Body language: how to read thoughts through gestures

Entering into a conversation in an unfamiliar company, each of us must have noticed that sympathy immediately arises for some people and overt dislike for others. As a rule, the human body is able to intuitively recognize the unconscious movements of the opponent and form an appropriate attitude towards him. Each person is able to control his voice and facial expressions, but it is impossible to completely control the body language, and if you learn to interpret the body language correctly, then you can easily understand the true intentions of the interlocutor.


The science of gestures is complex and multifaceted. There are gestures that help people with hearing and speaking problems communicate, there are special signs that make it easier for people to understand each other in noisy environments. A person can deliberately lie, can withhold information or experience hatred. Yes, he is able to control the timbre of his voice, put on a mask of indifference on his face, but he is not able to fully control the body. To understand the language of body movements you need to remember a few tricks:

  1. Gestures should be considered in the aggregate, and not separately.
  2. Not all people express their emotions equally vividly. To understand how a person shows emotions, you need to tell him one thing that will greatly please him, and another that will greatly anger him, and look at the involuntary reaction.
  3. If someone is unfriendly, you don’t need to let him into your personal space, it is best to cross your arms so as not to fall under undesirable influence.
    body language and gestures

Start of research

People watched the movements of the interlocutors for a long time, tried to somehow analyze and systematize them. But it was only at the end of the twentieth century that such a science as a nonverbalist appeared that studies exclusively the body language. The non-verbal aspects of communication begin to undergo serious and thorough research. The general public became aware of the existence of a relationship between movements and emotions only in the early 60s. Then Julius Fast published a book on the non-verbal aspects of communication, but even today, many people still do not know about the existence of a body language. And those who know this, turn to the works of Alan Pisa.

Note to businessman

The book "Body Language" by Alan Pisa has become a real world bestseller, especially among businessmen. The book analyzes all the possible gestures that people use, and presents their detailed characteristics.

Alan Pease Body Language

Most of the gestures presented in the book are suitable for business. For example, in the book “Body Language”, Alan Pease writes that if the person you are talking to has his legs crossed and his arms wrapped around him, then this is a stubborn and stubborn person. To find a common language with such an opponent , you need to use an extraordinary approach. Such and similar recommendations are indispensable in establishing partnerships and business relations.

It is also worth noting that many of the author's references are related to direct sales. In the “Body Language” Allan Pease draws attention to one interesting regularity: position in society directly affects the diversity of gestures. For example, a person at the top of the social and professional ladder uses a rich vocabulary in the process of communication. At the same time, a less professional and educated person uses fewer words, relying more on gestures.

Negative effects

As it turned out as a result of research, the most successful sales managers were those who knew how to read sign and body language. Whatever business a person does, sooner or later he will face people and he will have to establish relationships with them. And for this you need to learn to understand the point of view of other people, create an atmosphere of easy communication and be able to convince.

body language allan pease

Understanding with people will be easier to achieve through a position of cooperation rather than competition. In order to avoid the negative consequences of mistakes that can lead to the opponent’s hostility, you need to ask polite questions to prevent misunderstanding. For example, if a sales representative is invited into the house and offered to sit down, he, without any malicious intent, can sit in the master's chair, which will cause indignation of the head of the family. To avoid such misunderstandings, you need to ask about where to sit, etc.

Cross effect

In the Body Language, Allan and Barbara Pease note that crossed limbs represent indignation.

body language how to read gestures

Crossed arms or a leg, legs thrown over a leg, or all together, indicate that the interlocutor has taken a defensive position and is in an extremely negative state. Jointed ankles can also say this. As long-standing practice shows, clamped ankles are equivalent to biting the lips - this gesture shows that a person restrains his bad attitude, emotion, fear and other unpleasant emotions.

Very often during interviews, applicants bite their lips to hide their excitement. If at the interview the boss sits closer to the candidate, provided that they are not separated by the table, then the excitement will go away and the conversation will become more personal and frank.

How to look at the interlocutor?

A lot about a person can be said from his gaze. When conducting business negotiations, it is important to look at the opponent with a serious look. To do this, you need to imagine a triangle on the interlocutor’s forehead and look there, then the interlocutor will immediately feel the business spirit.

sign language

To control the conversation, you do not need to lower your eyes below the eyes of the interlocutor. In the case when the look falls below the eyes of the interlocutor, an atmosphere of social communication appears.

How to identify a lie?

By nature, a person has a negative attitude to lies, even if he lies. Based on this statement, you can identify gestures that indicate lies. If there is a suspicion that the interlocutor is lying, you need to pay attention to the left side of the body, since it is much more difficult to control than the right.

The liar will definitely want to close, so he will very likely begin to cover his mouth with his hand. If the mouth does not cover the mouth of the speaker, but the listener, then he does not trust the words of his interlocutor.

Another lie gesture may be rubbing a nose or dimples over the lip with your finger, rubbing the eyelids, moving arms and legs that do not correspond to the pronounced owls. For example, an interlocutor can draw patterns on the ground with a toe of a shoe during a conversation - this also indicates a lie.

allan and barbara pease body language

Also in favor of a lie says averted glance. If the interlocutor looks away, he really wants to be believed, and if down, then he is extremely ashamed or he feels insecurity. But most of these rules can be applied to amateurs: as practice shows, experienced liars are able to control themselves, so it’s much harder to convict them of lies by gestures.

You can determine whether a person is telling the truth as follows: look in the interlocutor’s eyes or on the tip of the nose for a minute. If during this time he does not shrink and does not look away, then his words can be trusted.

Successful communication

The book “Body Language: How to Read Thoughts by Gestures” describes not only body movements that will help to successfully sell a product or convict of a lie, but also those that will help create a favorable impression.

In order to win over a person at the first meeting, one must give preference to a restrained and accurate style of communication, but in no case be pedantic. You need to exercise your gait and posture in advance. Men should walk firmly and confidently, women - softly and gracefully. You also need to pay attention to appearance, it should be taken immediately.

body language book

A familiar greeting is considered a bad form, it is better to limit yourself to a concise handshake, you do not need to hug and kiss the stranger whom you just introduced.

Potential enemy

No need to sort out foreign objects or adjust clothes, you can gently gesticulate to the beat of speech. This gives credibility and prevents a fussy state. You need to stay relaxed, often show “open” gestures and smile, do not intrude into the stranger’s personal space. The main thing is to be internally tuned to the contact.

You can tell a lot about the body language. Human facial expressions and gestures can even reveal secrets. For example, a half-smile in one direction indicates hidden contempt, protruding the chin forward with concomitant widening of the eyes shows that the person is afraid, and twitching of the upper lip and tip of the nose indicates hatred.

It is useful for everyone to know about such things, it is never known who will have to face in life, because every stranger can turn out to be a potential enemy, and the sooner his true intentions are known, the better.


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