Review: 10 commandments from What Every Body Is Saying

Review: 10 commandments from What Every Body Is Saying

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What Every Body Is Saying is a body language guide written by an Ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro. This book provides vast information on the subject of body language which cannot be covered in just one article. However, to get started with in the very beginning of the book he gives 10 commandments that one needs to set their mind to in order to improve their observational skills and from this article you can take away those. 

  1. Circumstantial awareness: Most of us, if fortunate enough, are said to possess 5 senses which can get sharpened by repetitive usage. Circumstantial or situational awareness is a quite straightforward subtitle which gives a fair idea that this commandment instructs us to be aware of the environment we’re in by using our senses. For example: If you enter inside a restaurant try to feel your presence inside that place in its entirety; look at how things are put, what the place smells like, what sort of noises are surrounding your environment (if any), touch things to observe the texture, taste your food actively.
  2. Context: Now observation is a tricky concept because our mind fools us oft-times and pushes us into making hasty conclusions. A certain behaviour or thing does not necessarily point to a certain thing, no matter how obvious it seems to you, which heightens the importance of the context. For example: You’re observing a person who is sweating a lot without context you might just overlook the fact that it’s summer and some people, unlike you, naturally sweat more, which might just lead you to a rushed conclusion that the person is nervous about something. 
  3. Teach yourself how to recognize universal body language signs: If you’re not familiar with the universal body language signs it’ll be hard for you to pin down the meaning of a particular gesture. For example: If you are not aware about universal signs you might not know what puckered lips mean. You will just be looking at puckered lips and making random guesses. Try to observe your own behaviour and look how it pertains to other people, it’s a lengthy process but rewarding. 
  4. Individualistic bodily behaviour: An idiosyncratic behaviour differs from person to person. These behavioural cues are quite misleading in nature because you have to linger long to eliminate these. Think of a certain behaviour that a close friend of yours repeat frequently as if you’re looking at it for the first time, you’ll get an idea how it can mislead a stranger into believing a fallacy.
  5. Get your head around people’s baseline behaviour: Every person behaviour in a particular way, if you’ll observer for long enough you’ll start understanding how a person behaves normally. Then you can look for any odd signs his or her body language. 
  6. Relativity: Observe with the eye of a researcher, who will not believe anything just by looking at one aspect of it. For example: You’re looking at a person’s forehead, it’s showing some signs of stress, then you look at his seemingly normal hands, but again his legs are also giving away some hints of stress, you can go even further without concluding yet (just record the information into your mind), look at the eyes, lips, ears, hands are normal but what about fingers, maybe a sole thumb is trying to tell a tale.
  7. Look for changes in patterns: You find a person behaving in a certain way, try to understand the pattern in which his or her whole body is working, then look for any changes, every change will convey something or the other just keep observing actively. 
  8. Detect false behaviour: We intend to convey our intentions through our body language way before we take any action in that direction. So in order to save yourself from anyone who wants to inflict some trouble on you, you should be able to detect false behaviour.
  9. Comfort vs discomfort: Start small, look for these two things in the start to give your observation a structure. When you know what you’re looking for you’re more likely to find it if you’re willing enough to find it and going through the process with an active mind set. 
  10. Subtle: Don’t scare people off with your so-called unwavering observation, be subtle like a detective, if you by any chance know how subtle a detective will be.