Free body language cheatsheet – DOWNLOAD at the bottom of this post
Want to activate a SUPER POWER you already possess?
It’s the ability to read body language. In this post I am going to teach you how to decode body language and use it to your advantage.
There is also a free body language cheatsheet you can download at the bottom.
Millions of years ago, before humans developed an ability to speak, the main mode of communicating with the tribe was through throat grunts (how unsophisticated!) and by reading the body language cues of others.
The skill of reading body language is innate to all humans. But, as we’ve evolved, we now express ourselves with spoken language, most people have lost or dampened this natural ability.
Although most people are not particularly adept at read body language, we all use. Gestures are fired on autopilot. Most of the time you’re unaware of what you’re saying with your body. These knee-jerk reactions are controlled by your brain as you react to stimulus in your environment.
Just as others send signals to us, we send signals to them. And some people are better than others at decoding gestures.
Ask yourself: How aware are you of the signals you’re sending? How aware are you of the signals people are sending to you?
It may surprise you to know that: 55 percent of communication is expressed using body language. (7% is through spoken word, and 38% through voice tone)
So, it’s worth learning to interpret the silent language of everyday gestures, and se it to your advantage.
And remember: People may lie with their words, but they never lie with their bodies.
When you activate this super power you’ll become an expert people reader. And, when you understand what others really think (behind what they say) you increase your chances of achieving outcomes you desire.
Below, are the top ten body language cues you should know. If you’d like a free body language cheatsheet you can download and print with the 10 cues and images CLICK HERE or download at the bottom of this post.
How to decode body language and read unspoken communication
Here is a summary of the 10 body language cues. These are illustrated in my free body langauge cheatsheet.
1.The pursed and stretched lip smile
When a person smiles without showing their teeth and by stretching their mouth as far as it will go from side to side they are hiding something from you. They either don’t like you, are withholding a negative opinion about you or what you are saying, or they know something you don’t and are not going to share.
2.The covered lip lie
If you are watching a person speak and they cover their mouth it’s a direct clue that they are lying. Ever heard the term “speak no evil”? It will help you remember this body language cue. Your brain unconsciously directs the hand to cover the mouth in an attempt to try to block out words of deceit.
3.The torso hug
Crossed arms is a closed off position. It signals that a person is not comfortable with you or doesn’t like what you’re saying. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you. Some people have a tough time letting people get close to them because they’ve had a bad past experience by being hurt by a person or group of people. From this perspective, the arms crossed presents as a barrier of protection.
4.The one-handed head support
If a person supports their head with one hand and places an index finger pointing up along the side of the face, they are not interested or being critical about what you’re saying. Often they have an opposing opinion.
5. Increased blinking
This can be more difficult to notice, but when a person increase their blinking or leaves their eyes closed a bit longer than seems natural, they are bored by what you’re saying.
6. The pointed-foot stance
How legs are positioned send unconscious cues. In group settings if you see a person standing with a pointed foot they’ll be directing it to the person they think is most interesting or attractive. Conversely, if you’re talking to someone that wants to leave you’ll see their foot pointed towards the door.
7. Arms crossed, legs crossed.
If a person crosses their arms and legs, they are not interested in communicating. If you notice this while speaking in front of a group, your audience is not engaged.
8. Handshake equality
Dominance is often expressed using a handshake. If you meet someone and they shake your hand with their hand slightly above yours, they want to dominate you. A completely equal shake where both hands meet and remain parallel to one another (no hand is above the other) shows respect and even power.
9. Pupil dilation
This one is tough to identify but highly valuable. If a person is in a positive mood, becomes excited or is attracted to something they see, their pupils will dilate. If you’re good a detecting dilated pupils it can help in sales positions or if you’re single and want to know if your date is interested in you.
10. The upper hand triangle
If you’re in a negotiation, playing a game or having a friendly debate, and you see a person bring their hands together and place them into a peak position (they make a mountain with their hands) this means they believe they are confident that they are winning the deal, game or debate.
Now you know how to decode body language, use the ten gesture cues to understand what the people you interact with are not saying and are silently communicating. If you see a negative cue, you’ll be able to address it. A positive cue will let you know that you are on track and should continue the conversation.
And, keep in mind that context (ie. the environment and specifics of a situation) matters. This should also be considered when assessing body language cues. For a detailed guide on how to be a superior body language decoder grab this cheatsheet you can print and refer to.
-or learn mastery – buy my definitive ebook…