Body Language and Performance Psychology

Body Language and
Learning how to read people.
Body Language
The most important six aspects of bodily
 Movement
 Eye contact- is one of the most important aspect of bodily
Facial expression- is one of the most important aspect of
bodily communication.
Posture- is the position in which body is being held.
Gestures- a movements that are made with hands, head or
face to show a particular meaning.
Proxemics- is the study of how to use space in
Body Movements
Major types of movement:
Affect displays
Emblems are body gestures that directly translate
into words or phrases.
Emblems are used consciously and purposely to
communicate the same meaning as the words.
Emblems are culture specific.
Illustrators enhance the verbal messages they
Expressions are often illustrated with hands, head
and general body movements.
Illustrators, 20% increase an ability to remember.
Affect Displays
Affect displays are movements of the face, but also
the hands and general body that communicate
emotional meaning.
Affect displays are often unconscious.
Regulators are behaviors that monitor, control,
coordinate, or maintain the speaking of another
Adaptors are gestures that satisfy some
personal needs.
Adaptors are divided into:
Self adaptors (self touching movements)
Alter – adaptors (movements directed at a
Object – adaptors (gestures focused on objects)
Influencing with Body
To influence you need to have a relationship and all
relationships fall into two categories.
Positive (interest)
Negative (noninterest)
-Pupils dilate
Lying and/or deception
Detecting interest from a possible
List some non-verbal cues for the following:
Someone interested
Someone not interested
exposure of elbow crease
Arms fold across chest
long eye contact
Rigid stance
Angled stance
Continuing to square up
to you
Relaxed posture
Touching of the hand, leg,
shoulder or face
Glancing past you
Translate these
-Lifting an eyebrow
-rubbing your nose
-clasping your arms
Protecting ourselves
-wink one eye
Seeking intimacy
-tap finger
Territorial needs
Everyone has a defined body area, a territory, and a
personal space, which is called a body buffer zone
Intimate distance:
Acceptable for family, friends, lovers, and parent/child
(touching 18 inches/ 0-6 inches in Latin Cultures)
-If confined w/strangers body must remain rigid to indicate
apology for touching
-Glances are ok but long gazes are seen as completely
Personal Distance
Close (18-30 inches) -ex. wives and
husbands, when others move in it
portrays interested , can hold hands
Far (30-48 inches) called “limit of
physical domination, acceptable for
meeting someone on the street
Social Distance
Close (4-7 feet) transact interpersonal business,
house wife/repairman, meeting someone new,
boss greeting an employee
Far (7-12 feet) Formal social or business
relationships, Big boss and employee. This
distance means steady eye contact during
conversation, failure to do so is disrespectful.
Can allow you to keep working w/out seeming
Public Distance
Close (12-25 feet) teacher addressing
Far (25 or more) Politicians (for
In order to develop a
relationship, of any kind, what
must first happen?
Both must unmask and show their
true selves, for if not they can not
become close
T/F Smiling is the most common
mask we wear, and it is one that is
over used.
True. Most masking
techniques are taught through
culture and are considered
“manners” or “etiquette”
When do we drop our masks?
When we are intimately comfortable w/
the person or when we see them as a
non-person (it)
*Extreme ends of the spectrum/usually
worn to protect someone's feelings or
our own
Besides your clothes, what is the 1st thing people notice
about you? How can this help you obtain a date?
Stance or Walk
Provides messages as to
your intentions
Uninterested or
Hips forward w/ legs
Arms crossed
Thumbs locked on belt
with fingers pointed
Rigid Posture
Tight Face
Expose neck, elbow crease,
open stance
Counter these by offering up complimentary & opposing body
language. If trying to show interest hold your gaze or glance longer
than appropriate (just a little/ don’t be a creepy) .
What things can be done after gaining someone’s attention
to progress to a more intimate encounter?
After flirting as commenced:
Invade body space minimally enough for obvious
objection. Stay till they become comfortable
Let eyes linger in areas where short glances would be
Stare into her/him while drawing attention to places
like mouth, neck, chest, groin.
Attention must be narrowed to that one person, not spread
around to others
What are some ways you can tell if
he/she is available?
Look for a ring or pale skin on the ring finger
Stance while sitting
Knees apart/ holding gaze/ loose posture
Draws attention to mouth, neck, thighs, chest, hips,
Hips forward or loose/ sway or swagger of hips/
shoulders back 7 head up
What happens to both
men & women upon
meeting someone they are
interested in breeding
-Step 1 Posture Changes
•Muscles Tense
•Body sagging disappears
•Posture becomes erect
•Stomach tightens
•Face Blushes or glows
•Preening begins
Adjusting of clothes/ hair/
What happens to both
men & women upon
meeting someone they are
interested in breeding
Step two- Positioning
Couples will sit together
Face each other
Lean into one another
Use arms to make a circle
Cross their legs towards each
What are some things a less aggressive woman
might do to convey interest to a man?
Flirting glances
Holding his eye
Turning her head to one side (expose neck)
Rolling her lips
Revealing the top of her thigh by crossing her legs
Putting her hand on her hip
Exposing her wrist or palm
What can posture be used to transmit?
• Question
• Protection
• Statement
• Inclusion
• Interest
• Exclusion
• Non- Interest
What are the “rules of thumb” for looking at a
person in the following situations: (careful cultural)
Passing someone on the street:
Must look away when
within 8 feet
People with unusual hair,
clothes, facial hair, hair or
Stare then look away
Putting a person down:
Stare and continue
Make sure to follow these
rules as not to be socially
NLP Eye Chart (caution)
True/False When studying
kinesics, one must take all of
the following into account:
1. Situation
2. All body movements at the time
3. Any physiological patterns
True- No single motion stands alone, there is always a