Wellbeing Wizard

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Reading Body Language
Written by Mark Millard   

Our body language – the use of gestures, postures, positions and distances – can constitute more than fifty percent of what we communicate to other people. As well as adding emphasis to what we say, our movements express emotion, convey attitudes and demonstrate personality traits.

The use of body language is generally subconscious. We send and receive non verbal messages all the time and these often subtle signals can indicate what we really feel.

However, to communicate more effectively it makes sense to understand how we can use our bodies to say what we mean, and strong, positive body language may make us look and feel more confident.

Reading non verbal behaviour can give us new insight into a situation by increasing our awareness of how other people respond to us and our own feelings towards them.

It is important to look for clusters and patterns of behaviour rather than trying to interpret individual elements in isolation or out of context. Most body language experts suggest that we look for at least four signals that indicate the same thing before reaching a conclusion.

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