Psychological Facts about Body Language

psychological facts about body language

Psychological facts about body language can be very well explained through this poem of William Shakespeare.

‘’Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;

In thy dumb action will I be as perfect

As begging hermits in their holy prayers:

Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,

Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,

But I of these will rest in the alphabet

                                                                                    (William Shakespeare)

‘’The most important thing in conversation is hearing what isn’t said’’ and the things remain unsaid use facial expressions and body language of a person to be conveyed. Body language is a non-verbal communication that relies upon body movements to convey messages that may be used consciously or unconsciously.

Today’s article gives a deeper insight into our facial expressions and some interesting psychological facts about body language.

Why body language is important?

‘’Body language is the physical manifestation of our internal emotional changes.’’

Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, and postures. It accompanies verbal messages and also serves as a substitute for speech. Body language is more often reliable than verbal communication. Congruence is the key to non-verbal communication and congruence clusters usually hide nonverbal cues inside. These clusters of congruence are the movements and groups of gestures that all have almost the same meanings and usually they go with the same meaning words.

According to various studies, non-verbal expressions are 65% to 80% more impactful than actual text. Body language is important to help people in the process of communication. Body language is just not a bonus point to help you in getting a job or performing any task, but it is a way more important to integrate with the external environment around you. It means body language is about your overall impression.

Channels of body language:

To understand body language, it is important to break it down into three main channels:

Facial Expressions:

Facial expressions are a true source of social signals that convey emotions, motivations, intentions, and attention. There are seven universal short facial gestures all of us make. Facial expressions are the most complex signal system available to us that includes 40 structurally and functionally autonomous muscles. Every single signal triggers independent of each other.

Body Proxemics:

Body proxemics is instrumental clues of our body language. Body language explains to us about the preferences and nervousness of a person. It is about looking constantly at:

  • How a person is moving?
  • How they are gesturing?
  • Are they moving toward or away from us?
  • Are they leaning?

Ornaments:

Ornaments or accessories are the extensions of our body language. Our clothes, color we select to wear on different occasions, hairstyles, watch, jewelry, and other ornaments we use are all body language clues.

How to read body language?

Decoding:

It is the ability to read nonverbal cues of others and it includes your interpretation of hidden information, emotions, and appearance of others.

Encoding:

It is about leaving your first impression on others or how you make them feel about you. It is sending cues to others about you.

Before reading body language another clarification is essential here. There is a huge difference in male and female to convey cues about their self via body language. Both of them behave differently in several ways.

Interesting psychological facts about face reading & body language:

Facial expressions play a vital role in this non-verbal conversation. Face reading includes key features like eyes, lips, brows, eyelids, nostrils, and lips. Emotions are the essence of what makes us humans. The face is the strongest indicator to show these emotions. Face reading is the art to glimpse into our minds and soul. While the whole body language comprises gestures, arms and legs, posture and personal space.

In this article, we will discuss interesting psychological facts related to facial expressions (one of the body language elements) and how these facts help us to understand the body language of a person.

Eyes

Eyes are considered as ‘’windows of our soul’’ and that is why eyes can reveal our inner feelings and sentiments. Some interesting eye signals are:

  • If a person wants to show their attention and interest in a conversation, they directly look into your eyes.
  • If the duration of eye contact prolongs it’s a sign of threatening.
  • Improper eye contact of looking here and there shows a person’s disinterest in the conversation or maybe he/she is not comfortable, or that person wants to hide their inner feelings.
  • Rapid blinking of eyes is an indication of discomfort and a stressed situation.
  • Infrequent blinking of eyes is a conscious attempt to control eye movements.
  • Rolling eyes show some kind of disbelief and it also shows frustration.
  • Wondered or surprised emotions can be reflected by wide eyes.
  • Looking at left indicates memory activation while looking right and then down shows self-doubt, looking down and straight-up refers lying while looking at right during conversation signifies imagination.
  • Glancing shows the imagination of a person and it also represents an effort of trying to understand various sounds and situations around you.
  • Eyes twitching are also full of interesting cues about a person. Right eye blinking/twitching shows a person’s unused creative potential, big goals or dreams, and intelligent personality while the twitching of left eye signifies a person remains worried about what people think about him/her and it also shows that a person is thinking about their past.
  • Submissive eye expressions with lowering head make a person’s appearance more innocent and childlike. Women use this eye expression to appeal to men.

Eyebrows & lids:

Eyebrows and eyelids in combination with eye movement convey various emotional signals.

  • Raising eyebrows is a universal expression. Raising eyebrow for a split second is a way to draw the attention of others to exchanges other signals of body language.
  • Moreover, raising eyebrows is also an unconscious signal to say long distance ‘’hello’’.
  • Raising the eyebrows with eyes widening is submissive eye expression that indicates a less aggressive nature.
  • Lowering the eyelids indicates the feelings of sorry and ashamed while lowering the eyelids with raising eyebrows besides to slightly parting lips is a complex facial expression used by only females to express their sexual submissiveness.
  • Dominance and aggression can be shown by lowering one’s brows. Men mostly trim their brows from top to convey authoritarian and powerful eye expressions.

Mouth:

Nassim Nicholas said; ‘’Half of the people lie with their tears; the other half with their lips.’’

It’s true our lips lie for us also but our lips play a vital role in generating mouth expressions and movements to help us in reading body language. Some interesting psychological facts about lips (another important body language) are:

  • Lips are responsible for the greatest body language signal ‘’’the smile’’. But there are many secrets hidden in a smile also. Smile is not about showing happiness and joy, but it also expresses false happiness, cynicism, and sarcasm.
  • Chewing of lower lip has many indications. It shows that the person shows the emotions of fear, insecurity, confusion, and worry.
  • Usually, people cover their mouths while yawning and coughing, but it also happens when people want to cover the glare of rejection.
  • Lip biting is the sign of being stressed, worried, or anxious. It also indicates stress during a lie.
  • Pursed lips show distrust and disapproval.
  • When the lips slightly turn up, it is an indication of optimistic or happy feelings while a slight turn down of lips express grief, sadness, and grimace.
  • Covering the mouth is an effort to hide a sort of emotional reactions or it is a way to avoid smirks and smiles.
  • The rest position of lips when they are not pulled in any direction shows the inner satisfaction or relaxation feelings.
  • Top lip over the bottom lip with biting of the bottom lip is an indication of guilt feelings of a person.

Some more psychological facts about body language:

  • Extending the bottom lip over the top lip is a symbol of uncertainty, as if that an individual saying ‘’hmmmmm’’.
  • When a person presses both lips together and pushes out, it generally indicates doubt.
  • Movement of lips in the shape of words without any sound shows a person is thinking of what he is going to say.
  • Up and down movement of lips indicates chewing from inside. It indicates the nervousness of a person.
  • Sucked in lips with the hidden red parts of lips is an indication of thinking and uncertain about something bad. It also expresses suppressed speech, where a person stops him/her self to speak intentionally.

Conclusion:

Body language is a vast subject and it is impossible to enclose it in a single article. Face reading art is not about understanding some basic emotions expressed by face, but it is about understanding the combination of emotions that help to reveal the inner sentiments and actual feelings of a person.

Body language is indeed mostly unintentional and mostly we can read the actual information and original sentiments of an individual by examining his/her body language. But people who know the actual meanings of body movements and facial expressions can also use this method of conveying emotions to manipulate others. So, never trust body language blindly to make perceptions about an individual.

Share your thoughts and feelings about face reading and body language with us.

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