Body language is something that is understood all over the globe. Even if you don’t speak the same language as someone else, you may still be able to figure out what they are talking about by body language communication. There are many signs relative to someone that is angry, happy, confused, bewildered, surprised, shocked and many other emotions that come with body language attached.
American films and television has brought a global influence to body language world wide. Even though much body language may be associated with emotion, there are many other gestures that may be interpreted differently depending on which part of the world you are in.
Body Language and Gestures
For instance making an “O” with your fingers and thumb normally means OK, if you are in Europe and North America. But do the same thing in Russia, Turkey or Brazil and you’ve just insulted someone sexually by calling them gay.
Another gesture most of us in America understand is the thumbs up. This usually means something is OK, or has approval. This may also be used by hitchhikers to catch a ride. But in Greece a thumbs up literally means “Up Yours!” Similar to shooting someone the “bird” or middle finger in North America.
Here’s a good one. In most countries nodding your head up and down signifies “Yes”. But in Bulgaria it means the opposite, “No”. This may also mean “Yes” in Japan, but doesn’t necessarily mean yes I agree. It may also mean that someone understands what you’re saying, but they may not agree with you. Then in Arab countries a single, upward head movement means “Yes”, rather than a nodding up and down motion.
For two men to hold each others hands in Saudi Arabia, is a sign of respect for each other. But you certainly wouldn’t get that same meaning here in the States. If I were to compare it to something here in the U.S., I would have to say shaking hands would be the equivalent.
If you were to blow your nose into a tissue in Asia, it would be looked at as a disgusting act. Asians believe it is more sanitary to spit or snort their mucus rather than to blow it into a tissue or handkerchief. Now in a way this makes sense, but to me spitting is even more disgusting.
How to Tell if Someone is Lying
This is something that many people would love to master. Being able to tell when someone is lying. Personally I don’t feel like this is a guaranteed system, but there are several tale tell signs that may give away someone telling a lie.
When someone is lying, whether it be a man or a woman, they will increase the amount of times they swallow. Even though it can give away both a man and a woman, it seems to be much more noticeable in men. I suppose this is because a man has an Adam’s apple. Many also believe a person that is lying will tend to touch their face more often. This is often times thought of as a “tell” in poker players when they’re bluffing. Basically the same concept I suppose.
Here’s a funny tid bit. This involves the former President Bill Clinton, and his statement on National Television in regards to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. When he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”, not only did he gulp, but he also rubbed his nose! Supposedly Clinton only touched his nose during that interview when he was thought to be lying.
Research shows that when a person is lying, there are certain chemicals released that may cause the tissue in the nose to swell. Then the nose may expand with blood which may cause the nose to become itchy. This is why liars will often times rub their nose.
Sometimes when someone is lying they may concentrate on looking the other person in the eye. This makes them look all the more convincing. But usually they will wind up scratching or rubbing their eye during the conversation in order to avoid looking at who ever they are lying to. They may also be clenching or tightening their lips and may possibly stutter. Usually if someone is using a lot of Umm’s and Ahh’s while speaking, this can be a sign that they are lying. Umm’s and Ahh’s are nothing more than time killers so they can think up the next part of their lie. Crossing of the legs and or arms may also be a sign that someone is lying.
Here’s a funny one. Some people may cover their mouth, in a subconscious attempt to stop them from telling more lies. If they realize what they are doing, you might get a fake cough while they’re trying to cover up the fake yawn. LOL, this is getting crazy! So if someone starts doing a shuffle in their chair when talking to you, they may be fill you full of *^&$!
Body Language of Attraction
Body language is not always leading to something bad. There are signs you can recognize that my tell when someone is attracted to you.
One sure sign of body language flirting is if they are holding eye contact much longer than normal when talking to you. Next time you notice something like this, try to check out their pupils, they may be dilated as well. When the pupils dilate due to emotional excitement, there is a release of hormones called adrenalin that takes place. There was a scientific experiment done by a psychologist called Neisser. He experimented by showing two pictures with the same woman in them, one with artificially dilated eyes and the other without. People who viewed these photos rated the photo with the dilated eyes as the more attractive one, but they could not explain why. Obviously they didn’t know one had dilated eyes. I found this quite interesting.
Someone who is romantically interested in you may also steer in your direction. Meaning they could subconsciously point an elbow or knee in your direction, simply because this is where they would like to go. If a woman is attracted to someone, she may give signs by tossing her hair to the side, or may give a sideways smile or glance in your direction.
Some people may pretend to wipe dust off your clothes, lean forward in your direction or make an attempt to stand or sit closer to you if they find you attractive. On the opposite end of that, if a woman is not interested in a man, she may cross her arms over her chest or cross her legs away from him.
So you see, body language is a form of communication that we all do whether we know it or not. Normally these signs are picked up on as effortlessly as they are given out. As long as we still have feelings and have a desire to express ourselves, body language will always play a huge role in our lives.
I would really like to hear some other interesting gestures and types of body language that may be used around the world. If you know of any, please leave a comment below and let us know what they are.
18 thoughts on “Body Language, a Form of Global Communication”
Most of our communication is through body languages, and body language is one way we can communicate across boarders.
Very true, the movements of ones body can tell a whole story of how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. Some are more in tune to it then others, but it’s a great gift we’ve all been given as human beings.
Body language pattern recognition is a well know tool for powerful seduction and can be use in some extend to lead someone in direction you desire.
Read more about this … in Powerful seduction tips
Thanks for adding this very cool reference to the discussion Ali. It really is amazing how much we communicate through subtle movements and expressions.
I find it interesting that none of this ‘body language’ is taught formally, yet it is intuitively picked up by us as we grow – particularly the body language of attraction! I guess we absorb it from childhood, just as we absorb and learn language.
Very good point Sue. I believe it is something that should be taught. But is it possible that the reason we don’t teach it is because everyone’s interpretations of this unheard language are different? This is sort of where understanding and intuition collide with one another.
This is really awesome to know some more features about the body language and the great tool for learning of their tricks.
I agree, I love learning about stuff like this. Things you wouldn’t normally think about.
Give a moment’s thought to the sign language used by the deaf & dumb!
Yah, I tried learning some sign language at one time. But it’s actually kind of difficult, there are so many different gestures and signs and to remember all of them starting as an adult is quite a task!
I think its fascinating that in Great Britain there are regional dialects in sign language.
Now that is interesting. Do they not speak any audible language? If I’m understanding you correctly, it sound as though they speak sign language even though they may not be deaf, is this accurate?
Nice article. I particularly liked the part about lying body language. Even for body language specialists theres a lot of ambiguity in lying body language. Reading people can be so hard sometimes!
Absolutely, and there is so much that can be said with subtle body gestures. Learning to listen to them is another story.
Another video with a very good way to detect lies – the eyes:
Cool Betsy, thanks for sharing this video!
It is so true. The body language is very important, however different cultures has different perception of some body languages. I really enjoyed the video.
Thanks so much for your input on the subject Lisa, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
The cultural boundaries of body language is quite true and makes it quite difficult at times to interpret things depending on where you are as opposed to where your going. 😉
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