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You are at a crowded party. And you wish to strike up a conversation with someone new. You have trained for the last few weeks for this. So you find the courage to start with a friendly hello. But their facial expression tells a different story.
Are they introverted? Do they look engaged? Or perhaps are they uncomfortable with your presence?
Wouldn’t it be incredible to have the ability to decode these non-verbal cues and understand what they are thinking?
Reading people’s mind and body is a weapon you should have in your arsenal. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, improve your social skills, or become a better communicator, these insights may be your guiding light.
So, let’s unlock together the secrets to reading minds and bodies.
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I was alone the first time I read about body language. Usually, people make friends quickly in high school, but not me. I always struggled to make friends after my parents had to move to another city.
One year later, I went to university. And it was even worse. I saw people making groups and getting to know each other. But I couldn’t speak with anyone. And when I tried, I obtained awful results.
One evening, I felt so lonely I had to cry. That night, I decided I wouldn’t feel that pain anymore. I would study how people made friends and do it myself. And that’s how it started.
You won’t learn body language in a few weeks — trust me.
In the beginning, you will start reading articles on body language and feel like you understand more than others. You will try to read people’s feelings and interpret them. But believe me, you will fail.
Sometimes, you will even misread people’s body language because there are millions of variables to consider. So, taking control of your actions is the only way to improve.
So now, let’s discuss a few body language secrets you may want to master.
Eye contact is a fundamental skill to become a great communicator. But you have to understand all its meanings before using it correctly.
If you make eye contact with a random stranger in the evening, best case scenario – you get a complaint. So that’s not a clever way to make friends. But if you do it properly, you will build a deeper connection with your interlocutor. And you will allow them to empathize with your stories.
But how can you make and read eye contact without misjudging intentions?
Choose a neutral zone to train your eye contact skills. For example, a party would be perfect. Crowded spaces make the interlocutor feel safe. And they must always feel in control of the situation.
Also, don’t insist if the other person doesn’t answer.
Think about something to say before you reach out to talk to them. And learn to distinguish between different types of eye contact.
Eye contact is the first powerful tool you might learn. Paul Ekman wrote extensively about facial expressions and micro-expressions in two books I recommend to anyone who wants to learn body language.
What Every Body Is Saying is the first book I read about body language. Its author, Joe Navarro, was the Sherlock Holmes of police interrogation. And the techniques he explains are so many it would take a life to learn them all. But that doesn’t mean you cannot memorize the easier ones:
These are tellings of uncomfortable people. And if you make somebody uncomfortable, there’s no way you will become their friend.
People will always tell you what they want ( if you listen ).
When I started studying body language, I thought that was everything I needed to know. And I thought people were suddenly lying because their clues told me so.
But, sometimes, a lie is only partially so. Or people could be stressed and distracted for other reasons that don’t involve you. So, before jumping to conclusions, you might as well ask.
Listening to what people say is a complementary skill that can improve your body language and mind-reading abilities. You might get it all wrong if you only focus on non-verbal clues.
Next time you have the opportunity to interact with someone new, read their body language to soften or insist on your words. Make eye contact, and notice their facial expressions, posture, and gestures. But more than anything else, listen to what they are saying.
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Passionate about self-improvement, personal growth, finance, and creativity. I love to inspire people to become the better version of themselves. Author @ www.cosmopolitanmindset.com
Discover the impact of body language on friendships. Learn practical tips to improve your non-verbal communication and create lasting connections. Start today!
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