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Body Language

Pointing gestures

Open Formation Gesture People in most English speaking countries stand with their bodies oriented to form an angle of 90 degrees during ordinary social intercourse. The two men in are displaying similar status by holding similar gestures and posture and the angle formed by their torsos indicates that an impersonal …

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Body lowering gestures

Body Lowering Gestures Historically, lowering the height of one’s body in front of another person has been used as a means of establishing superior/subordinate relationships. We refer to a member of Royalty as ‘Your Highness‘, whereas individuals who commit unsavoury acts are called ‘low’. Let us examine the non-verbal aspects …

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Mirror image gestures

Copying the other person gestures This ‘carbon copying‘ is a means by which one person tells the other that he is in agreement with his ideas and attitudes. By this method, one is non-verbally saying to the other, ‘As you can see, I think the same as you, so I …

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Ownership gestures

Territorial Gestures People lean against other people or objects to show a territorial claim to that object or person. Leaning can also be used as a method, of dominance or intimidation when the object being leaned on belongs to someone else. For example, if you are going to take a …

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Cigars and glasses gestures

Cigarette Smokers Gestures Smoke up gesture – A person who is feeling positive, superior or confident will blow the smoke in an upward direction most of the time. Smoke down gesture – A person in a negative, secretive or suspicious frame of mind will blow the smoke down most of …

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Courtship signal gestures

Male Courtship signals The male displays preening behaviour as the female approaches. In addition to the automatic physiological reactions already mentioned, he will reach for his throat and straighten his tie. If he is not wearing a tie, he may smooth his collar or brush imaginary dust from his shoulder …

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Eye signal gestures

Controlling a person’s gaze When you are giving him a visual presentation using books, charts, graphs and so on. Research shows that of the information relayed to a person’s brain, 87 per cent comes via the eyes, 9 percent via the ears, and 4 per cent via the other senses. …

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Popular gestures and actions

Head Gestures Neutral Head Position – The position taken by the person who has a neutral attitude about what he is hearing. The head usually remains still and may occasionally give small nods. Interested Head Position – When the head tilts to one side it shows that interest has developed. …

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Leg barriers gestures

Standard Leg-Cross Position One leg is crossed neatly over the other, usually the right over the left. This is the normal crossed-leg position used by European, British, Australian and New Zealand cultures and may be used to show a nervous, reserved or defensive attitude. For example, people often sit like …

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Arm barriers gestures

Standard Arm Cross Gesture The standard arm-cross gesture is a universal gesture signifying the same defensive or negative attitude almost everywhere. It is commonly seen when a person is among strangers in public meetings, queues, cafeterias, elevators or anywhere that people feel uncertain or insecure. Reinforced Arm-Cross Gesture The full …

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