Do you want superhuman like powers of observation? I know you do. This article will not help you get that. I give you body language exercises so that you can become more skilled in using your body to please yourself.
This article will not teach you the secret to inhuman success and mind boggling wealth. It will give you the tools you need to get started with using body language. This is step by step and I go out of my way to spoon feed you this goodness and have left very little to your small imagination.
If you are here than I am going to make some assumptions if these assumptions are wrong than this article is not for you.
- You are studying body language as a tool for success
- You are willing to make a year long commitment
- You can be patient
We all know this is important. This is bar none the best way of getting good at reading people. How can you read someone if you aren’t paying attention?
If you don’t pay attention you will suffer from inattention blindness. This will make it so that you never progress. I hope that you want to get better and with time be able to instantly read someone. The ability to know what a person is feeling with a mere glance is a superpower. One that I know you want badly.
The meditators preach awareness for a different reason but for us awareness is what separates us from everyone else. We focus on body language when everyone else focus on words. We understand that 80%+ of communication is done non verbally and we capitalize on that fact. It is too bad that the whole world isn’t taught this very critical subject matter.
You want exercise on who to become more aware. Well, before I say anything else you have to be committed. Without a commitment body language exercise don’t matter. Learning body language is just like building up a muscular body. Both require a substantial amount of time studying and then applying. Without the first you are shooting into the dark and without the second you are never progressing.
I am a fervent believer in shock theory. Shock theory is not my invention although I know someone invented it their name eludes me. The general concept being that if you want to learn a behavior you must expose yourself to it and fail, fail, fail until on the hundredth try you succeed. The shock of the failure will desensitize you making it easier for you the next time although it isn’t linear progression if you made a line of best fit it would be going up.
Body Language Exercise: People Watching
Prerequisite: Read a book on body language so you know what to look for I recommend this one.
You are going to go to a place with a lot of traffic. Ideally people are talking and not being static(on their phones, look out the window or sleeping). Than you are going to use the notebook you brought to record all the different body language signs you noticed. You are going to make a list. For the duration of the interaction. You will not be making value judgements at all.
You want to focus on gaining speed and skill. When you are doing this you will find a lot of body movements that you don’t recognize. This is good because now you will go online to an encyclopedia or your book and you will figure out what you don’t know. You should continue to do this until you reach a point where in an hour of people watching you recognize a good 90% of all of body language done. This could take a month if you are fast or 3-6 months if you are slow.
You are going to now focus on their body language and making the list in your notebook. The new thing you are going to do is making value judgements. You are going to ask yourself.
- What do they feel?
- Why do they feel it?
- How do I know?
For all the interactions you are going to be making these value judgements. You are going to put yourself on a timer of 3 minutes and make as many judgements as you can. The more the better. Once you can make a list of 10 of them from just a minute of observation you are ready for the next stage.
All you are doing at this stage is making value judgements. You are going observe for a minute while making notes of the judgements you are making. Once you have done this you are going to go the person of question and ask if you were right.
I know that this is awkward but without the verification you could be making some very wrong judgements. If they say no, or refuse to answer your question move on. Through away your judgements because without verification these judgements are useless to you.
You want to get faster but at the same time more accurate. It is hard balance to achieve but once you do I promise you will have body language superpowers. You know you are getting faster when the observation time is shrinking. You measure how accurate you are based on how many things in your notebook are right. To know this you just ask if this judgement is right to the person. If they lie just cross it out, it is probably something that is that touche and since you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you you will be considerate.
At this point you should have the book knowledge. What I mean is that at this step I am assuming you are proficient in knowing what different body language signs mean. What the goal of this section is is to use that knowledge to cultivate your image.
Everyone wants to be presented a certain way. Whither you want to be liked and accepted or feared and respected body language can help you. Before you start tweaking you must first be able to understand your body language.
You can’t fake it
You can’t fake body language. Most experts agree that faking body language is incredibly difficult and is not sustainable in the long term. I know that you are yelling at me right now but open those big ears and listen.
Body language is not just the big things like crossing your hands, scratching your back or fidgeting. It is also the small things like the set of your eyes, the flicker in your hands and the slight inclination in your voice.
The small twitches in your face are called micro expressions. These expression last a fraction of a second. They are one of the many reasons why faking on the outside just doesn’t work. Yet I do have to mention a caveat.
Most of the general populous can be fooled by fakers. Although they do get conflicted feelings about the person depending on the unique circumstances it is very plausible that they believe in the fake body language.
I have to ask you is it worth it? All that efforts so you can maybe fool someone. What if I told you there was a better way. A real way that works and has been working for thousands of years. A way so effective that almost every human being knows how to use it.
Making Sure Belief Is Congruent With Body Language
So simple yet so effective. This is by far the hardest way but I promise you the best way. When your belief is congruent with your body language than you body will tell that story if you don’t have any habits hindering it.
Let’s take an example. Imagine you are small 4’3 man and everyday you get bullied by the bully. You want to stand up to him and make sure that he doesn’t touch your oh so precious lunch money.
You could stand there and try to act confident. Yet I promise you that your legs will get shaky, your eyes will gaze at his feet and your shoulders will roll forward. Imagine we put a roman gladiator in that body. How do you think he would respond?
When he spoke it would be with confidence and conviction because he is sure of his ability to pummel the other guy. His legs would not shake, his voice would not waver. When belief backs your body language it become full actualized.
Body Language Exercise: Belief Training
Step One: Eliminate limiting beliefs.
This is difficult. Depending on how deeply ingrained it is and how much time you spent actually doing this behavior will empact just how much effort you will need to put in to get rid of it. To change it will take months if not years.
You will need to prove it wrong again and again. Over and over until you no longer believe it. You will also have to tell yourself it is not true over and over again. Then maybe you will eliminate it.
Step Two: Convincing Yourself Of Something
To get the belief all you really need to do is find ways of proving it right. Than ignore everything that says it is wrong.
For example if I wanted to convince myself I am the best basketball player of all time. I would tell myself that over and over and I would find people who would also tell me the same thing. I would then go the basketball court and find people who are worse than me and play with them. II would do this again and again until finally I believe that I was the best basketball player of all time.
Step Three: Using That Body Language
Now that you have the belief use it. To extend our example I would go to local basketball meets and tell people I am the best basketball player of all time. If I see any flaws in my body language any incongruencies than I would go back to step number two and cement the belief.
If the belief is cemented than I merely adjust until there’s nothing more to adjust. Until my body language communicates that what I am saying is the truth and I am open to any challenges of the validity of my claim.
The example was absurd but the point I was making is that belief doesn’t need to be based in reality the simple beauty of it is that delusion can be substituted for belief and believe me it works just as well.
Crafting beliefs and making yourself believe them is a difficult thing. Be prepared to fail and DON’T give up on the process. It works. It takes time to convince yourself of strange new belief. Most of the time you want to be believing in things that are real and tangible I have given you a tool for believing in the not so real things(cough vampires).
You should expect this to take time. It took me a good 5 months before I mastered my first belief and let me tell you it is hard but I know my readers hate the easy and love hard things.
[That was a dirty joke]
Putting It Together:
We have awareness and then we have cultivation. AKA theory and practice. Although this is two different aspects of the same thing it my no means a cohesive guide to body language mastery. This is just a small piece of the great juicy pie.
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