“Hey man! How are you?”, he said as he walked up to Rajesh, rubbing the back of his neck.
Rahul replied, “Hello! I’m doing great!” with a one sided smile.
“Heard you’ve been really busy…how are things in work?” asked Rajesh, his eyes gleaming and his palms coming together as they began walking down the road.
“Oh yeah, but it’s nothing I can’t manage” shot back Rahul with nonchalance, raising his head as he looked at Rajesh down his nose.
If you were to hear this conversation as you walked next to these two friends, you would think these guys are great friends. Considerate, supporting and meaning well towards one another. But if you were to SEE this conversation from a distance, really see it, you will get a completely opposite picture.
There were two conversations going on above, one verbally, and the other with the minor gestures and actions the two were giving.
I’ve been reading a book called “The Definitive Book of Body Language” by Allan and Barbra Pease. Did that open my eyes or what?! (literally and figuratively). It talks all about the gestures and the signals that we give out all day in all of our conversations. It may not seem important to you. “Sure, we gesticulate as we speak. So what?” you might say. Here’s something you might not have known-
Upto 60% of all our communication is done by the body ie. non verbally. 60!
And here’s another fun fact-
Body language is a subconscious activity. A lot of what we do with our body while speaking is not under our control. And this brings something very important into the picture- genuineness.
You see, we go through every day dealing with a lot of people. Business partners, co-workers, family, strangers…and we have conversations. And a lot of times, we are forced into flattery, or outright lie for the sake of saving our skin or making the other person feel good. And believe you me, the others do it to you too.
Go back to that conversation at the beginning. This time, focus on the part that is not in quotes. Here are some pointers-
rubbing the back of his neck– not him…damn.
one sided smile– sarcasm.
palms rubbing– happiness, excitement. Couple that with eyes gleaming– could be malicious (here, it is).
looking down his nose– superiority.
That’s some conversation these two had.
The thing about body language is, it tells the truth. Because you don’t usually control it consciously, it clearly tells you what the person is feeling at that time, regardless of what comes out of the mouth.
So, keep an eye out for these signs. You’ll understand what’s REALLY in the other person’s mind. You’ll know who will give you a hand and who might stab you in the back!
P.S- If this has got your eyes gleaming and mind running, I suggest you give that book a read.