On Tuesday, February 8 Categories:

Understanding body language is a diverse subject prone to many meanings at different occasions. This is compounded by the fact that the face of a person alone can produce thousands of interpretable signs.

Despite this multiplicity of signs, that mean different things in disparate settings, there are various ways on how body language can be used to decipher a certain distinct meaning. Overall, these signs can take either of the following indications including, gestures, faking, emotional boredom, age, and cultural practice.

One of the most recognizable meanings of body language anywhere is a gesture. However, like all other sign language displays, gestures need be shown only in a context where they can be understood clearly. For example, when one winks an eye to another in a corporate meeting, in this context this can be interpreted as a cue to understanding a point or showing mutual disapproval of what the speaker has said. Within the same conference, another person can wink at another while moving out. This would mean that the latter is being cued to come out without making a formal announcement to that effect.

Body language can also be used to detect deception. This becomes handy to shopkeepers and other business outlets in identifying signs of cheating on price or selling a fake product. One can read the physiognomy of a seller of illicit goods by the stealthy way he or she approaches the buyer. This can also be deciphered from how he or she repositions the body unnaturally like facing the other in a sidewise manner. One can also read the physiognomy of a person to know whether they are faking. The eyes can show fear and the person may not want to look directly to the party they are partaking transactions with.

Age has been a trap to deciphering meaning from body language. This is because as a person becomes older, wrinkles may come into place and may make it hard to understand whether a line on the face appears because one is cheating or because of the organic change that has settled on the face. Similarly, natural tendencies of a child like appearing shyly before an elder cannot be sufficient evidence that they have been involved in mischief. This is because diffidence is natural to children.

Body language can be used to decipher meaning by interpreting emotional boredom. This happens in different settings. For example, in a work place, the manager can learn about the imminence of strike by how employees show laxity at work. Boredom, characterized by slow bodily movement and sadness when put in a social setting may be interpreted to mean that the person is feeling isolated and may need company. Other bodily signs like bowing before a lover are mainly restricted to a cultural practice and may mean other things in the normal world.

In short, body language and meaning can be used together only when they are applied to interpret people's behaviors and signs as applicable to different settings.

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Richard is a career police officer who has studied human behavior to learn non-verbal communication. He now runs the website, understanding body language, to help others understand this universal human language.

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