Non-Verbal Communications, an Introduction

Posted by Mithun Mahesh on 2019-05-05 at 9:44 PM

Today I would like to talk about some psychological tips that might come handy in your day to day life. I have been a keen student of behavioral psychology since childhood, probably studied it more than I did study for my engineering and poker (till now) combined. And I believe, this natural ability was the major factor behind my decision to become a poker player. Also, Currently I’m working on a theory I developed called “Behavioral Dynamics Modelling” which deals with sampling and analyzing behavioral patterns.

Please note that, I haven’t played live poker yet (since it’s pointless to have a psychological edge without a proper mathematical foundation established, which I’m currently being coached for) so this blog isn’t about tells related to live poker, but sure you can try make sense out of it and implement it on the felts and do let us know what worked for you. Also, the things I’ll share today are very basic and has significant practical applications in day to day life.

Non-verbal communication cues is an essential part of communication, it includes facial expressions, micro-expressions, body language including gestures, micro-gestures, haptics, posture, proxemics, eye movements etc. Additionally a lot of information can be fetched through analyzing vocal stress, modelling behavioral patterns and also by ‘deduction’ a method famously deployed by the legendary fictional character Sherlock Holmes.

The scope of this blog is to cover some of the basic and most common body language reading tips which can be immediately employed in your daily lives.

Fake Smile

To check if a person is sincerely smiling, look for the wrinkles formed beside their eyes while they smile, whereas a fake smile won’t form any wrinkles. This is due to the fact that our natural smiles are controlled by muscles named ‘zygomatic major’ which pulls the mouth back and ‘orbicularis oculi’ which makes the eyes narrow. In a fake smile, since we consciously try to create it, only zygomatic major pulls the mouth back but the orbicularis oculi doesn’t move, resulting lack of formation of wrinkles beside the eyes.

Eye Movements

Observing one’s eye movement gives an insight to their mental conversation, if a person looks to their top left corner, they are probably trying to ‘recall’ a picture. Whereas when they look to their top right it indicates they are trying to ‘construct’ a picture. This will come handy when you ask your partner “Where were you last night?” if they look top left before answering, chances are they are telling the truth whereas when they look at the top right, chances are they just made up an answer (Yes, I have more breakups than you can imagine). Also, looking bottom left indicates that the person is talking to themselves in their mind and looking bottom right indicates that the person is recalling a feeling. This technique is part of a study called ‘Neurolinguistic Programming’ and is discredited by some as a pseudoscience due to lack of research, so do not jump on conclusions, instead look for more evidence. Also, if the person is left handed then the above mentioned directions might reverse in their case. I personally find this very effective and has helped me significantly. Try it right now, ask the person sitting beside you to imagine a ‘dog wearing a saree’, and observe their eyeballs immediately, I bet they’ll look top right.

Arm Positions

It is important to understand that the body language cues are generated by the limbic brain, our emotional center, where every action is taken instantaneously without a thought. The primary responsibility of the limbic system is to ensure our survival, if someone throws something at you, your eyes will shut and your arms will come in front of your chest immediately without any conscious control. Due to the fact that it is very hard to manipulate it, limbic brain is often called the “Honest Brain” whereas the Neocortex system is called the “Lying Brain” where all the thinking is done. In this modern era we don’t have to worry about our survival like the old days, but now we have evolved in such a way that our social image is equally important for us (for some it might be more important than their life itself) and hence limbic system is concerned in protecting it too.

When you are having a conversation with someone and if the person is standing in an arms-crossed-around-his-chest position it probably means the person is not agreeing to what you say or is offended by you and hence his limbic brain has decided to engage in a defensive position. You can often find people carrying this position while standing in the queues where they are irritated or at hospitals where the situation is tense. Please read this signals in context, for example, if the room temperature is very cold and person is not wearing adequate clothing, he will be executing the same position and it won’t necessarily mean that he is offended by you. As a thumb rule, always look for at least 3 signals before reaching to a conclusion.

Other arm position signals are, if a person has kept his hands in his pockets, it shows his lack of interest or non-involvement. Holding hands behind the back indicates that the person is displaying his superiority and power, a common trait of an authoritative figure. Whereas holding hands in front of the crotch usually displays insecurity or sometimes it may also indicate that the person is holding on a secret. If a person is touching his watch or wrist ornaments frequently it might indicate they are feeling anxious. Palm is also an important factor while detecting deceit, if their palms were visible while they said something chances are they said the truth. But again, read everything in the context.

That’s all folks, I would like to wrap up this blog now since I don’t intend to make it long, I might continue on this topic in the next blog based on your responses. Do implement it in your daily lives and let us know how it turned out. Please note that, it takes immense level of awareness and observational skill to note this signals correctly and many other variables factor in which might further deviate the reading. So do not jump to conclusions if you find this signals, investigate further, and then act on it. Also if you ask for confirmation from the subject whom you were observing, it’s more likely that they’ll deny it, since the “lying brain” is doing the talking and additionally you have been now flagged as an intruder by their mind’s defense mechanism. Let me know your opinion about this blog, do share it if you liked it and for doubts you can contact me through my Instagram handle ThePokeRaja #JhootBoleKauwaKaate

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Up Your Game

  • Learn from the best Connect with India's top players
  • Boost your bankroll Exclusive real money bonuses
  • Claim your profile Your personal poker dashboard

Mithun Mahesh

Top Online Poker Rooms

Top
PokerGuru