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Do you put much stock in body language?

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Sometimes body language screams. But what is going on in the world is too important to come to conclusions via body language. I think anyway! 

Plus some are aware of it, and use it, and some, their head is in the sand box. “What’s body language?”

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4 hours ago, Greg Dent said:

I have had people use my own body language against me. Thought I was being closed minded when I was just tired and was trying to relax a bit. I don't put a lot into body language unless someone is being aggressive. 

I've had that same issue. 


There have been several times that people have said that I looked angry, or that I was in a foul mood and they were quite intimated by me. 


After they got to know me a little better, and we had talked about that, they realized that it was just me concentrating on something or that I was grinding my teeth against the pain.


Plus, I realized that I needed to smile more and present a kinder, gentler personality so I don't put people off.  My default persona is a goof off jokester, not the angry man that some thought I was. 

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1 hour ago, tucker said:

When I was in high school, my fellow students thought I was stuck up. Truth be told, I was painfully shy!

Same here! But actually, with me it's not shyness really, but a full blown anxiety disorder that is often made worse by being around people. So you can imagine how much fun meetings are when I'm not feeling well. During those times I can appear to be stuck up or standoffish, but I'm concentrating on trying to keep the panic down and just get through the meeting so I can leave. 


Over the years I have been accused of being stuck up too because I can't see. Someone would wave and take issue with the fact that I didn't wave back. Well, unless you are near me, you are a blur, so I may not see your waving arm. Even if I do, I may not be able to make out who the arm belongs to. I have even had people in my congregation upset with me because of this.  😶



Edited by Saffron
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4 hours ago, Saffron said:

Well, unless you are near me, you are a blur, so I may not see your waving arm. Even if I do, I may not be able to make out who the arm belongs to. I have even had people in my congregation upset with me because of this.

It took me the longest time to realize that.

I had 10/20 vision in High School,  twice as good as average. I could see better than anyone I knew. That was back in '71..


I just didn't get it, I really didn't understand how badly some people suffered. 


My first wife had/has very poor eyesight,  her glasses were very thick. I recall one morning when she was still in bed and I wanted her to look at something,  I don't recall what it was but I was standing at the foot of the bed and she said she couldn't see it, she had to get her glasses on. I was only about 6 foot away. . She said that without her glasses I was just a blur at that range.


Nowadays,  after living a little bit more,  I have a much better appreciation of the problem of poor eyesight. My eyes started going bad in my early 40's. My work career had me out in the sun all day and I rarely wore sunglasses,  only when I was using a cutting torch or something like that.  


I  had cataract surgery in 2001, the lens implants took me back to 20/20, it was nice to be able to see clearly again.  Now, after 17 years,  I am having trouble again.  I need reading glasses and long range glasses.  I'm ok for a little while reading,  like I could read about half of a magazine study without them but I would be really straining and would be unable to finish without them. 


I have bi/focals for everyday use,  I don't wear them full time,  I don't even carry them full-time but I am using them more and more as time goes by. .Sometimes at the Hall I can't recognize someone seated on the other side.  I can kinda see them and I know who they are but I don't see them well enough to tell if they smiled at me or not. 

Patiently waiting for God's Kingdom ---





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My wife had one eye that was one click nearsighted and the other one was one click far sighted. So could se better than most people. She started complaining she couldn't read signs that were 2 or 3 km away. I said I can't read them that far with my glasses what are you complaining about? LOL She is starting to need them to work at the computer at work now. Her eyes get tired more quickly. She looks even hotter in glasses LOL. 

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Body language unless extremely obvious, eg violent, is very person specific. How many times have we unknowingly judged a person or tried to dismiss thoughts that we have regarding a person only to later fund out we totally 'read' them wrong.


I've a service dog and extreme social anxieties. My body language would no doubt scream I'm a stuck up self absorbed ignorant snob. Truth be told I'm not that person at all. But you wouldn't know that unless you knew me.


Its a prejudice we are always being reminded of especially in our ministry or in the congregation. We have little idea what's truly happening in someone else's life and more importantly, how their mind and body shows/reveals that processes to others.

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Body language is subjective and can be easily misunderstood as many have already pointed out. What I find much more reliable is the involuntary muscles around the eyes. A fake smile doesn't reach the eyes, while a real smile does. This is why actors do method acting where they focus or imagine happy things to create a real smile that reaches the eyes. Most people are not that good of actors, even most actors aren't, so the eyes often tell more than people realize.  The reverse is true too, when people think of something funny in the middle of the meeting, they might not smile or laugh, but their eyes light up. I know sometimes we have a very serious talk, and something makes me want to laugh, perhaps an exaggerated look of seriousness on the speaker's face and I am struggling not to laugh or smile, but I know my eyes are giving me away.  Perhaps that is why the eyes are called windows into the soul. 

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