Posted tagged ‘self improvement’

Sign To Look For On Your First Blind Date

May 19, 2012

Author: Andy Khazonovsky

A first date with somebody you don’t know involves, obviously, getting to know them!

Whether your date was introduced to you by a friend, or if they are a person you accidentally met at a bar, you cannot be truly sure of their words. We hopefully assume that your friends would arrange dates with good people, but let us continue with the latter example: a random person you met at a bar. They will need to impress you (particularly if you’re a lady) and in doing so may stretch the truth, exaggerate, or plainly just fabricate a story.

So what should you look out for when they’re telling you who they are, what they do, what they like, where they’re from, and so on? As far as verbal communication, we should see if they contradict themselves in their stories, if they stumble on certain answers, or leave out seemingly important details of a personal story. Most people will catch these things immediately; so what do we do if they’re a “smooth-talker?” If they’re a frequent predator at bars, they have most likely learned what to say to prospective (excuse the terminology) prey. Awkward changes in their tone of voice and speaking slowly during a story may indicate that they’re lying, but this is as far as detecting lies through verbal communication can take us.

We must therefore focus on non-verbal communication. Imagine that you are sitting across a table with them, or next to them on a bar stool. You ask your date, “So, what do you do for a living?” They have been maintaining eye contact with you, but now they break it and cover it up by grabbing their beverage. Even if their verbal message says “I’m a doctor” in the most clear and honest voice, their bodies still communicate closure, a lack of confidence, or defensiveness. The incongruence between their verbal and non-verbal messages should indicate that they aren’t fully comfortable with what they’re saying.

As with all body language gestures, these movements should be taken within context. These gestures do not necessarily indicate a lie, but by spending time with a person face-to-face (even if it has only been half an hour), one can tell that there is something else on their mind. The previous example would seem more like they are troubled at work, perhaps on the verge of being fired, or one of their patients recently died and so they’re unsure of their abilities at work. On the other hand, if they sit back, grab a beverage with one hand, cover their mouth with the other hand, cross their legs, and look away while saying “Oh…I’m a doctor.” This ‘context’ of body language generally indicates a fabricated story rather than just a lack of confidence; especially if they had been non-verbally communicating in an opposite manner the entire time.

Give a nervous date the benefit of a doubt, as generally they will be consistently nervous until a good amount of time has passed to allow them to be comfortable. People who are confidently and honestly expressing themselves aren’t trying to hide something. Their body language should communicate the same thing. An open body, good friendly eye contact, honest smiles, and attentiveness make for a good confident date. If they’re tapping their fingers, feet, looking at their phone often, looking at the door; they’re being impatient and want to go. Either they’re not interested in you, or they have alternative motives that you may not necessarily have.

As with all non-verbal communication, it is imperative to keep in mind that gestures should be taken into account within a context. Sometimes they just want a sip of their drink. Sometimes their face actually is itchy. Sometimes a person walks by who looks familiar and causes them to look away. Look for multiple gestures at once, keep the positioning of their body as a whole in mind.

Lastly, have fun on your next date!

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The Hidden Power of the Smile

May 1, 2012

Smiling directly influences how others respond to you. The human brain prefers happy faces; it recognizes them faster than faces with negative expressions. In fact, research shows that if you smile at someone, it activates the “reward center” in that person’s brain.

It is also a natural response for the other person to smile back at you.

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It seems that smiling is one of the most basic universal biological factors within the human condition which has a measurable effect on our overall well-being. It is probably one we acquired through evolution in order to get along with others.

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Julia Roberts –  The Oscar winner is still one of the highest-paid actresses in the biz. All she has to do is keep her larger-than-life “accessory” with her and she is surely to stay on top of her game.

A natural smile (which involves muscles around the eyes, unlike a fake smile) produces physiological feedback that makes the person smiling feel happier. Someone watching another person smile will involuntarily mirror the smile.

