Welcome to the Esoteric Gentleman's Club article "Gentleman's Body Language Hacks – Part 1" of our 2 part series on Gentleman's Body Language Hacks!
The art of communicating without speaking! Part 1 of the series is going to be about other people’s body language and what it means, specifically 10 body language cue’s and what they convey. After that, part 2 is going to be about your body language…
Developing Body Language
How you can develop awesome body language to make you appear more confident and comfortable in your own skin, sound good? Great.
Before we get into the good stuff, I want to share a few thoughts with you. Don’t worry, they’re awesome thoughts.
First of all I want to make you aware that being able to read body language with your conscious mind is a great skill to learn that will give you a great advantage of every aspect of your life in which you deal with other people (so every important aspect of your life!)
Secondly, before you do become a master at reading other people’s body cues, there is one major point you need to understand. Body language is highly ambiguous, just as ambiguous in fact as spoken language; it’s all dependent on the context.
Let me give you an example:
You’re at the bar charming the ass of the girl you decided was good enough for you when she starts playing with her hair. This signal can mean one of two things. Either:
A) She thinks you’re one fine son of a bitch and wants to kiss you there and then
B) She’s bored and her hair is her distraction from you.
Although, if it’s you I’m guessing it’s A.
The Science of Body Language
That was just to make you aware that body language is not an exact science and multiple tells can means multiple things. You need to read the situation and not be a social tool. If she looks irritated and is playing with her hair, she’s not doing because she’s into you.
This is just one example, and there are many others out there. Just thought I’d use an example of a girl been into you as a way to get your attention ;).
AND…. one more thing. You’re already an expert at reading body language, you just don’t know it because it happens at a subconscious level. Have you ever met somebody that straight away, you don’t trust or don’t like? You blame it on your gut instinct, and usually that instinct is right. It’s actually your subconscious mind reading the other persons cues and gives you an accurate reading in the form of an emotion response. So when you get that “not so sure” emotion when you meet someone, it’s because your incredible mind has picked up on a little tell, or even a micro-expression the other person’s given away about themselves.
Even though this part focuses mainly on other peoples body language, it would be silly not to take advantage of the information and implement it yourself.
1. One arm self-hug.
If you notice someone has one arm that goes across their body, as like a one arm hug of themselves, they are using it as a barrier. Unlike if it was 2 arms across their body, which would mean they’re feeling defensive, it probably means that whoever it is giving off this cue is most likely a shy person and they may feel a little intimidated by your gentlemanly presence. Once you get to know them and show them how awesome you are, this will probably go away.
This kind of cue usually means that it had nothing to do with what you have done, they just lack self confidence and this use this one arm hug as a form of comfort in situations they feel insecure in.
2. Lying signals.
Next time someone lies to you, you’re going to know because more than likely they’ll give off the majority of these tells. Then you can show off your smug body language because you know they’re lying.
When people lie they instinctively tend to cover their mouth in any capacity, they could do it by touching their nose because even then, some of their hand is covering their mouth, which means their lies are been “hidden”.
When a person is lying their ass off and you ask them a question, they will look up and to the left (into the creative side of the brain) as opposed to up and right (into the memory side of the brain) because they know they need to create an answer that isn’t true as they are unable to answer the factual answer from memory.
Okay, last one before we move onto the next. If the person who’s telling the fib to you normally is able to hold eye contact with you, then they’ll probably try to avoid it when telling the lie. This is to stay away from the connection that eye contact brings.
3. Dominant handshake.
When someone feels superior to you, when they shake your hand they will use the dominant position (hand on an angle so the palm is tilted to the floor).
Quick tip: Don’t do this. Have a neutral hand which shows you respect the other person but are also not submissive.
As a gentleman, you shouldn’t let people to dominate you, so if someone does this to you, the simple thing to do is step into their personal space with your left foot so you’re standing slightly to the left of him. Being in this position will make it harder for them to keep the dominant position and will force them into a neutral position. Also, the fact that you was comfortable stepping into his personal space will make him feel a little uncomfortable which just gave you the winning edge.
Serves him right for thinking he’s better then you right?
Another quick tip: don’t do this to people who are actually your superiors i.e. at work. Or it’s going to be you looking like a fool. Always respect the current hierarchy and work on changing it in the long term.
