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language o( the (irst)” - *alph Waldo Emerson
It is a truism that the best salespeople are those who believe in what they are selling. 5ne of the reasons for this is that their body language is in harmony with the message they are conveying. In the same way actors who are immersed in the part communicate performances with much greater power. !herefore, if we want people to accept what we are saying the ey is to believe in it ourselves. oer players who adopt a pure or game theory optimal (9!5) strategy can benefit from this approach. $ith this strategy a player decides in advance how they are going to play certain combinations of cards. :or eample, if layer 6 is dealt a high 

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