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What is Body Language?
Body Language is the communication of
personal feelings, emotions , attitudes,
thoughts through body movements
-gestures, postures , facial expressions,
walking styles, positions & distance - either
consciously or involuntarily i.e. its not only
your tongue you communicate with but also
you speak with your body movements &
The Main Aspects of Body
• Gestures: A gesture is the verbal or non-verbal
body movement used to express or emphasize
an idea , an emotion or a state of mind.
• Body Movements: This includes the head,
eyes, eyebrows , lips , neck , shoulders, fingers
and so on. One can distinguish four main kinds
of gesticulation: Emblem, illustrators, regular
• Behaviour : This refers quite simply , to
everything we do which is overt or observable.
It is important because it is observable to
• Emotions: Refers to states such as
happiness, depression & anxiety &
milder moods such as feeling of
pleasure & displeasure , degrees of
excitement or drowsiness etc. A
‘Emotional cue’ is a facial
expression, body movement or tone
of voice indicative of emotion.
The face is the most significant and the most
photographed- part of human body . The
flashes of facial signals are generally
spontaneous reactions which a person
finds difficult to hide.
• Expressions: Facial expressions are highly
flexible & changeable. The face can encode
a variety of communicative & informative
Raise of eyebrows express astonishment.
We frown in displeasure or confusion.
Envy or disbelief may be displayed by a raised
• Emotions:The face is the most
reliable indicator of a wide
range of emotions : Joy &
happiness , fear , annoyance,
surprise, anger, sadness etc.
When we are shocked we open
Blushing is another facial
phenomenon that expresses
emotion. A shy person becomes
red in face when attention is
focussed on him.
• Laughter: Laughter is composed of a
broad range of gesture & sounds.
‘Ha-Ha’ is a genuine laughter.
‘He-He’ is a mocking laughter.
‘Hee-Hee’ suggests a secret giggle.
‘Ho-Ho’ communicates surprise
• Smiling: smiling & frowning are two
major facial expressions.
A genuine smile means ‘I appreciate
you’; ‘I accept your ideas’.
A frown means ‘I find you puzzling’.
• The Head Nod : A nod depicts a positive
signal & a ‘head- shake’ signifies ‘no’ or a
• Head nods show continuing attention , it also
depicts what is happening to us emotionally.
Heads tilt is a signal of interest.
People lower or knit their
eyebrows when they show
disagreement or displeasure.
Frown when in displeasure.
• Mouth :
When ‘raised’ , the mouth
communicates positive feelings ,
happiness , optimism.
If kept ‘straight’ to conceal emotion.
‘Turned down’ to express sadness,
confusion , dissatisfaction.
• The Lips: When one
does not utter a word
lips can be eloquent
because silent lips
express a wide range of
emotions from smile to
frown. • Throat: when the
• The eyes can be steely, knowing, mocking,
piercing, shifty. They can level a burning
glance, or a cold glance or a hurt glance or
again can be wise , knowing , inviting ,
scary , disinterested and so on.
Pupils dilate when a person is interested.
We gaze in order to perceive the
expressions of others.
We look straight in the eye to get attention.
• Ways of Looking:
Side long glance is referred to as stolen
Blank stare depicts boredom.
Sparkling eyes are an attribute of those
who have ‘magnetic personalities’.
Peering over glass depicts being
judgmental or critical.
Dark glasses are worn by those who
conceal their genuine feelings.
THE HANDS • The Human hand is a
Limp hands show
Nervous or jittery
person shows restless
Clenched hands often
Clapping of hands
• When the arms are crossed they form a
‘barrier’ to an impending threat.
• Arms folded with finger tucked in armpits &
thumbs sticking out: this is when
subordinate faces his superior whom he
• Arms behind the back is resorted by those
who is experiencing an inner conflict.
• Neck stroking signals suspicion.
• Putting objects in mouth is when
they are busy with something.
• Pinching the bridges of nose
indicates a person in deep thought.
• Nose rub is a sign of rejection.
• Chin stroking is when people are
in deep reflection.
• Slapping the head signifies self
• Hands behind the head is used by
professionals who are confident &
Styles Of Handshake
• Palm down thrust : signifies dominance
• Palm up position shows submission by
• Glove Handshake: ‘Politician
Handshake’, this is with people one is
• Crossed legs signify negativity.
• The foot lock is especially among shy &
• The ankle lock signifies ‘holding back’
of strong feelings , attitudes & emotions.
• Sitting on edge of chair indicates
compromise, accept or agree or
• Rocking or swinging in chair indicates a
When _____ people enter an
elevator, they each...
1.One or two
...lean against the walls of the elevator.
2. Three or four
...occupy a corner.
3.five or six
...all turn to face the door.
...get taller and thinner.
...hands and purses and briefcases hang
down in front of the body, or "fig leaf
...must not touch each other in any way unless
the elevator is crowded, and then only at the
shoulder or lightly against the upper arm.
...have a tendency to look upward at the
illuminated floor indicator.