Great post on body language from Mystery's Forum courtesy of Essex:
I have read alot of material here on this site and it helped me quite a bit. One thing I haven't been able to find though is material for body language. I recently read a book on using body language and it helped me immensly and the same night I opened a HB8 & HB7 at a bar.
I have written a synopsis for the book so I can present the finer points of it quickly. If this isn't enough then i suggest you read the whole book.
How to Read And Use Body Language
By: Anna Jaskolka
***Female body language overview
-Walk and Posture
Women walk differently than men as they has a different skeletal structure. Women walk with a swaying motion with their hips and ass generally flowing from side to side, and they also have a shorter stride. The narrow width of female shoulders, in comparison to males, are the reason why they tend to hold their arms closer to their bodies. (Homosexual men also mimic this)
-Sexuality and Attraction
When a woman feels relaxed and comfortable in the company of men she will tend to spread her legs apart slightly. When walking past a male she will hold herself upright push out her breasts, suck in her stomach and exaggerate the swaying of her hips. This is in order to draw attention to her femininity and fertility. (These body movements are subconscious and are a response to men, even if the woman is a lesbian she may do this) a woman may become obsessed with her hair as she uses it to draw attention to herself, even as a response to glances at her. Woman will also show their seductive intent by lowering her eyes, slowly fluttering her eyelashes and quickly glancing at the object she desires.
If a woman feels defensive then she will generally sit with her legs crossed and feet pointed away from the interaction, this can go even further if she is extremely defensive as she will wrap one leg in the other, which clearly says she is not open for negotiation. Funny enough you will never see men sit in such a manner.
***Male body language overview
The typical macho confident man is generally seen with his legs spread, feet planted firmly and squarely revealing his crotch area, bringing attention to his bravery, self assertion and sexual openness. This stance also help as it conveys courage and bravado towards other men as in this stance the man’s genitals are clearly vulnerable and they are being exposed without fear (the genitals are generally the first part of the male's body that is protected. Women have also adopted this look as a means to demonstrate sexual superiority over men (Madonna, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears)
Crossed arms act as a defensive barrier for people, usually conveying either a need to protect and comfort ourselves or a disagreement with something being said. This gesture is also used when we first meet somebody in order to feel comfortable in their presence, then the arms relax.
Another barrier that usually used at the same time as the arms cross the legs will also cross and will be direct away from the encounter, (people may also cross their legs or ankles as a way of creating comfort for themselves.
***Combination of gestures
A word of warning when observing body language, no one stays still long enough for there positions to be evaluated completely and with detail as people are always moving, just as their thoughts do. It is best to become familiar with the basics of body language so as to make an informed observation on the situation at hand. Before making a decision on the person’s posture and position it is best to also look for negative gestures, such as leaning back from the conversation as this is a good sign of a person wanting to distance themselves. Another negative gesture that may follow is that of lacking eye contact. If the person decides to agree with you it will be apparent by their body language that they are not. Mention must also be named to the fact that the overall SPAM that the person is in can also have an effect on them. If they feel out of place in the environment that they are now in then they may seem defensive even if they are merely trying to feel comfortable.
***How do you stand?
Stands tall with the head held high, though without turning the nose upwards to seem arrogant
-Sad, Depressed Person-
These people shrink themselves to seem smaller than they are. They also carry themselves with a slouch as to emphasize the weight they carry on their shoulders.
Finds it hard to stand still and is rubbing their hands together in excitement at a thought or scenario.
***How Mood and energy levels affect posture
Your posture conveys the current mood that you’re in and at the same time your posture can also affect your mood. When you have a thought your body’s instant response is to express it through body language. Our thoughts are connected to our body language and our body language is connected to our thoughts. Just as when we think angry we express anger through body language, if we use body language that is happy or confident then when can lead our thoughts to be of the same nature.
Smile frequently can help greatly as it relaxes you mentally. A smile is excellent for conversations as it makes people feel more comfortable with you and get a better feeling of knowing you, making them willing to divulge information to you more easily. It makes approaching people easier as they are more willing to go out of their way to talk to you, should they want to. You begin feeling better and you laugh easily allowing you to relax your body and mind. I no way do we want to grimace. In order to think positively and express positive body language we need to control one before we can control both. If we find ourselves thinking negatively we must smile to diffuse it. Once we can smile with more confidence in the present situation we will be able to express our positive mindset.
When dark glasses are worn properly on a person they promote an air of mystery. Many celebrities wear sunglasses as a way of disguising their face so as to prevent mass recognition and a swarm of reporters catching them. When we conceal our face people it takes us an extra second of speculation to guess what the persons eyes look like behind the glasses. Glasses can be worn incorrectly at times as it is not plausible to wear them in a night club.
It is normal to assess people through eye contact. In a matter of seconds we make decisions and assumptions about people based solely on their looks. Another thing that we do naturally with our eyes is focus them on the things that grab our interest and attention. Whether it is a pretty girl or a fantastic light show. (We must learn to control this and let it happen at our discretion as it can reveal too much interest and it can also distract us from the task at hand or prevent us from noticing things before they happen.)
When in a conversation with a person do not stare directly at them as it denotes aggression and can make the person feel uncomfortable as it may seem as though they are under scrutiny or under an intimidating gaze.
Look consistently at a person when talking to them and keep their face in your line of sight as you listen to them. (It is good to look at someone more often when you listen to them versus when talking to them.) During a conversation it is easier to get a person engaged when you are facing opposite them. (When opening a two-set or more we must be opposite the person yet we cannot have our entire body facing the set as it must seem as though we are there for an instant until we feel we can turn our body and full attention to the set.)
