Gut Rumbles

January 08, 2008

Body language

Originally published December 2, 2003

I took a lot of training classes at work designed to teach me to read body language. You know, that's how you tell a person's attitude and how well they are receiving whatever message you attempt to send.

The "gimmies" are the arms crossed on the chest. That person is erecting a barrier and does not trust you. A person who crosses his/her legs when you ask a question is hiding something. If you wish to encourage trust, then hold your arms away from your body and show the person you're speaking with your open palms.

That stuff is all well and good, and I believe that a lot of it works. But I talk a lot with my hands. I'm not certain how I fit into that body-language picture.
Someone once told me that if I had my hands tied behind my back I would be mute. I agreed.

Look at some of the pictures from the blog-meet. You will seldom see me in ANY of the pictures where I'm talking without making hand-gestures at the same time. I wave my hands. I point a finger. I show my open palm.

I don't know why I do that, but I'm not going to deny the fact. If my mouth starts to run, my hands have to move to illustrate what I'm saying. I believe that my brain insists that my hands are part of the verbal message. I do it without thinking about it.

That's instinctive body language.

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