Non-Verbal Behavior: Knowing What Others Are Thinking Without Giving Them A Polygraph.

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We are all masterpieces. Some of us seduce well, others speak well, a few write well and many hide very well. What if I told you that you can, without a polygraph, read most people you know and don’t know simply by analyzing what their body parts are telling you. Facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, posture and tone of voice are mechanisms we can further analyze in order to verify whether a speaker is telling you the truth or not. I personally prefer to read legs, walk patterns, and hand geometry. They tell me a lot about a person as the former can’t be faked or learned that easily. It is much easier to learn how to stare at someone and appear interested in what they have to say than changing your gait or controlling your hands under pressure. No wonder why the FBI and many other federal agencies use gait patterns and hand geometry techniques to track criminals. Non-verbal behavior research is a fascinating field which I love and master. There are many ways one can better decipher whether a speaker is being genuine or not. In this article, I will share with you three tips you can use to find out if someone is subconsciously acting aggressive, dominating, or feels superior than you.

  1. Hands on hips equals dominance. If a speaker has his hands on his hips, chances are very high that he is trying to dominate you in some respect or intimidate you. The act of placing one’s hands on his/her hips can be tracked back to dominating animal behavior in the wild. Anytime you see somebody making themselves look bigger than you by making their arms look like a V shape, be aware. When we place our hands in our hips in that form, we are de facto opening our body to others yet making us look larger than the universe which is unconsciously telling others that you don’t seem threatened by them and that you control the flow of the conversation. The former is definitely an act of dominance. The wild turkey engage in the act of strutting to establish social dominance. Strutting makes the wild turkey look larger than the universe… Check it out. Next time someone speaks with you using what we call the police pose, investigate. He might be trying to dominate the situation or establishing a dominating relationship with you by displaying this kind of behavior.
  2. Thumb tucking in someone’s pants is a sign of aggressiveness. These one is pretty clear cut. If the speaker is tucking his or her thumbs in their pockets, they are holding a quite aggressive attitude in them unconsciously which is often accompanied by over confidence leading to an authoritative stance. Strong and trained speakers can use such techniques consciously or unconsciously to make their points more clear to an audience or simply to intimidate others. Behavioral aggression is real and can be spotted pretty easily by studying thumb tucking patterns. One might fake his/her intentions with words but very few can fake meaning when displaying thumb tucking uncontrolled behaviors.
  3. Protruding thumbs from pockets mean superiority. Be aware when someone tells you that you are both equal when they chat with you protruding their thumbs from their pockets. What the speaker is indirectly thinking or feeling is that he thinks he is superior than you. If the speaker thinks he is superior to you intellectually, physically, psychologically, mathematically… is impossible to tell. What is definitely possible to confirm is that if in fact the speaker protrude his thumbs right in front of your eyes, it is very likely that he believes that you are inferior to him in some regard. Thumb behavior is an intriguing science that reveals quite a lot of information about a person’s true intentions.

What I just shared with you are elements of a well known field of Communication called non-verbal communication. Differently from traditional speech communication where scholars investigate and research patters of speech, communication apprehension and rhetorical sensitivity, non-verbal behavior science studies one’s conscious and unconscious uncontrolled behaviors. It is worth studying deeply and getting better at it. I have been studying non-verbal behavior now for eight straight years and can decipher, after knowing the person for about a week, precisely what they are thinking without them have to speak back to me a single word. Once you acquire such skill set, you will change.

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2 thoughts

    1. Mitch, a good book that substantiate these claims (there are many) but I personally like, “What Everybody is saying.” Mitch, chances are high that you have experience with leadership if you apply these gestures in specific circumstances. That’s the positive side of it. They are more than habits… 🙂

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