Scientific Portal on Body Language, Kinesics and Nonverbal Communication#

This is what I (want to) see.

Are you reading right?
I can clearly recall one incident which would perfectly explain what I’m trying to put here. One day, I want on walk with some my friends. Rest of those friends and I, excluding that so-called body language expert, sat on a bench in a large and open public space. Especially to mention here that one of friends used to claim himself being a body language expert. While we were chatting together, a small group of boys & girls came there and all of them sat 50 to 60 feet away from us. What happened after that moment only added to my fascination about individual-centric social reading.

Right from the moment the group arrived at the spot, a good looking girl caught attention of the body language expert in our group. He started to look at her continuously but she somehow didn’t realize about same till we departed from there. Apart of other girls in the group, she had dressed up very well for sure. What she did is that she sat 5 - 6 away from rest of her friends, only to talk with somebody privately on her cell phone. This only added to excitement of the guy and perhaps few others in our group. She kept talking on phone and he kept looking at her only.

A girl on her cell phone
Couple of minutes passed and an unexpected incident occurred. The so-called body language expert suddenly asked me a question, “What’s your interpretation of that girl’s body language?” I answered to his question by saying, “She’s just busy in talking with someone in private. Other than same, she’s not conveying anything to any of us here.” It didn’t end there and whole incident took a new turn. However, I was expecting same derogatory comments from him for me at that moment when he was quite busy in looking at her. Undoubtedly, he was enormously attracted at her beauty.

The guy tried to turn me down by saying, “Sachchidanand, you simply didn’t fulfill my expectations by answering this way. The girl is doing nothing but trying to grab attention (of him only?) by sitting away from rest of her friends. What all she wants is to get noticed (by somebody).” Well! The guy indirectly conveyed his own desire even when she never looked at anybody else other than her own group. She wasn’t giving away any classical nonverbal clues of attention grabbing, grooming or flirting. She was just sitting there, glued to her cell phone.

Like all others in our group, I was quite aware about sarcastic, jealous and derogatory commenting style of the guy. Definitely, he was quite skillful in reading people and has done some good social readings, according to my personal experience. However, his unconscious mind took hold of his conscious mind while reading her body language clues. The only reason behind his wrong or biased interpretation about the girl was his own wish to attract her attention at himself as he couldn’t step towards an unfamiliar but nice looking and well-dressed girl. Not with him only but this happens with almost everybody and quite frequently!

Subjective Perception
While emotions, instincts and desires run high or uncontrolled, we simply try to look at people in false colors only. We unconscious try to convince ourselves or (openly) defend our own biased or individual-centric viewpoint(s) about people we’re looking at. We try to interpret the situation and people on the basis of our own mindset, intentions, emotions or desires towards them. Moreover, an individual assumes that he/she is the only target or center of false mindset, intentions, emotions or desires of people he/she is looking at the moment. This is called as ‘Subjective Perception’ of a social situation.

We misinterpret not just an initial impression, facial expressions and body language of people but also arrangement, placement, sequencing, links among and appearance of different objects and entities. There are plenty of real life examples and not just one to put here. What you personally think after looking at this woman’s face? Does she look jealous, angry, bored or lustful/flirtatious? Without ay doubt, your answer would reflect your own subjective perception about her.

This woman appears to be jealous, angry, bored or lustful/flirtatious?
Just to mention here that this face has been included in a small quiz created by me couple of months ago. By clicking on this link, you can test your social reading skills. Good luck!

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