The Definitive Book of Body Language

I’ve finished The Definitive Book of Body Language: Why What People Say Is Very Different from What They Think or Feel by Barbara Pease & Allan Pease and as I mentioned yesterday, the second half of the book is far better than the first half!

Chapter Thirteen, The Secret Signals of Cigarettes, Glasses, and Makeup, has lots of useful tips and Chapter Fourteen, How the Body Points to Where the Mind Wants to Go, also had a few interesting thoughts on what feet pointing means in groups.

Chapter Fifteen, Courtship Displays and Attraction Signals, is a must read for any person out on the dating scene. Men will find is useful in decoding the nonverbal signals of women they are interested in, and women will find it interesting and perhaps learn new signals to test out!

I was surprised to learn that men are universally split into three fairly even groups with regards to favorite female body part: boobs, butts, and legs. And women are evenly split with regards to favorite male body part: legs, butts, and chests/arms.

Extra long legs are a “powerful nonverbal signal telling males she is sexually maturing and is now capable of childbearing.” Men prefer women with shapely, thicker legs over those with thinner, spindly legs, because the additional fat in the legs is an indicator of better lactation.

Chapter Sixteen, Ownership, Territory, and Height Signals, provides practical advice for getting out of a ticket when you get pulled over and some interesting facts. Polish anthropologist Dr. Boguslaw Pawlowski found that in an ideal relationship trust, money, and respect are less important than the height difference ratio of 1 to 1.09, with 1.09 being the ideal ratio.

Chapter Seventeen, Seating Arrangements – Where to Sit and Why, also provides practical advice for business, classroom, and social situations. It might come in handy for those working on wedding seating charts!

Also interesting was the idea that “open” families have round dining room tables, “closed” families select square dining room tables, and “authoritative” types select rectangular tables.

If you’re interviewing for a job, interviewing candidates for an open position, or even considering rearranging your office, you’ll find Chapter Eighteen, Interviews, Power Plays, and Office Politics, full of useful information.

Chapter Nineteen, Putting It All Together, features a quiz that tests how much you’ve learned from the book and summarizes the key points for making a positive body-language impression on others:

Face: Have an animated face and make smiling a part of your regular repertoire. Make sure you flash your teeth.

Gestures: Be expressive but don’t overdo it. Keep your fingers closed when you gesture, your hands below chin level, and avoid arm or feet crossing.

Head Movement: Use Triple Nods when talking and Head Tilt when listening. Keep your chin up.

Eye Contact: Give the amount of eye contact that makes everyone feel comfortable. Unless looking at others is a cultural no-no, lookers gain more credibility than nonlookers.

Posture: Lean forward when listening, stand straight when speaking.

Territory: Stand as close as you feel comfortable. If the other person moves back, don’t step forward again.

Mirror: Subtly mirror the body language of others.

I’d recommend picking up The Definitive Book of Body Language and reading it not cover to cover but reading the table of contents and reading just the sections of interest to you!


One response to “The Definitive Book of Body Language

  1. Pingback: The Definitive Book of Body Language - Book in Action « Adventures in Reading

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