We live in a performance based world. People around us are different characters of a play and we gauge their value based on the performance they weave.
According to famous feminist philosopher Judith Butler, “within speech act theory, a performative is that discursive practice that enacts or produces that which it names”.
Ever visited a ‘Mime Theatre’? If no, you should give it a chance. The mime serves an important role in enhancing nuanced human emotions. You can notice every arch of the eyebrow rise and the lips crisply turn upside down in a frown. The artists carefully observe non-verbal human behaviour, ferment it and serve it on a platter before the audience.
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Wondering how one can convey enhanced emotions with locked lips? There are various ways of communication and speaking is just a miniscule part of it. If you disregard the role of gestures, expressions and body language in communication, you my friend, are just limiting your world.
What if I say that the strength of non- verbal languages can sometimes surpass the strength of words? If you’re having trouble absorbing this fact, consider this:
The death stare or the famous silent treatment weighs more than some words of anger as it manipulates the recipient psychologically.
Although, considered the most negligible form of conveyance of information, ‘body language’ can say a lot about a person’s state of mind.
Moreover, body language is the manifestation of a person’s innate emotions. A person’s body language speaks one hundred times more than actual words uttered from the mouth. Ironic, isn’t it?
Five psychological facts about body language
1. Negative and positive body language
Some body languages can be indicators of negative and positive emotions distinctively.
Shivering or tensing up of the body can be a huge expression of stress and apprehension.
Longevity in breathing can be manifestation of anger.
However there are positive indicators such as calm and composed facial muscles.
Swaying or using hand gestures to extend an explanation often indicates towards confidence.
2. Decoding Smile
I think each one of us know how smiling can leave mark on people. But did you know that there are different types of smile recorded, each indicators different factors?
- Social- The subtle smile of replying in affirmative.
- Duchenne- This is a smile of true enjoyment and free-spirited state of mind.
- Dominance- The classic smirk! Used in a sarcastic state of affairs.
- Bashful- The smile that is trying to mask the shyness or embarrassment.
3. Grip and Fists
If you monitor your hand while exhibiting various emotions you can easily connect the dots of the Psychology behind it.
A tight fist or a tightened grip is often seen when a person is angry or aggressive. It is a reflection of ‘trying not to resort to violence’.
The next time you see someone making a fist, turn around and RUN for life!
Some people may start cracking their knuckles when nervous.
4. Leaning and slouching
The cult favourite analyst Scott Rouse says, “When flirting, more often than not, the space between the flirt and flirtee will grow less and less.”
It explains why someone who is interested in you, will lean inwards while talking. While slouching, on the other hand, displays disinterest of the listener in the words of the speaker.
Next time you notice yourself leaning in close, give a pat on your back and come back from dreamland.
5. Movement of limbs
As we all know, if a person is moving more than they move normally, they need a pat on their back and a boost of confidence. Or in simpler terms, the person is nervous.
The jiggling and tapping of foot, chewing on nails, hang nails or lips or wringing of hands can all be the signs of nervousness and fear.
While swaying your leg while slouching indicates relaxed state of mind.
While body language can help you understand people around you better, it is futile without reading the situation and context of behaviour. For example, crossed arms can showcase both nervousness or confidence in different situations.
Poking your nose in everyone’s business can never bear good results. So shy away from making assumptions about someone’s state of mind without reading the room as it can lead to bigger misunderstandings. Always remember that reading body language is not equivalent to reading mind. However, it can help you make better decisions in life.