Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Negative body language signs

Your date may not be finger-drumming the tabletop, but displaying any of the following signals can be a warning:
  • Frequent nodding: The Yin and Yang of body language, a little nodding is a good sign; continuous head-bobbing means you’ve lost the connection.
  • Open mouth: If your date always seems to be trying to break in, you may be too long-winded and have lost your partner’s interest.
  • Hands on mouth: This is a censoring mechanism, literally stopping the words as they come out of the mouth — not a good sign.
  • Arms crossed: Any type of closed-up body posture indicates a barrier between the two of you (unless the room is cold — look for goose bumps).
  • Arms behind the head: On a first date, this is a classic sign of dominance . . . or the attempt to gain it.
  • Yawning: You guessed it — bored to tears. We’ve all been learning to interpret nonverbal cues since the first time our mothers cradled us; survival depended on spotting Dad’s mood or Grandma’s pride or our sister’s sulking.
Studies have shown that kids who can easily read subtle facial cues survive the perils of grammar school far better than their more obtuse peers. If you suspect that your date is annoyed or bored or impatient, it’s okay to test the waters. See whether changing the subject works or even, egad, say, “I seem to have turned you off.” Then ask, “Was it something I said?” You’ll score points for sensitivity. But ask only once. No nagging! Okay, now that you know all this stuff, should you become Sherlock Holmes or just enjoy your date? Elementary, my dear. Relax and enjoy. However, if you want a way to check out your own unconscious reactions, you don’t need to study a videotape to see if you’re mirroring.

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