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Body language: the code to everything

Written by: Helena Ziegler

From: Munich, Germany

Edited by: Anna Kissajikian

Reading others´ minds

Have you ever been in a situation where you meet a new person, and you immediately go in for a hug, but they don´t return your greeting, so the whole situation just gets awkward? I´m about to tell you how to avoid these uncomfortable situations. 

There are three types of people in this world. 75% are the lookers. Lookers remember in pictures and small movie clips they replay in their brain. You may recognize a looker by the way he dresses; they tend to dress well because appearance is important to them. A looker looks up if he remembers something, this might cause wrinkles on his forehead. And the last feature of a Looker is that they give you a lot of eye contact while speaking to you. To make Lookers feel comfortable with you, you should just return the eye contact

Type two are Listeners. They make up about 20% of the population. A Listener won´t dress as well as a Looker. Their brain remembers by using words, just like reading a book. They will not give you that much eye contact, but that does not mean that they don´t like you or aren´t interested in what you are saying. Too much eye contact makes them feel uncomfortable, so try not to stare at them. When they remember something, Listeners tend to look down to the left side

The remaining 5% are Touchers. These are the sort of people who, no matter if you have met them before or not, will go in for a hug. If you don´t feel comfortable with this, just give them a nice handshake. Touchers will look for a point of contact with you. Touchers will also lean in while talking to you, to decrease the physical distance, or touch your arm. They replay memories by remembering the way they felt in that specific situation.

The polygraph

Now there are different ways to tell if a person is lying by reading their body language. I want to focus on two signs.                                                                                                                         

1. Eye blocking: If we don´t use our phone for some time it will turn black and open it again but you have to insert a password. We set this up to prevent trespassers from accessing our private data or information. This is exactly the same thing we do when eye-blocking. If a person is closing their eyes while talking a little too long, it is simply because they are trying to hide something from you. They are using their eyes as a lock screen to their brain. If you find yourself in a situation where a person is eye-blocking and then acts angry, don´t accuse them of being rude or impolite, try to dig deeper and understand the other person. Anger is a secondary emotion to fear and sadness. So try asking the person if they are sad, or angry, and let me tell you, they are more likely to burst into tears than to scream at you.

2. Shoulder shrugs: If you sit down next to a person and they say “oh how lovely you´re sitting next to me” and while saying this they shrug their shoulders, should you believe them? The answer is probably no. Shoulder shrugs are a sign of uncertainty. The person does not believe his/her own words.  

As crazy as it sounds, you have no idea how many murderers have been caught due to their body language. Using these small tricks can improve your life in many ways. Whether it is at work or at home, learning how to read, these signs can help you build deeper and more meaningful relationships with the people around you.

Body language: Feature Story
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