Even on the phone, when you “hear” someone smiling back at you, it makes you feel happier. Thus a feedback loop kicks in as the body produces neurochemicals correlated with happy feelings.

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 For example, research published in the journal Political Psychology used automated face-recognition technology to create a “smile index” for politic candidates’ faces. The study found that a greater “smile index” correlated to a greater vote share for Australian candidates in the 2000 and 2004 elections, smiling increased vote share by 5.2 percentage points in Australia.

Body Language Cards - The easiest and most effective way to learn what others really say, think and feel!

The Eyes Can Tell You A Lot

March 3, 2012

People are much more of an open book than they are aware of. Body language can tell a great deal about what is going on inside ones thoughts. One of the most easily observed, yet widely unnoticed aspects of body language is eye movement. Our eye movements are often a reflection of what type of mental processes we are engaged in.

The following illustration depicts the major types of eye movements and their significance.

If you are chatting with someone and they keep looking to their right, laterally or upward, they are likely engaged in imagination or fabrication.

If they look to their left, laterally or upward, they are likely engaged in recall of an actual experience from their memory.

Looking downward generally signifies internal dialog. Eyes down and left signifies internal auditory dialog.

Eyes down and to the right signifies internal kinesthetic dialog.

Give it a try… it really works!

Why cards?

It’s the easiest way to discover what others really think and feel!

The information in this field is organized mostly in books, which is amazing taking into consideration the fact that it’s a visual mode of communication, and the crucial thing is to have the visual memory of the movement in mind when one encounters the relevant gesture.

Cards send a signal to our brain that it’s a game and not another bulk of information that we have to learn. People like to play and thus the information is more effectively consolidated.

By flash cards much of the information is integrated in additional brain areas, those involved in habits acquisition.

It’s also a very easy way to practice and repeat the information which is more complicated with other means.

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Gender Differences in Body Language

February 4, 2012

Often we are asked if there are gender differences in body language. In the past 20-30 years, the conventional perception was that  in general, women are more communicative than men, both literally and with their body language. Today, the gap is blurry.

Women and men express the same body language positions, gestures and facial expressions, that’s why it’s called body language. It’s a matter of communication, if there were too many differences we couldn’t have called it “language”.

It is very crucial to look at a cluster of gestures pointing at the same direction and not only at one gesture before coming to any conclusion, it’s as if we are listening to one word out of a whole sentence and assume we understand it.

Even today, in modern life, there are slight gender differences in the extent and duration of gestures, yet the distinction requires more training and experience than learning basic body language.

Examples of a slight gender differences in extent or duration of a particular gesture:

1.   Everyone stroke their hair with their fingers  – in women, the duration is slightly longer.

2.  Men and women will both bite their lower lip in times of stress, lick their lips when sensing dry mouth or  attraction, in women though it’s more observable because it is a bit more frequent and sustained.

 3.  Women are capable of tilting their head longer than men while listening to others, perhaps because they concentrate more on the verbal communication’s details which creates the whole picture. You can see an example of this situation when two men sit at a restaurant table, they usually will sit facing each other.  Women, will often sit side by side.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

4.   Women and men blink frequently when they are interested in the conversation. With women it’s just more obvious and noticeable to the eye of the observer. It could be because of their makeup.

5.   Men and women tend to surround themselves with little things such as phone, keys, etc. Men do it more to the front to mark frontal boundaries while women tend to put things on their side, perhaps to “protect against harassment,”

The most noticeable differences in signals are seen in dating:

In men: the signals are simplistic – legs apart, more hair stroking, they stare longer at the woman, they play more with objects, more self-touch (more  means more than usual, not more than women), hands tucked in belt toward the pelvis, opening a shirt button, and hands in pocket.

In women: Body language is far richer – lower the shirt sleeve,  play longer with their hair, emphasize thighs movements, more licking lips, more  legs crossing exchange, they will remove their feet from shoe, more stretching to enhance their chest, keep legs apart.

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