Understanding Body Language

People are constantly throwing off a storm of signals. These signals may be silent (non-verbal) messages communicated through the sender's body movements, facial expressions, voice tone and loudness.
Microexpressions, hand gestures, and posture register almost immediately, a silent orchestra that can have long-lasting repercussions.

Recent Posts on Body Language

Eight Tips For Curious Amateur Psychologists (Like Me)

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Don't psychologize or psychoanalyze me!" What's behind that ban and what can people interested in psychology do about it.

Reading Faces

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Talking Apes
The language you speak can influence the way you perceive the emotional expressions of other people.

My Son Is Attracted To Me

What To Do If Your Son Is Attracted To You

6 Better Ways to Share

We say that people have “no filter” when they let everyone know exactly what they’re thinking at any given moment. Although self-disclosure can promote intimacy, there are times when discretion trumps honesty in order to preserve your relationships. These 6 tips will help you develop that perfect filter.

Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

By Gil Greengross Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Humor Sapiens
Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

4 Reasons You Can Misread Your Partner's Body Language

You would think that with familiarity, our ability to accurately read someone’s body language would improve, but it often doesn’t. Here are some reasons why you might not be able to read a loved one’s nonverbal cues.

Can Women Ever Be Taken Seriously?

Gravitas, or the assertion of power through body language, is a concept usually associated with men. However, it is possible under the right circumstances for women to have a piece of the power dynamic pie.

The Bear Hug and the Boogie Man

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Every day world leaders shake hands or threaten somebody. The news can rattle you even though the diplomatic howdy-do is as artificial as a puppet show. Formality in business, sports, and even marriages tries to prevent tantrums and meltdowns. Once in awhile you may spot body language that could reveal something about inner life.

How We Frame Emotions Through Facial Expressions

How our faces express emotions is a moving window into our minds.

Check Your Weapons at the Door

Forget nukes - our words can be the most dangerous of all.

The Gold Standard for Healing the World...

Remember an incident when someone listened deeply to you and then talked with you when you were in a bad place. Would you want to honor that person if you could? If so, they would just want you to do onto someone else what they did onto you. Isn't that so?

"Squash It!”

We tend to focus on ‘squashing’ ‘bad’ behavior, A shift in perspective to examining the motivations behind the behavior may ultimately prove more useful.

Sarcasm Bites

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 in One Among Many
Are you ready for sarcasm? Yes? Yeah, right!

4 Ways to Boost Your Charisma

Most people think that charisma is a mysterious quality that people are born with. However, there has been a century of research on charisma, and nearly a half-century focusing specifically on what makes a person charismatic. As a result of this work, we can measure and enhance charisma.

Cultural Differences

While attributing human characteristics to animals is cute in movies, and potentially a cause of misunderstanding between the species, it can be useful to help humans understand our 'cultural differences'.

Do We Project Our Own Personalities Onto Our Dogs' Behavior?

Dogs can be a sort of psychological mirror since people sometimes use their own personality tendencies to fill in the gaps when trying to interpret ambiguous dog behaviors.

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

10 Things You Can Do as a Bystander

Many schools, corporations and organizations offer ‘leadership training’ courses and seminars, yet they fail to teach the skills and strategies required for ‘bystander intervention.’ Here are a few concrete things that bystanders can do:

Are You Falling Out of Love?

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
Evaluate your feelings and decide whether you should end your relationship now or take steps toward turning it around.

No Limits: Relationships in Cyberspace

Virtual relationships can foster a sense of bonding and belonging, but psychological distancing can increase loneliness and alienation.

The Best Way to Get Love is to Show Love

Without realizing it, you communicate our emotions to others through our behavior as well as our words. In the best of all possible worlds, you would communicate only the positive, and not the negative emotions to those in your social world. By communicating "micro-affections," you and your relationships will benefit.

Is the Wedding Still On?

There's more to deciding how to treat acne than counting the pimples.

The Effective, Ethical, and Less Stressful Job Interview

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 25, 2015 in How To Do Life
You risk failure if you sit there passively and give canned answers.

Do As I Say: Be Oppositional!

Oppositional behavior by children would seem to run counter to arguments in my previous posts that family members often do what they think their families want them to, even at great personal sacrifice. But oppositionality can be more apparent than real. People often act that way to accomodate what they perceive their parents to want and need from them.

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.

How the Menstrual Cycle Affects Women's Libido

By Michael Castleman M.A. on March 15, 2015 in All About Sex
Unlike dogs and cats, women don't experience "heat," but studies show a libido spike around ovulation.

Are Most of Us Touch Deprived?

From professional "cuddlers" to the massage craze, are we touch deprived? Why do we pay to be touched?

Culture Matters! How Cultural Knowledge Influences Language

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on March 06, 2015 in Language in the Mind
Culture, along with language and mind, form a golden triangle; their symbiotic interleaving enables the prodigious meaning-making capacity of our species.

Changing the Onus of Responsibility

While it is important to give our children strategies for standing strong, we must give them alternate means by which to do so---means by which they, as bystanders, will find their voice, and begin to use it in soft ways.

What Girls Can Say and Do to Stand Up to Bullying

When the simplicity of forming a friendship just by climbing the same jungle gym is replaced by the intricacy of scaling middle-school social ladders, how can you teach your daughter the skills she needs to stay strong in the face of friendship drama and bullying?