1, Crossing one's finger is actually a way of making the Sign of the Cross. It began as a way of asking God for protection without attracting the unwanted attention of pagans. Now, we use it to wish ourselves and/or others good luck.
2. Body language in humans has 3 major uses: as a conscious replacement for speech, to reinforce speech, as a mirror or betrayer of mood.
3. The study of body language is called kinesics (kin-EE-sics).
4. The first modern book on body language was written 350 years ago. John Bulwer’s Chirologia: Or the Natural Language of the Hand was a pioneering work on hand movements. It was written in 1644.
5. The “flight response” is an instinctual response to a threat. However, in the modern world, we have adopted it to meet our modern needs. Subconscious “evasive” actions include closing the eyes, rubbing the eyes, placing objects like a purse on a lap, turning feet to the exit, and leaning away from a person.
6. Some scientists believe humans shake hands to exchange body odors.
7. When feeling discomfort, men typically prefer to touch their faces. Women, on the other hand, prefer to touch their necks, clothing, jewelry, arms, and hair.
8. People under stress will often exhibit “ventilation action,” which relieves stress and emotional discomfort. A man often will put his fingers between his shirt collar and neck and pull the fabric away from his skin. Women may do it more subtlety by tossing the back of her hair to ventilate her neck.
9. People are typically perceived as more attractive when they tilt their heads.
10. Even when a person is standing still, a person’s body is telling a story.
11. During high-comfort social interactions, our feet and legs will mirror those of the person with whom we are talking (also known as isopraxism).
12. Custom officers note that passengers who point their feet toward the exit while turning to the officer to make their custom’s declaration are more likely to be concealing something they should have declared. While their faces and the words are obliging, their feet reveal otherwise.
13. A partial shoulder shrug indicates that the speaker is not committed to what was just said. A more honest and true response causes both shoulders to rise fully, sharply, and equally. When only one side rises, the message is dubious.
14. Arms akimbo (a standing person whose extended arms are out in a V pattern with the hands placed on the hips, thumbs backward) is a powerful territorial display that is used to establish dominance or indicate that there are “issues.” Women tend to use arms akimbo less often than men. Arms akimbo with thumbs forward represents a more inquisitive, less authoritarian position than arms akimbo with thumbs backward.
15. Research suggests that liars tend to gesture less, touch less, and move their arms and legs less than honest people.
Okay, so now that you have all this new knowledge, you can check out your co-workers, fellow diners at lunchtime, or tell if your kids might be up to something not so good. I had great fun learning these things and hope you did, as well. Remember, tomorrow is Wednesday and that means another helpful life lesson from the wisest one I know, my teacher and friend, The Dharma Frog. I hope you'll plan on stopping back by to hear what he has to say.
Until we meet again, I wish you much