Popular myths sabotage our chances of successfully reading body language and becoming masters in communication. Knowing these secret truths and untruths of the art of body language will immediately boost your body language skills.
Reading Body Language Correctly: Myths Uncovered
Reading Body Language: The a + b = c Myth: When people begin reading body language and presenting body language themselves, they often become very excited and enthusiastic about it—which in itself is a good thing. Sadly, this over enthusiasm leads them to believe they can paint an impression as easily as assembling Lego blocks. Just because you set your feet far apart doesn’t mean people will believe you’re confident and strong. A lot of guys make this mistake with women. They see a hot girl, set their feet far apart and bare their chests like a gorilla trying to show dominance.
Women, however, are far better at reading body language than men. That hot blonde girl is more than used to men pretending to be all that. She knows you’re faking, because she can tell by reading body language clues you’re making that you’re not even aware of. And knowing that you’re faking, she not only realises that you’re not genuinely confident, but also that you’re not to be trusted as you’re hiding your true self.
Standing with your feet apart is an example of the prescriptive body language advised by “alpha male” sites. Such sites have only one aim: take advantage of under-confident guys by pretending that there’s a simple way to be something called an “alpha male.” The sooner everyone understands exactly how inaccurate such sites are, the better.
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Reading Body Language Myth: Smile at Everyone: Cosmetic dentistry is taking the world by storm, but before you head to the dentists chair know this: the idea that smiling all the time will make people like you and want to talk to you is half true. On the one hand, a genuine smile is contagious. When people see a genuine smile they will feel more positive themselves and will smile in return. However, constant smiling is also a sign of weakness and of low status. So, how do you get someone to feel positive and smile at you while showing yourself to be of high status? The answer is to smile when you are introduced to people. Make sure someone views you as high status by not smiling too much before being introduced, then when you are introduced, give a genuine smile. This creates two very valuable impressions: 1) that you are of high status, 2) that your smile is for the other person because you are genuinely pleased to see them.
Reading Body Language Myth: Body Language Dictionaries: The biggest problem would-be body language masters run into in interpreting body language is that they believe gestures have a single, definite meaning.
For example, let’s say you’re in a job interview, at the end of which the interviewer sighs and shakes their head. You’re likely to interpret this as a sign that the interview did not go well, simply because you’ve spotted one moment of disapproval from the interviewer. And this would be fair enough, were it not for the simple fact while people are doing one thing, they might be thinking about something entirely different.
What’s to say that gesture of disapproval wasn’t the result of the interviewer thinking about all the boring work they have to do now your interview is over? Maybe they actually enjoyed interviewing you and wish they could speak for longer. You cannot be certain of the cause of the body language gesture, so you cannot presume to know its meaning.
Reading Body Language Myth: Look me in the eye and say that: Urgghhh. The idea that people can’t maintain eye contact while lying is possibly the most popular misconception in all of body language. The truth, believe it or not, is that not only canpeople look you in the eye and lie to you, liars are actually more likely to maintain eye contact because they are trying so hard to be convincing.
Reading Body Language Myth: Body Language is “one size fits all” : One of the reasons why truly mastering body language can be very complex is that the same gestures can mean completely different things to different people. Try giving a thumbs-up gesture to a Greek girl and see how quickly she slaps you (it means “up yours” in Greece). Body language gestures are dependant on cultural differences as well as upbringing and other influences.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly seen body language gestures to get a good idea of what we’re talking about.