Quick, authentic, and reliable: And it is not just about survival or threats, although that is the primary reason we react to certain things so visibly loud sounds make us freeze or cower in place. Our brain also telegraphs our intentions. This is why when you are talking to someone you like and suddenly you notice that one of their feet points toward their car or an elevator, you know that the person probably needs to go. Because they are running late, the body through the legs communicates that something urgent is pressing causing psychological discomfort even though the person continues the conversation.
Which is why we say when it comes to communication, body language is more truthful than the spoken word. So what is psychologically behind all of this? Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by what is known as the "limbic system" of the brain. It doesn't have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel.
Someone gives us bad news and our lips compress; the bus leaves without us and we are clenching our jaws and rubbing our necks. We are asked to work another weekend and the orbits of our eyes narrow as our chin lowers. These are discomfort displays that our limbic brain has perfected over millions of years, whether we are in China or Chile. Conversely, when we see someone we really like, our eyebrows will arch defying gravity, our facial muscles will relax, and our arms become more pliable even extended so we can welcome this person.
In the presence of someone we love , we will mirror their behavior isopraxis , tilt our heads, and blood will flow to our lips making them full, even as our pupils dilate. Once again, our limbic brain communicates through our bodies precisely the true sentiments that we feel and orchestrates accurate corresponding nonverbal displays. In a way, our bodies don't really have to do these behaviors and yet we evolved to demonstrate them for a reason: How do we know body language is essential for us?
Children who are born blind, having never seen these behaviors will also perform them. A blind child will cover his eyes when he hears something he doesn't like in the same way my neighbor does whenever I ask him to help me move heavy objects. Fortunately these behaviors are hard-wired. Whether in business, at home, or in relationships, we can always be assured that true sentiments will be reflected in our body language through displays of comfort and discomfort.
This binary system of communicating how we feel has stood the test of time and survived to help us through its elegant simplicity. Obviously this can be very effective in determining how others feel about us and in evaluating how a relationship is evolving. So, below I am going to teach you how to read basic body language for dating and persuasion success. Learn to read your partner and make the right moves!
Body Language Basics One of the most useful books on body language I have found actually comes from my fellow PT Blogger Joe Navarro. According to Navarro , body language behaviors are guided by very primitive parts of our brain - called the limbic system. Essentially, this system tells us when we are comfortable or uncomfortable, and readies our bodies to pursue what is attractive and run or fight what is not. Given that, in a dating and persuasion context, we can use very simple body language cues to decide what our partner is feeling.
These limbic system signals are particularly important for romance, because that part of our brain is also responsible for our feelings of love Fisher, Aron, Brown, So, how do you know when your partner's brain is happy? You look for clusters of positive or negative body language. Below are some cues to look for: Positive body language - your partner might move towards you and decreasing the space between you two, if he or she likes what you are doing or asking.
In addition, other liking behavior can include: Negative body language - your partner might move away from you and create space between you two, if he or she dislikes what you are doing or asking. In addition, other behaviors that signal dislike include: Using Body Language in Dating and Relating When you are trying to figure out how your partner feels about you or your approach, look for combinations of the behaviors above called clusters. Generally, when you see a couple of "positive" cues from the list above, you can bet your partner's limbic system is firing in the "good", happy, and loving direction.
Generally, they are happy about you and your behavior towards them. In contrast, when you see a couple of "negative" cues from the list above, you can bet your partner's limbic system is firing in the "bad", uncomfortable, or disturbed direction. Use that information as feedback. It might be a good idea to change your approach or wait for a better mood.
Personally, I have begun to see these general non-verbal behaviors from my partner as "green lights" positive body language and "red lights" negative body language. When I see "green lights" body language from my partner, I keep going with what I am doing or asking.
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