I’m so glad I read that book on body language. I had no idea the words I was hearing from salesmen and politicians weren’t always completely truthful. Why would anyone want to lie to me?
Just this week I met an old friend I’ve always admired and respected, but as we shook hands I was appalled to notice he’d rotated our wrists to put his hand on top, a dominant attitude indicator according to the book.
I began to realize the significance of other body signals he’s sent over the years. As we talk, his nose is often very close to my forehead and his foot is planted on top of my toes. I’d always assumed he was nearsighted or hard of hearing, but now I wonder. Could these be signs of the latent aggressiveness I’ve been reading about?
The book has made me quite fluent in the language of bodies. I’m amazed to witness the heavy traffic in torso and facial signalling going on out there every day. Some people, the silent types, do more communicating with shrugs, grimaces and gestures than they do with words. “Okay, I’ll go along” is often contradicted by the gritting of teeth or tightened fists. Spitting in the direction of the speaker is a definite negative indicator.
If, like me, you realize you’ve been handicapped for years by not being able to decode these physical messages, it’s time for you to learn. With your new fluency, you will be a walking lie detector. The fast talking used car salesman who keeps covering his mouth and the politician who shakes your hand while avoiding eye contact will both be outed as fibbers.
However, sincere body language, the cheerful smile, the sympathetic tilt of the head and the gentle caress are genuine friendly messages. Sincere body language is vital and in some situations is more important and effective than the verbal kind.
A friend told me recently that his marriage was in danger. “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong or how I could possibly live without her. I must convince my wife of my undying love and devotion,” he said. “Can you help me with advice? How do I do that?”
I almost said no, but with my new found knowledge , I thought I could try. I suggested he take his wife to a romantic, candle-lit restaurant, possibly with a roving violin player and, while they’re sipping their wine, he should smile warmly, reach across the table, gently take her hand in his and say, “I’ve always loved you and I’ll love you till the day I die.”
Then he should shed a tear that will flow slowly down his cheek. The tear is one of the most effective body language signs. I told him if he’s unable to easily produce a spontaneous tear, he should pluck a hair from either nostril. It always works.
I know that sounds deceitful, but the poor guy was so sincerely and desperately in love with his wife, it was the best I could do. They just left on their second honeymoon.