How to Read Body Language for Beginners
We’ve come a long way.
Civilization has progressed at rapid rates.
Despite us progressing, every now and then, it’s smart to take a walk down memory lane.
How do you think people used to communicate?
I don’t know about you, but I’m certain it was with the body.
- Making grunting sounds.
- Waving the hands around.
- Scowling face.
All methods to communicate a message.
‘But Armani, that was way back then, we have words now!’
Do you think body language is unimportant then?
The body still doesn’t lie.
It tells the truth.
Because it’s the feelings made solid.
The Importance of Body Language
To understand communication, look beyond the words.
In the grand scheme of things, words are a rather new feature.
Simply scribbles that people assign meaning to.
On the other hand, body language is ingrained.
You’ll notice it’s not only with humans.
It’s also with animals.
Pet owners can tell when their pets are in a bad mood.
Something about the tonality changes.
A happy ‘woof’ is easily distinguishable from a sad ‘woof.’
Apes get noticeably loud when they are ready to fight.
If you can be open to language extending beyond words, then you are beginning to learn how to read body language.
It comes down to understanding that some things are deep-rooted.
2 being, imagination and feelings.
- No one teaches a person how to imagine. It just happens.
- No one teaches a person how to feel. It just happens.
For the latter, that’s the communication that happens with the body.
The authentic feelings are trying to express itself.
When the words match the body, that’s confidence.
When the words don’t match the body, that’s when someone seems shady.
As you can tell, the body communicates a ton.
#1 Resource to Learn Body Language
‘Alright man, you’ve been yapping for a while. When are you going to recommend some books on body language?’
Not at all in this blog post.
‘Then where should I learn?’
From the person across the mirror.
Learning how to read body language comes down to becoming aware of your own body, first.
That’s the fundamental ingredient.
To read your body, it comes down to learning from the dark parts.
Observe your body then. These dark emotions serve as the #1 resource. Understand the dark, and knowing the light (joy, confidence, peace) body language moves are a byproduct.
‘But, but…you sure I can’t learn everything from a book?’
A book can help.
But it will not give you a 4D understanding like your own body will.
It’s like showing a hungry man a picture of a steak.
He doesn’t give a damn about the picture.
He wants the real steak. Call Applebee’s real quick.
That’s the beginning process of how to read body language.
Start off with yourself.
Focus on your body when you go through dark emotions.
The 2nd-Best Resource to Learn Body Language
I’m not a big fan of mainstream entertainment.
Every now and then, I’ll watch some of it.
But it’s mainly for psychological purposes.
I had a former roommate who was surprised to see me watching the mainstream news one late Friday night.
‘Mainstream news?? Why were you watching that?’
To study facial expressions.
I came to realize the second best resource on how to read body language was to learn from everyone but you.
You are #1.
Everyone else is #2.
Notice how I phrased that.
I didn’t say Donald is #2.
Julie is #5.
Pablo is #39.
I put them all in one boat.
‘Why did you do that?’
Because it helps you remain aware of everyone else.
Your attention goes where the awareness directs it.
In this situation, when you view everyone as #2… you treat them as opportunities to learn.
This allows you to chill and not take things as personally.
Plus, this makes it easy to learn from a teenager who is fucking up in life and a billionaire who keeps on winning.
We view them in the same boat.
Patterns and Nuances
When you see a pattern multiple amounts of times, that’s saying something.
It means it’s primal.
When a comedian who is on an international tour keeps seeing the same joke pop off in DIFFERENT continents, then he should be aware that joke is special.
Look out for general patterns.
These general patterns get you to see a hierarchical view of how the body works.
If you were able to analyze your own body, then it becomes much easier to spot:
- Open body language vs closed.
- Calm face vs a livid look.
- Comfortable eye contact vs nervous.
These are the high level overviews.
Nuances are when we get detailed.
Patterns can work.
However, there are outliers that can be presented.
We want to transition to gray thinking the more individualized we get.
Black & white for society.
Gray for people.
An example is the crossing of the arms over the chest movement.
It’s a foregone conclusion for different circles that body language move shows being closed off.
The person who is doing that move is definitely nervous!
In a general sense, that may be the case.
Look closer though.
Plenty of people in power do that same move.
Crossing your arms is not always a move that shows nerves.
For some individuals, it shows poise.
Also, the smirk.
That move can be seen as pompous.
While others use it to calm themselves down.
You can only see the nuances if you guide the mind to be open for it.
At a baseline level, the mind loves generalizations.
Nuances are earned.
Practice Makes Progress
‘Do I ever have the whole body language thing figured out?’
Not quite. It’s a language we keep becoming more fluent in.
When you look closer, it’s like any language out there.
Even with the English language, I’m sure I can give you a grammar book and you’ll be like:
‘Whoa, what is this foreign language?’
It’s the same language you speak all the time.
But you weren’t aware of all the in-depth grammatical rules.
Even though you speak English all the time, there’s always plenty more to learn.
Likewise, with body language, a similar concept applies.
You may consistently practice learning how your body works in times full of tension.
This allows you to spot the nuances of how you work.
Which helps you see how others work.
Each new person you interact with is like me giving you the English gammar book.
‘Whoa, what language is this??’ you wonder.
That’s the beauty of learning how to read the body.
You keep reading it more and more.
That’s connecting back to your roots.
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