People speak to us all day. Sometimes they speak with flowing ease, other times with ragged mumbles. Words come easy to some and are much more difficult to comprehend from others. For better or worse, non-stop speech communication fills our ears each day with a cacophony of sound. Interpreting it can be difficult…even impossible.
- What was that last word she said?
- Does he speak this fast all the time or is he just nervous.
- Can you repeat that?
- I can’t hear you right now, I’ve got a text.
On and on it goes, all day, all night – eloquent communication, missed communication, focused communication, persuasive communication, rambling communication, concise communication, and hesitant communication.
Yet, there is one form of communication we all can both hear AND see, that tells us a complete story. That most important communication form is called (drum roll please) body language. Body language? You mean the body talks? How is that possible? Each and every one of our bodies not only talk they scream at others.
- I’m a liar.
- I hate my boss.
- I am so bored.
- Tell that idiot to shut up.
Body language is the preferred language of all people…worldwide. It’s the involuntary eruptions that force their way out of our body in response to outside stimulus from willing or unwilling listeners. Most of it goes by without either person knowing it happened. It’s subtle…it’s overt…but rarely does body language lie. Because this is the way people project their true feelings about a topic or about us. But, the observant viewer who can pick up the telltale signs of revealing body language gathers a distinct advantage over the speaker or his peers.
OK, so you want some examples don’t ya. Here goes. Pay attention to the pictures below. The first is a picture of President Trump in Puerto Rico talking about the devastating impact Hurricane Maria had on the island residents.
Forget the fact that some FORMER Presidential advance person failed to attach a black cloth around the table to shield the president’s obvious lower body language. Do you notice how his legs are splayed out in every direction in sort of an out-of-control way? The gentleman to his right is giving mixed signals, but the ladies on his left are aware they are on display. Yes, it’s true; the Commander-in-Chief generally sits like this, but who has the nerve to tell him it looks unpresidential?
Other unflattering pictures of the President that memorable day show him tossing towel paper during a disaster, like he’s at an NBA game. Not the message his handlers envisioned.
But, lest you say I am picking only on the current President, let’s view someone from the opposition party to see if body language is universal. Apparently, …IT IS! Witness former President Obama, below, giving a less than enthusiastic endorsement to Cuban leader Raul Castro.
Straighten up that wrist Mr. President.
And finally, some body language all married men can really relate to. I’m captioning it… “Not tonight honey; I’ve got a migraine.”
Like it or not, body language can make or break your career, your relationship, your life. The people who can read body language and respond properly have a big leg up (pardon the pun) on the rest of us. Plus, if you are great at hiding your body language…then you deserve an Oscar for best fake performance in the movie of your life. Read ‘em and weep…or, learn to outperform the others and take a bow…but don’t hold that bow too long. Nobody likes a showboat!