5 Body Language Signals You May be Misinterpreting

5 Body Language Signals You May be Misinterpreting

Communication is a key aspect to any relationship, let it be with friends, family, co-workers, and more. Body language is a a subset of this communication that is often overlooked. Many people pay close attention to what they say, but fail to realize the influence body language can have on their communication. However, whether we want it to or not, our body language conveys emotions and responses in a physical manner. Body language can reflect reaction, opinion, emotion, strain, and more.

Body language can be more complicated though than verbal communication because it can be so easily misunderstood or misinterpreted. For example, people do not often explain why their arms are crossed while they speak, and others do not often ask for an explanation. Arms get crossed, people adjust their footing, and the conversation goes on as if body language is not even a factor.

Body language does affect conversation, though, and it is argued that body language is 55% of our communication. Moreover, depending on the person, body language can represent different meanings.

What body language signals then are you misinterpreting?

Crossed Arms

Folding or crossing arms is often interpreted as a form of aggression or opposition. However, there are times when arms are folded because the room or location is cold. Folding your arms can also prevent fidgeting in cases of boredom. For some people, folding their arms is simply a comfortable and familiar position. It may not be meant to convey aggression, cold, or boredom. If you frequently fold your arms, remind yourself that your body language may be conveying a negative impression. Perhaps consider placing your hands at your sides, or in your pockets.

Raised Eyebrows

Some people view raising eyebrows as a form of incredulousness or ridicule. When someone raises their eyebrows, it can also be seen as disbelief or misunderstanding. Raising your eyebrows can mean other things too, though. It can mean that you are impressed, are trying to discern a statement, or are simply trying to quietly interrupt the conversation so that you can get a verbal point across.

Adjusting Footing

When standing in a conversation with someone, people often adjust their stance or their footing. This can be interpreted as uncomfortableness, awkwardness, or simply a desire to end the conversation. Just as any other body language signal though, adjusting your footing can mean other things. Perhaps it means that the conveyer of said body language would rather sit down to discuss the topic at hand. It could mean that the person at hand is on a time crunch and needs to leave but is uncomfortable in expressing their bind in time. Lastly, it could simply be a matter of trying to maintain a comfortable stance as the conversation continues.

Sideway Glances

Eyes are glancing side to side, and perhaps even some fidgeting is accompanying the unsteady looks. This is most obviously understood as a representation of apprehension or distress. The person at hand is obviously nervous. However, sideway glances or darting eyes can convey meanings such as a desire to hold the conversation somewhere else. It could likewise mean that the person at hand is trying to take the conversation in another direction and is accidentally letting their eyes flitter as their mind considers other topics to discuss.

Not Directly Facing the Person You’re Talking To

You’re at work, at school, or at home, and someone strikes up a conversation with you. You allow the conversation to start but do not give your complete attention to the topic. You were busy when the conversation started, and plan to continue working through the conversation. However, this means that you are only giving part of your attention to both tasks at hand. This can have a negative effect on not only what you were already doing, but on what the person you’re talking to thinks of you. By not turning and facing who you are talking to, and giving them your full attention, you are conveying irritation, aloofness, disrespect, and more. However, you are doing this because you are busy, which is yet another plain and simple meaning that may be misinterpreted. To prevent such misinterpretation, give your full attention to what should take priority. If you are busy, explain that. If you have the time to talk, turn and talk to the person at hand.

Don’t let your body language be misinterpreted. If you are uncomfortable, in a time crunch, or are simply too busy to talk, explain this. Let your body language work with your words so that you are not misinterpreted. Also, be aware of how your body language may be interpreted. Although you may be crossing your arms because you are cold, the person you are talking to may find that you seem uncomfortable.

If your interpretation issues involve more than body language, take a look at our website here at SameDayTranslations.com. We translate web pages, documents, apps, and more from foreign languages.

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