important. According to Hogan, the body language used during arguments early in arelationship sets the tone for the future."Let's say that during an argument, you raised your hand," poses Hogan. He says itwould not be unusual for your spouse to perceive that
as a sign of your anger
from that point on. Hogan adds that the longer a relationship lasts, the easier itbecomes to interpret things negatively. But, by studying and practicing bodylanguage, either or both parties can find ways to communicate more gently.Mr. Hogan says that
body language is also important when communicatingwith children.
As evidence, he suggests we look at pictures of adults drawn byyoung children. "Generally, these pictures depict long legs and tiny bodies andheads," he claims. The reason is simple – from where they're standing, this is theirview. To better communicate with children, Hogan recommends getting down onyour knee and addressing them at eye level.
Tips for Laypeople
In the spirit of having a little fun, we asked Hogan to give a few tips for reading thebody language of others.According to the expert, one of the most
highly-predictable traits can be foundin the eyes.
He says that
wider eyes almost always equal a greater intereston behalf of the listener.
This is good to know because people who look at youthis way are generally expressing that they like you. By keeping your own eyes wide,you are making yourself approachable to others. Again, using children as anexample, Hogan says, "Their eyes are always wide…because everything is interestingto them."Something we found interesting was Hogan's comments about
He says that
lighter-eyed folks have a greater expectation to be looked at.
Kevin says the reason is purely evolutionary. From the beginning, lighter eyes drewmore attention. In turn, the attention became expected. The lesson here is to
givelighter-eyed people the eye contact they desire.
Doing otherwise could send thewrong message.Another Hogan finding has to do with the
reddening of either the earlobes or thenose.
The change in color is due to blood rushing to these areas. Hogan says thatwhen this rush of blood occurs, some form of
is taking place. While it is nota sole indicator of lying, it can be paired with other cues that do indicate an untruth.During a conversation, a
change in a listener's body position
could be eithergood or bad. If the change occurs during a change of direction in the conversation,the listener is telling the speaker that they are changing along with them. If thelistener's body position changes in the middle of the speaker's point, they arechanging against them. This either means that the listener is bored, or they areuncomfortable with whatever the speaker is saying.
The direction in which a person's feet are pointed
is also important. Accordingto Hogan, feet pointed directly at someone means a person feels engaged. Feetpointed away means that they want to get away.