Body language is the science of nonverbal signals such as gestures, facial expressions, and eye gaze that communicate a person's emotions and intentions. In total, there are 11 types of body language that we use to communicate. Unlike words, body language is often done subconsciously and constitutes a large part of our communication.
Our founder at Science of People has identified 97 cues you should know. Get started with the 23 in this article. Want to learn them all? Check out:
Unlock the Secrets of Charisma
Control and leverage the tiny signals you're sending – from your stance and facial expressions to your word choice and vocal tone – to improve your personal and professional relationships.
Why is Body Language So Important?
Body language is a key part of how we communicate with each other. It helps show our feelings and attitudes, even when our words say something different. Being good at understanding body language can make conversations better and help people get along well.
People who are good at reading body language typically excel in their careers, have great relationships, and get "freebies" in life.
If you want to learn more about the importance of body language, I recommend checking out my article here:
5 Powerful Reasons Why Body Language is Important.
Body language can be broken down into 2 major categories—positive or open body language and negative or closed body language.
And just like how they sound, these 2 broad categories of cues signal just how open (or closed) someone is from their external environment. Whether at a networking event talking to a random stranger you've just met, giving a presentation or speech or on a first date, knowing how to read these cues is key to knowing how receptive others are to you or the situation.
Reading body language is as close to mind reading as we can get.
Open Body Language ExamplesThe Eyebrow Flash
When someone does an eyebrow flash, you'll typically see their eyebrows raise slightly for less than ⅕ of a second.
What it Means: The eyebrow raise is a great sign of interest. People tend to use the eyebrow flash in 3 main ways:
Whenever we use the eyebrow flash, we call attention to our face. Teachers and speakers often use it as a way to say, "Listen to this!" or "Look at me!"
Interestingly, some cultures like the Japanese find this cue indecent and avoid it.
The Science: According to researchers1 at the University of Pittsburgh, the eyebrow flash is a universally recognized form of greeting and can be found all over the world, suggesting that this gesture is common among all cultures.
How to Use it: There are so many ways to use the eyebrow flash. Here are a few:
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