Body Parts and Body Language

This book will give you an overview of almost every body part (limited to those parts that are on display in polite company, of course) in an effort to shed some light on the messages emanating from these various areas. This section includes a brief overview of the regions of the body as they relate to body language.

• Head: Used for affirming (nodding) or denying (headshake) information. Various angles of the head are also used to convey interest in what another person is saying.

• Face: Conveys emotion, which will be discussed later in this chapter. The eyes are of particular interest, since you can snub someone simply by refusing to look his way.

• Shoulders: Used for showing lack of interest (shrug; angling away from another person).

• Arms: Can be used to express emotion; also used to make oneself look larger (hands-on-hips position). Arm crossing may indicate emotional discomfort, while flexing and extending the arms is a way to express strong emotion (positive or negative).

• Hands: Can be used in a variety of ways: to express emotion; to show camaraderie (handshake); to show discomfort (self-touches).

• Legs: Angling the legs is important. Pointing them toward the person you’re speaking to shows interest; also, positioning of the legs can show power (wide stance) or fear (standing with legs crossed). Pigeon-toed people tend to look young, naïve, and sloppy.

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