Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interpreting Body Language

Your body speaks louder than words. So does your date’s. How many dates will tell you flat out that they’re having a rotten time? Few, if any. Yet how many will catch periodic glimpses of their watch? Hopefully, not many. In the mating game, women use their heads, and men use their chests. Literally. Women toss their hair or sweep their heads back as a sign of attraction; men simply puff out their chests. It’s a throwback to our primitive pasts when big, burly Cro-Magnon men and savvy Cro-Magnon women were the kings and queens of the veldt. Now, in our modern jungle, the signs are still there. You just have to know what to look for.
If you spend all your time looking at nonverbal cues, you’re not going to be focusing on what your date is saying and you’re not going to be doing your part about spontaneously responding. So chill out here and don’t spend more than a millisecond of your precious time together “studying” your date. If you do, you’ll both be miserable.
Reading body language is far from an exact science. It’s one part observation, two parts interpretation. People cross their arms when they’re cold as well as closed off. Look for consistent groups of gestures or a suddenly inconsistent movement. Look for patterns, but don’t get hung up here. Focus on what you’re saying verbally to one another and look to nonverbal clues only when in doubt.

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