LIFESTYLE

Become A Mind Reader With These 20 Body Language Cues

They will tell you all you need to know about a person.

13/01/2017 3:40 PM IST | Updated 16/01/2017 1:18 PM IST
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It's fascinating how much you can tell about a person simply by observing her or his body language. And, once you know what to look for, to tailor your own physical cues to echo the message you want the other person to pick up on. Here are 20 important non-verbal signals to always keep an eye out for.

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Are you being lied to?

Lying has some very clear tells; you just have to pay attention.

First, notice the eyes. Liars tend to make too much eye contact (the average is 7 to 10 seconds). The reason for this is overcompensation. Since looking away has been drummed into us as a sign of guilt, people tend to overcompensate by staring fixedly at the person they're lying to.

While lying, people tend to go unnaturally still, with tense shoulders. Since it is difficult to maintain an open posture while lying, but the liar doesn't want to adopt a negative stance either, people stiffen up.

Liars will try repeating the question or answering with a question to give themselves time to think of an answer

Liars will also try to physically distance themselves from the person they're lying to by putting a barrier object such as a table or a chair between the two.

People will almost always have their feet pointing toward the door, almost as if their body is in flight mode, when they lie.

Also, pick up on verbal cues such as excessive, unasked for details in an attempt to make it sound extra true; repeating the question or answering with a question to give themselves time to think of an answer; and not using contractions while talking (did not, instead of didn't) because, besides physically, they also want to distance themselves verbally from what or who they're lying about.

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How's the date coming along?

First dates can be nerve-wracking and confusing. Are you boring her or him with your stories or are you charming them? Does your date want to spend more time with you or is she or he counting the minutes before they can escape? So many questions and so little information to go on with. Fortunately, studying your date's body language can help you make some fairly educated guesses.

The simplest indicator is whether they're leaning toward or away from you. If they're leaning away, they mostly want to get rid of you but don't know how to say it.

When a woman brushes back her hair or tucks it behind her ear, subconsciously, she is drawing her date's attention to her neck and face. It's an almost definite sign of flirtation.

Next, if you lean closer and they mirror you, that's a very good thing. It means they're developing a bond with you.

Also pay attention to how many times they nod while listening to you. Nods of three indicate interest in what the other person is saying whereas one nod is usually a sign of wanting to end the conversation.

When a woman brushes back her hair or tucks it behind her ear, subconsciously, she is drawing her date's attention to her neck and face. It's an almost definite sign of flirtation.

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How to impress an interviewer?

Apart from your CV, your body can do a whole lot of talking on your behalf, giving your interviewer plenty of reasons to hire you.

While talking to an interviewer, lean forward or cock your head slightly to the side. It is a positive cue because it gives the interviewer the impression that you're a good listener — that you're literally 'lending them your ear'.

Don't nod too much; excessive or exaggerated nodding indicates anxiety over their opinion of you and that you're too eager to please.

Keep your back and shoulders straight, and your chin tilted just a little upwards. Apart from looking sharp and not slouchy, sub-consciously, we assume people who occupy more space to be more powerful and confident. When you hunch, you collapse into yourself, indicating an unsure disposition.

Shuffling your feet, shaking your legs or tapping your foot are all signs of anxiety, irritation and being upset.

Arms and legs can be a dead giveaway of your mental state. Tightly crossed limbs are a sign of inflexibility and a closed viewpoint. In the same way, tightly clasped hands or feet that are pointing to the door show nervousness. A good neutral way is to casually hold them together in the lap while sitting and letting them fall to the sides while standing. It will keep you from gesticulating out of excitement. For the legs, cross them at the ankle while sitting.

Standing with arms akimbo indicates arrogance and aggressiveness; don't do it even if you're having an informal conversation with a potential employer.

Shuffling your feet, shaking your legs or tapping your foot are all signs of anxiety, irritation and being upset. Even if the interview is not going as well as you'd planned, don't let it on by doing any of these.

Fidgeting, especially scraping the cuticles, is a sign of low confidence.

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How are you making people around you feel?

Want to be more open and inviting, but without having to say the words out loud? Your body can help get the message across.

When you're talking to someone but want to make others in the group feel as if they are welcome to join the conversation at any time, stand with your body angled about 45 degrees outward. It is a welcoming posture that invites people in.

If someone around you lowers their gaze while talking, they are expressing vulnerability and are looking for empathy and support.

If your body and feet are angled towards a person while they talk, it means they have your attention. While sitting, this feeling can be even more pronounced if your big toe is pointing toward the person speaking. It shows that you're particularly receptive to what they're saying.

If someone around you lowers their gaze while talking, they are expressing vulnerability and are looking for empathy and support. It triggers a protective response in the observer. Princess Diana had mastered the art of the lowered gaze.

If someone is constantly rubbing their eyes, neck, forehead or earlobes around you, it means you're making them feel uncomfortable, possibly even threatened; they are literally calming their nerves by rubbing them subconsciously.

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