Reading body language is by no means an exact science, and I am no expert. However having read a few books etc on the subject, I’d like to share some of the more common info with you, to hopefully help you identify your own body language.
Please remember however that one signal does not reliably indicate a meaning, clusters of signals more reliably indicate meaning. And please do not use body language alone when making decisions about people as you must always take into account the persons mood, their understanding of the situation as well as their motive.
Today it’s all about eyes!
Eyes are a very significant aspect of the non-verbal signals we send to others. They are actually something we all try to “read” in others without even knowing we’re doing it!
Generally indicates creativity. i.e. fabrication of truth, lying. However in some circumstances, fabrication of truth can be perfectly acceptable. e.g. telling a child a story, writing an essay.
Generally Looking Left
Recalling and then stating facts or reality. i.e. telling the truth after recalling actual facts from memory.
Looking Right and Up
Using the right side of the brain again, this indicates creativity. However right and upwards eye-movement can be an indication that someone who is allegedly recalling facts, is in fact fabricating lies.
Looking Right Sideways
It is thought that this movement indicates a person is imagining or fabricating what another person has said or could say.
Looking Right and Down
Again this is a sign of creativity, but in this instance it can indicate that the person is questioning themselves about their feelings.
Looking Left and Up
This a very reassuring sign as it indicates the person is recalling and stating real facts.
Looking Left Sideways
Looking left always suggests recalling or remembering real facts, and looking left sideways is no different, this time it normally indicates the person is recalling what someone else has said.
Looking Left Down
This indicates self-talk and thinking things through.
Direct Eye Contact When Speaking
Direct eye contact is generally regarded as a sign of truthfulness, however practised liars know this and will fake this sign, so beware.
Direct Eye Contact When Listening
When someone’s focus stays on the speaker, it normally indicates interest and attention to what the speaker is saying.
There are a couple of things this can indicate – It can indicate interest in something or someone or when added to raised eyebrows can be due to shock.
An upward roll of the eyes indicates frustration or exasperation, as if looking to the heavens for help.
When someone blinks far more than normal, this can be a sign of excitement or pressure.
This can indicate a number of things, so should be used in conjunction with other signals – If the eyes are not focused this can indicate boredom, however if accompanied by a focused gaze, it can indicate concentration.
Quickly raising and lowering the eyebrows is a common signal of greeting and acknowledgement. If the eyebrows and raised for a longer period of time this normally indicates fear or surprise.
How many of the above signs are you aware that you do? Why not make your next meeting more interesting by seeing how many body language eye “signals” you can recognise your colleagues doing…but don’t tell them beforehand, or they’ll all become very self-conscious!