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Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

Feet and Legs

Just like the arms, a person’s feet also give important clues as to what is going on inside the person’s head. Knowing how to read the cues being provided by a person’s feet is important because it usually happens unintentionally.

A person might control their hand movements, posture and facial expressions in an attempt to deceive you, but most of them will forget that their feet are also sending out clues. People’s feet normally point to the direction they want to go, whether they are standing or seated.

If you notice a person’s feet are pointed towards you, this is a sign that they perceive you favorably and are immersed into what you are saying.

If their feet are pointed away, towards the door for instance, this shows that they can’t wait to get out of there. They might be smiling to what you are saying and feigning interest, but deep inside, they can’t wait for you to finish what you are saying.

In addition to the direction of the feet, the position of a person’s legs can also give you clues about their inner thoughts. If a person keeps their legs open (when seated), it means that they are comfortable with the interaction. If their legs are crossed, then this means that the person is trying to protect their privacy.

Body Posture

How we hold our bodies can also serve as an important part of body language.

The term posture refers to how we hold our bodies as well as the overall physical form of an individual.

Posture can convey a wealth of information about how a person is feeling as well as hints about personality characteristics, such as whether a person is confident, open, or submissive.

Sitting up straight, for example, may indicate that a person is focused and paying attention to what’s going on. Sitting with the body hunched forward, on the other hand, can imply that the person is bored or indifferent.

When you are trying to read body language, try to notice some of the signals that a person’s posture can send.

  • Open posture involves keeping the trunk of the body open and exposed. This type of posture indicates friendliness, openness, and willingness.
  • Closed posture involves hiding the trunk of the body often by hunching forward and keeping the arms and legs crossed. This type of posture can be an indicator of hostility, unfriendliness, and anxiety.

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