7/1/14

To speak without words



Never ask a woman if you may kiss her. Instead, learn to read body language.
Neil Strauss
We try to be careful about what words we use when speaking with others, to avoid giving the wrong idea or to avoid sending mixed messages. What most people fail to realize is how much they say without saying a word. How we dress, how we act, and how we react tells volumes of who we are.

And please, let’s avoid the tripe comment that you can’t judge a book by its cover. You CAN read a person if you take the time to actually look at them, observe them, and understand them. People can easily lie with words, but lying with their actions is a lot harder. You have to understand how 80% of what people understand in a conversation is read through the body and not the words.

You might say that you have to look past the expensive suit, or past the tattoos. But if you learn to “listen,” these things tell a lot. Does the person look comfortable in the suit? Is it ill fitted? Does the suit carry him or does he carry the suit? Does it look like a second skin? And what about tattoos? Are they ill inked blotches or works of art? What message does the tattoo have? And this goes on to everything else surrounding the person. Does he walk with confidence, upright with their head high? Or does he walk with shrugged shoulders? His walk is it with purpose, or just a random gait. 

When you start reading a person, you can tell almost anything about them. Between the items they choose to wear and how they behave, a person becomes an open book to a good reader. And even to a non-reader as well. People unconsciously pick up on these messages. That’s what they usually confuse with instincts. Just ask any interview coach. If you still don’t believe me, just remember the dreaded “look” your mother would give you whenever you messed up.

And here is where the artfulness of non-verbal communication comes to play. As people don’t realize that you are “talking” to them, they don’t realize they are listening. That’s the dangerous skill many PUA’s use, yet it can be used for “good.” You can make people more comfortable with simply how you sit with them, more confident just by how you stand next to them. You can complement with a look, flatter with a blush, or even approve with a smile. Or you can chastise with a raised eyebrow, dismiss with a shrug, or judge with indifference. 

So take care of what message you give, for everything you do speaks volumes about you.