Being able to read the signals that people send out with their bodies, intentionally or not, is a very useful social skill. The ability to figure out what people are putting out there with their gestures or posture comes naturally to some people but there are others who need a little more guidance. Luckily, with a little more practice you can turn yourself into a body language expert which can be beneficial to you in a lot of social situations.
1. Pay attention to how physically close someone is to you : for example, if you move yourself just a bit closer to a person and they immediately step back, it obviously means the person doesn’t appreciate you standing any closer to them than you already are. Yet, there are some cultural differences which means that in terms of personal space what is considered far away in one culture might be close in another.
2. Watch their head position : if one’s head is overly tilted to one side it’s a definite positive sign of expressed sympathy towards their interlocuter and if a person is both smiling and tilting their head it may even be considered as flirting.
A lowered head is a clear sign that the person is hiding something. The person could be just shy or timid, ashamed of something or just thinking to themselves but the head position makes it obvious that they are not engaged in the communication at the moment.
3. Look into their eyes : if someone is looking to the sides a lot, it’s a sign that the person is either nervous, lying or basically distracted. Not keeping an eye contact with the speaker generally means the person is unconvinced and incredulous.