4. Feet/foot pointing out.
Feet show intent, where every they are pointed, that’s where their attention is so; when one foot is pointed outwards (or even both feet) when 2 people are having a conversation, it means that that person is planning on leaving anytime now, and they’re going to be leaving in the direction that the foot is pointing at.
It can mean that they’re bored of the conversation or simply that they genuinely have to be somewhere else.
5. Open body language.
When I say open body language, I mean that the legs or feet are not crossed so the body is open. Also, the palms are open and on show.
Open body language means the other person is, well, their being open. It’s a sign of confidence, authority, honesty and being comfortable.
When people have open body language they’re likely enjoying and are comfortable in whatever situation they are in, you’ll see open body language more in people who are naturally confident.
Having open body language makes you appear friendlier and approachable as well as give off the aura you’re in control (both of the situation and your life)… talk about win win. Think about it this way, if you was worried in your life, it would cause you to show more closed body language, so by being open you give off the impression you’re stress free, which is a very high-status signal, also people will enjoy being around you more if you appear to be stress-less.
6. Head nodding.
Head nodding is a good thing, if you’re talking to someone and they’re nodding their head it means that they agree with what you are saying.
If they’re nodding slowly it means they are on the edge of their seat and are enjoying what you’re saying and can’t wait for more. Great going, you’re the man.
Conversely, if they nodding to what you’re saying but are doing it in a fast manner, they might not even be agreeing with what you’re saying because, chances are they’re not listening. They’ll be saying to themselves “Man, this guy talks a lot, will he hurry up!?” They use the fast head nodding as a sign to hurry up whoever is speaking because they want to leave but they’re too polite to leave mid sentence.
Look for this cue when you’re out and you’ll notice it been done to people who are boring or unable to tell a good story.
That’s just gave me a list idea, hold on whilst I write it down.
“Tips to telling a good story” coming sometime in the future. I’d say “coming soon” but I will of course, have to field test the best ways to be able to give you the best information!
7. Head tilt.
A head tilted to one side is a damn good signal. It means whoever is doing it is interested in whatever gold is coming out of your mouth at that time.
You’ve got them hooked on what you’re saying so just carry on solider!
Also, if it’s a lady doing it, it could signify sexual attraction towards you. But you’re handsome and a certified gentleman, so you knew that already :-).
8. Steepling fingers.
Picture this: you’re in a meeting with your boss, your bosses boss and your bosses bosses boss, who hasn’t said a word to you since you started.
You gaze around the room looking at each individual who’s been invited to this executive’s only meeting. Been the fact it’s an executives only meeting, you understand that this means all these co-workers are in somewhat of a powerful position in the company. There all dressed in expensive suits and drove to the meeting in various luxury cars.
They’re succeeding at life, or at least the wealth part of life.
You gaze around the room again, and you notice your bosses bosses boss, Mr CEO himself. You look at his body language and notice he has his elbows are on the mahogany conference table with his hands meeting at the top with only his finger tips touching.
You look around and you notice another thing…
No one else is doing this.
Because doing this is the ultimate signal of authority and power. It shows that they are unequivocally in control.
It’s rare to see it outside of a professional environment, because no one is that in control in a social setting.
9. Hands on hips.
Have a quick think back, and remember somebody who puts their hand on the hips when they’re talking to you.
Who did you think of?
A teacher? Your parent when you was a child and in trouble? Your boss? Maybe it was even a police officer when he was giving you a stern warning for travelling over the speed limit.
Hands on the hips is a huge sign for authority and power, and is used when people are ready to start being aggressive with you. This could range from shouting to being physical.
It’s never used when people are having a fun light conversation, it’s saved for more serious times when people have to appear bigger and command superiority.
10. Legs crossed conundrum.
Why the conundrum? Because, having crossed legs is closed body language, but at the same time, it can mean feelings of comfort.
Always use this formula, to keep things simple. If people have their legs crossed and are facing away from the conversation, then they are closing themselves off and are uninterested. If they are facing you and showing other signs on interest then, the fact there legs are crossed is because they feel comfortable in your presence.
I generally sit with my legs in the figure 4 legs cross (as above) all the time because I find it comfortable.
What about you - crossed or uncrossed?