Read Your Eyes: Amazing Facts About Body Language

The role of manner of movement in non-verbal communication

No matter how hard you try to maintain a neutral facial expression so that others do not guess your mood, body language negates all conspiratorial ideas. Unless, of course, you are a secret agent in the service of Her Majesty.

Let’s say you finally found someone in a tinder and agreed on a first date. Dressed up, come to a pleasant coffee shop and sit there waiting for the first meeting, trying to persuade the facial expressions spreading from excitement to the seductively independent poker face. And with a face still all right, but you can’t take control of your own body, even if you crack it. The knee twitches rhythmically (which is familiar to many in emotional situations), the priest cannot find a persevering position, and the fingers tremble slightly. In addition, anxious thoughts creep into your head that since you are powerless to convince yourself of confidence, then the rest of the event will not go as planned.


Recent research from the University of Nijmegen, published in the Dutch journal Emotion, confirms that it is sometimes easier to recognize emotions in gestures and movements than in facial expressions. It is worth considering, however, that people do not tend to evaluate each other empirically, through personal experience, using (as scientists say) the bottom-up, or inductive, method of cognition. As a rule, when entering into a conversation, we perceive the subscriber’s behavior “according to the available data”, using a deductive, or top-down, method. We expect a certain manner of communication based on the prevailing idea of ​​the interlocutor.

Suppose in the dating scenario that unfolded in your head, you have already decided that you will like the man. Therefore, when you meet him, you are more likely to discount some of the qualities that (otherwise) might annoy you. For example, the fact that he is not smiling as charmingly as we would like. But this is nonsense, right? But he knows four languages ​​and who Taika Waititi is.


Scientists have also found that the process of perception of body language is influenced by signals of the “social category” – those that determine a person’s position in society. Sex, age, race or status are inseparable characteristics for the perception of the interlocutor and, therefore, emotional expression.

For example, representatives of the stronger sex, showing typically “masculine” emotions, such as persistence and harshness, are more understandable in the interpretation of body language than women with the same manners. And vice versa: “female” manifestations of feelings like coquetry or excitement are read faster in the weaker sex than in men.

The same principle works the other way around. If your interlocutor is traditionally programmed to see men as assertive and women as flirtatious, you can go out of your way to pretend to be decisive, they will interpret body language in a stereotypical way, writing off your diligent show off as unrestrained excitement.

The situation is neglected, no words. We live in the 21st century, and visually focus on medieval behavioral signals. Since body language perception is tied to gender stereotypes, long hair and dresses automatically translate your tinder conversation partner into female non-verbal cues. Conversely, a short haircut, an oversized T-shirt and jeans will probably confuse him, directing the dialogue in a progressive upward direction.


There is no reason to be upset that people find it easier to succumb to stereotypes than to be led by rising principles – evolution is still gaining momentum. Although, of course, it would be great to manage communication through verbal and non-verbal manifestations, controlling what others think of you. OK, let’s open up access to the weapons of secret agents, more precisely, to basic tricks.

Remember the stereotypical perception and use the skill wisely so as not to be an “open book” for others and to correctly unravel other people’s emotions. Firstly (if you are flattered by the image of a mystery woman), how you hold your head is just as important as what is written on your face. Second, as you read others’ cues, remember that social standards and life experiences interfere with objective judgment.

And third, returning to the first date example, body language is a form of communication that can direct the development of relationships in opposite directions: help or hinder. Train your non-verbal skills by ignoring prejudice and letting your body perform in your best interest.