Lack of eye contact when talking to a person can suggest lying dishonesty or evasion. This is why people say "look me in the eye and tell me..."
***3 Zones of Eye contact
This zone of eye contact takes place at eye level and focuses around the forehead.
This area of eye contact takes place around between the eyes and the nose, focusing on the middle of the face.
Intimate eye contact takes place around the mouth and can move as far down as the neck and chest area.
Eye contact when flirting generally takes place within the social/friendship zone. It generally consists of light body contact and frequent eye contact with laughter and much smiling. When women flirt they tend to flutter eyelashes with intent to appear coy.
Open handed gestures tend to show honesty and that we can be trusted. (This can be seen when many cops in movies plead for something to be done and get the better of the criminal)
-Rubbing Hands together
Often a show of excitement and stimulation, that the person can’t wait to get to what’s next. This is also connected to the body trying to generate heat for itself as though we were in front of a fire.
-Hands clasped behind the back
This is a general position of a person who is in complete control of their environment. Everything around them is going to plan and they are comfortable with all of it. This gesture displays confidence, content, superiority and a person with a high status.
-Hands behind head
Generally the body language of a person who thinks they know more than you or are better than you and is usually accompanied by them leaning back. To diffuse this body language it is best to lean in and ask the person a question
-Hands over the mouth
When people lie they tend to place their hands near or over their mouth as if to prevent themselves from saying such things. Other places that are touched are eyes, ears and the nose.
-Hands over chest and throat
This is generally displayed by women when they are conveying something very personal or sharing more intimate details with another person, they do this because they feel exposed by what they are saying.
Power is being in control, power is willing to do your own thing and to be willing make things happen for you. True power attracts people as if it were a magnet as it exemplifies what people want. Power is demonstrated by confidence postures and gestures along with movements. Power is slow and calculating; people wait for those with power to make their judgments and their assessments and will wait accordingly. Powerful people are beyond reach, and we seem to hold back on physical contact with them as they can appear above that, yet we consider ourselves honored to be chosen to be touched or embraced by them.
Confidence is one of the backbones of power. Maintaining a positive attitude and being bold in your actions are what make people confident. Confidence however is not aggression. Confidence is being open and unrestricted without building barriers around you, or protecting yourself from harm. Confident people know that they can get past any harm that may come to them and that they are above it. Confidence in it self has a magnetism that other people cannot seem to get away from.
This type of attitude is displayed by a person who is more willing to act on their feelings and what they feel they should do.
Personal Space. Own your area. The best place to sit and maintain a position of power is to have you back against the wall and to be able to view the whole of the room. You need to be able to see all the entrances and be the most focused table that everyone else can see.
This is a solid, firm, upright posture. The hands are out of the pockets and you are not slouching. Your head is to be positioned in such a way so as to look people squarely in the eyes and you are to smile. You are to have direct eye contact with the people in the group and maintain direct eye contact with the person to be impressed, at the same time having a relaxed mouth. (Tight lips are aggression where as loose lips are more sexually driven) Keep your hands visible, and make bold hand gestures, as, hands in your pocket show you have something to hide.
Be slow and patient, make slow bold movements power is exact
When using props they are there for comfort. Whether it be holding a bag or a glass.
Thumbs are hand gestures that convey dominance and aggression, as thumb pointing is an aggressive gesture and a blatant insult.
Arms are used to make large dramatic gestures and express our connectivity with other people. They are also used to create defensive barriers between people.
This is usually a gesture that precedes a hug when we greet somebody with a warm welcome. Hugging and embracing are also another form of comfort that people use. Doubt can also be conveyed when the person opens their arms and shrugs showing a sign of indifference or lack of power.
-Linking of the Arms
Similar to a hug yet it has less of a sexual context as it is a gesture that is usually used by somebody aiding another, usually an elderly person.
Legs are the foundation for our body, what we do with our legs reflects a large part of the rest of the body’s movements. Legs are to be kept straight and relaxed, planted in the ground, proving you own wherever you choose to stand.
-Open legs naturally draw the eye line to the groin, this is especially the case with women as they generally have them closed, yet, open them at specific intervals.
-Straight Out (when sitting)
This can generally reflect boredom and a desire for distance. It also shows arrogance and is generally accompanied with the hands behind the persons head as they lean back.
This is a position of comfort for women. If her legs are crossed it is generally because she is subconsciously protecting her genitalia. You can determine where her interest lies even if her legs are crossed as the feet will be pointing in the direction of interest. However, this can easily be seen as defensive if her arms are crossed as well demonstrating negative body language.
We use feet to display ownership. When placing them on an object or on another chair it tells people to get lost as you own that.
People point their feet towards the object of their interest. When people tap their feet in can be viewed as impatience, conversely if the feet are stable and planted it will convey confidence and fearlessness. Feet are not to be dragged as they demonstrate resistance and reluctance.
Over-assertive people are ones who want to take control of the situation. These people also have large personal space zone and generally make bold gestures. To diffuse this use genuine warmth and affection and a little bit of body mirroring
-Preening - M/FIOI
-Suck and Tuck - FIOI
-Hip sway - FIOI
-Hair toss - FIOI
-Moist mouths - M/FIOI
-Open legs / Open thighs - FIOI
-Dangling shoes - FIOI
-Fondling of props (wine glasses cigarettes) - M/FIOI
-Eyes are drawn to wherever hands are
-Mirror people to create comfort
***Are You Smiling Yet… You Should Be
Hope this helps anybody and everybody.