Whatever floats your boat...
tHE TOP 15
1. Body language is the means by which humans (and some other animals) convey information through conscious or subconscious body movements or facial expressions. Body language is officially known as kinesics (kin-EE-siks).2. Body language seems to have three major uses: 1) as a conscious replacement for speech, 2) to reinforce speech, and 3) as a mirror or betrayer of mood.
3. The first modern book on body language appeared more than 350 years ago. John Bulwer’s Chirologia: Or the Natural Language of the Hand (1644) was a pioneering work on hand movements.
4. A woman has a wider-ranging peripheral vision, which allows her to check out a man’s body from head to toe without getting caught. A male’s peripheral vision is poorer, which is why a man will move his gaze up and down a woman’s body in a very obvious way. Men do not “oogle” more than women—their tunnel vision means they just get caught more easily.
5. A normal, relaxed blinking rate is 6–8 blinks per minute, and the eyes are closed for about 1/10th of a second. People under pressure (such as when they are playing golf) are likely to dramatically increase their blinking rate.
6. Americans usually stand 18–48 inches away from each other, which is the size of their “personal bubble.” Japanese, however, have a personal bubble, or intimate zone, of 10 inches. And people from rural areas tend to have larger personal bubbles than those that live in a city.
7. The “Crotch Display” is predominately a male gesture. This is where a person plants both feet firmly on the ground with legs apart. It is used as a dominance signal by men because it highlights the genitals and puts masculinity on show.
8. When a person crosses both legs and arms they have emotionally withdrawn from the conversation.
9. A woman is instinctively four times more likely to mirror another woman than a man is to mirror another man. Additionally, while women also mirror men’s body language, men are reluctant to mirror a woman’s gestures or posture unless he is in courtship mode.
10. There are six universal facial expressions: 1) anger, 2) disgust, 3) fear, 4) happiness, 5) sadness, and 6) surprise. Recently, some scientists have argued that looks of contempt and embarrassment are also universal expressions.
11. Britain, along with most of Northern Europe and the Far East, is classed as a “non-contact” culture, in which there is very little physical contact in daily interactions. By comparison, the Middle East, Latin America, and Southern Europe are considered “high contact cultures” where physical touch is a large part of socializing.
12. The “face platter” or when a person places one hand on top of the other and rests his or her face on top of the hands is often used in courtship. It’s used mainly by women and by gay men who want to attract a man’s attention. Their face is placed as if it were on a platter for the other person to admire.
13. Studies show that women laugh at men they’re attracted to, and men are attracted to women who laugh at them. From a man’s perspective, saying a woman has good sense of humor doesn’t mean she makes jokes; it means she laughs at his jokes.
14. In the Middle East, same-gender eye contact tends to be more intense and sustained than in the West. However, in many Asian, African, and Latin American countries, unbroken eye contact is considered aggressive and confrontational.
15. An early landmark in the scientific study of nonverbal communication was the naturalist Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions of Man and Animals (1872). It was the first to claim that humans and apes expressed similar facial expressions inherited from a common ancestor. In 1969, British zoologist Desmond Morris argued that humans owed their nonverbal communication to their animal nature.