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I Can Read You Like a Book by Maryann Karinch, Gregory Hartley

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CHAPTER 1

The Steps to ReadingBody Language

Primitive man had a repertoire of survival skills that included reading body language. Etiquette and culture have blunted that natural human ability. Add to those factors the complexity of spoken language and modern conventions related to body language—stock gestures we see all the time in movies and TV—and the result is this: few people today can read body language well.

Most of the time, we don’t even know what our own bodies are doing. Human body language is more closely tied to ritual than planned behavior. I don’t think about how to pick up my glass when I drink, how to hold my fork, or start my car. Our brains are so complex, with multiple subprograms running at all times, that it is difficult ...

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