Reading the Signs
In This Chapter
Showing that you’re interested
Paying attention to all the signals
Recognising different types of gestures
In order to interpret body language accurately, you have to notice it first. If you think this sounds pretty obvious, you’re right. And yet some people just don’t pay enough attention to how someone else is behaving. Then they’re surprised when the person tells them he’s unhappy, he’s angry, or he’s packing up and leaving home. ‘But you never told me’, is the response. ‘If you’d paid attention, you’d have realised’, comes the reply.
Noticing how people behave is the first step towards understanding. After that, you can begin to interpret what their behaviour means. Be careful at this point. The experienced observer knows that it takes more than one gesture to convey a message.
Think of body language in the same way as you do the spoken word. If you want to communicate a concept you have to speak several words, or even a few sentences, to express what you mean. Body language works the same way. One gesture doesn’t tell the whole story. It takes several actions, working together, to signal a person’s feelings, thoughts, and attitudes. ...