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August 28, 2011

Observation is the key

Interpreting human nonverbal communication and body language is both an art and science. Keen observation, picking details and contextual analysis is good way of becoming proficient. Try to identify basic nonverbal patterns in different situations, environment and circumstances under which people you observe move, behave, act, react, interact, respond and express themselves normally.

Airport, railway station, stadium, super market, auditorium, restaurant, park, garden, beach, disco bar, social club, festival, fair, party, exhibition, gathering, hospital etc. are locations where people from various age groups, ethnicity, cultures, genders, professions, places, statuses, socio-economical backgrounds, physical attributes and personalities gather, come together, share physical places and interact with each other and you can observe them very comfortably from a close distance.

While observing people, they should not notice that somebody is observing them because they may feel offended, nervous or behave differently. Subtlety, stealthiness and secrecy is the best policy. Observing without letting others notice about it is what exactly investigators, detectives, spies or secret agents do routinely by putting dark glasses, goggles or sheds on their eyes and behave normally.
Shopping malls are good places to observe a large no. of people.
Developing a non-interrogating, non-threatening and relaxed gaze helps you observe people safely. Also, the peripheral vision can help you in same. Women have an innate ability to observe or watch somebody without even looking at anything and anybody directly due to peripheral vision. That's the very reason why hardly anybody can catch them observing others in public.

Other safer, comfortable and convenient mediums to watch people are still photographs, movie clips and television shows. Beware before drawing firm conclusions from professional - commercial acts, advertisements or performances as they are scripted and shoot in quite controlled or artificial environments and edited before broadcasting.

However, they would greatly help you in sharpening your observation skill. Moreover, turning off the volume would be the best way to become more attuned to bare visual clues. Matter of fact is that noise, music, words and voices divert our attention from physical expressions and clues that are more profound, solid and reliable.

Silent or speechless movies are the great observational material to know underlying emotions and intentions that actors and actresses want to convey nonverbally. Watching movies in the language which you are not aware of is also a great learning material to speculate what actors and actresses would be talking in the given moment by looking at their physical expressions.
Always remember that the devil lies in details and ordinary or naive people don't pay much attentions to same. More you start picking smaller details, better you become as an observer. It would bring you a tremendous advantage in becoming a great analyst in the future. Good passive observation would enlighten you, broaden your social horizon, amuse you and invest your time for good returns.

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