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Formula for body language reading


Staff member
Sep 6, 2019

Establish baseline - look for comfort + discomfort + pacifying behaviors (+ locking down their personal favorite pacifier) + deviations from baseline

(Yes, I'm literally thinking this in the moment.)

Pacificers are a great way to assess for comfort and discomfort. In a sense, pacifying behaviors are "supporting players" in our limbic reactions. Yet they reveal much about our emotional state and how we are truly feeling.

Survival mechanism (freeze, flight, or fight) and possess a pacifying system to deal with stress.

For our purposes, any touching of the face, head neck, shoulder, arm, hand or leg in response to a negative stimulus (e.g. a difficult question, an embarrassing situation, or stress as a result of somtehing heard, seen, or thought) is a pacifying behavior.

Comfort vs. Discomfort (Opened vs. Closed body language)

Limbic responses (freeze, fight, or flight)

Discomfort #1: Blocking behaviors (rubbing/closing eyes, place hands in front of face,

Discomfort #2: Leaning away, turning feet

Discomfort #3: Literally freezing.

1) Recognize pacifying behaviors when they occur. I have provided you with all of the major pacifiers. As you make a concerted effort to spot these body signals, they will become increasingly easy to recognize in interactions with other people.

2) Establish a pacifying baseline for an individual. That way you can note any increase and/or intensity in that person's pacifying behaviors and react accordingly.

3) When you see a person make a pacifying gesture, stop and ask yourself, "What caused him to do that?" You know the individual feels uneasy about something. Your job, as a collector of nonverbal intelligence, is to find out what that something is.

4) Understand that pacifying behaviors almost always are used to calm a person after a stressful event occurs. Thus, as a general principle, you can assume that if an individual is engaged in pacifying behavior, some stressful event of stimulus has preceded it and caused it to happen.

5) The ability to link a pacifying behavior with the specific stressor that caused it can help you better understand the person with whom you are interacting.

6) In certain circumstances you can actually say or do something to see if it stresses an individual (as reflected in an increase in pacifying behaviors) to better understand his thoughts and intentions.

7) Note what part of the body a person pacifies. This is significant, because the higher the stress, the greater the amount of facial or neck stroking is involved.

8) Remember, the greater the stress or discomfort, the greater the likelihood of pacifying behaviors to follow.

Test: When opening - Lean in, handshake, good eye contact. Now, take a step back. See how the other person reacts off the open:

1 of 3 responses are likely:

a) the person will remain in place = he/she is comfortable at this distance.

b) the individual takes a step back = he/she needs more space OR wants to leave/talk to someone else

c) the person takes a step towards you = person is comfortable/shows preference towards you.
Walking styles are important because a shift can reflect changes in emotions & thoughts

A change tells us something significant might have occured. We need to assess why the persons walk has suddenly changed.

If someone is cooperating with you, the persons feet should mirror your own. If they're not mirrored, you need to ask yourself why. This can possibly be used to identify cockblocks.

Such behavior reflects either the person's need to leave or get away soon, a disinterest in what is being discussed, an unwillingness to further assist, or a lack of commitment to what is being said.

When approached on the street, normally we will only turn to them from the hip up. Our feet are still pointed in the direction of travel. This means, if a girl turns her feet towards you, she is very compliant.

Most people have a place to go and a task to accomplish, so they walk with purpose. Predators (muggers, drug dealers, thieves etc) lurk about waiting for their next victim; therefore their postures and pace are different. There's no purpose in the way they walk until they are about to strike.

Leg twitching and movement is normal. It is not indicative of lying - as some believe - as both honest and dishonest people will twitch and jiggle. The key factor to consider is at what point do these behaviors start or change.
When a foot suddenly begins to kick, it is usually a good indicator of discomfort.
You see this with people being interviewed, as soon as a question is asked they do not like.

While juggling may be a show of nervousness, kicking is a subconscious way of combating the unpleasant. The beauty of this behavior is that it is automatic, and most people don’t even recognize they are doing it. You can use this nonverbal body signal to your advantage by creating questions that will evince the leg-kcik response (or any other dramatic change in nonverbals) to determine what specific inquiries and subjects are problematic. In this manner, even hidden facts may be elicited from people, whether they answer the question or not.
If they react with a leg-kick response, you can assume that the “trigger” had a negative effect on the person.