tagged w/ Body Language
by Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. in High Octane Women
Most people recognize that they can learn a lot about a person by paying close attention to the person's emotional reactions. Facial expressions, gestures, voice tone, rate of speech—all of these cues help us figure out how a person is feeling. Is he or she angry? Sad? Nervous? Afraid?
Yet, while we're busy focusing in on the emotional states of others, we usually don't pay much attention to something equally, if not more important—our own emotional reactions to these social encounters. Why is this so important? Because emotions are highly contagious, and if you catch a bad bug, the consequences can be life-threatening..
For centuries, researchers have studied the tendency for people to unconsciously and automatically mimic the emotional expressions of others, and in many cases actually feel the same feelings simply by exposure to emotions in social interactions. Studies have found that the mimicry of a frown or a smile or other kinds of emotional expression trigger reactions in our brains that cause us to interpret those expressions as our own feelings. Simply put, as a species, we are innately vulnerable to "catching" other people's emotions.
In the literature, this process in which a person or a group influences the emotions and affective behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconcious induction of emotions is referred to as emotional contagion (EC). And although study after study has demonstrated what a powerful impact it can have on our relationships—domestic partnerships, friendships, teams, business relationships, and groups of all kinds—interestingly, we often don't realize how much our own emotions are influenced by the emotional states of others.
The important question is in what direction are your emotions being influenced.
Referring to emotions as contagious may connote a negative experience. However, this is not necessarily true. Being "infected" by another person's happiness or enthusiasm can be a very good thing. Researchers have found that when subjects "catch" positive emotions from others, they're more likely to be viewed by others and view themselves as more cooperative and competent. They also perceive themselves as more collegial (see the research of Sigal Barsade). Simply put, when you hang out with happy people, you tend to feel happier, have more energy, and feel less stressed.
Similar results have been found in team sports. When a team is upbeat, positive, and in an overall good mood, this spirit is transferred to individual players. Results also show that when teams are happier, the athletes on the team tend to play better (see the work of Peter Totterdell).
Some research even suggests that indirect relationships, such as those created by social media, can affect your happiness. Researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler discovered that happiness spreads through social networks, much like a virus, which means that you can be infected with the happiness of someone you've never even met, and vice versa. Christakis and Fowler explain: "A person's happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon." They also found that happy people tend to be in the center of their social networks and that happiness branches out as they join together with other happy people. They report that each additional happy friend increases your probability of being happy by about 9 percent. As a comparison, they use past research (1984) that found that an extra $5,000 in income only increased the probability of being happy by about 2 percent.
The moral of the story is that catching the "happy" bug from those around you (and maybe even those "virtually" around you) is a contagion that everyone should try to catch. Just being around positive people can be energizing, motivating, and inspiring and is likely to help you work more effectively as partners or as a group.
Of course, the oppostie holds true. EC can occur in the negative direction, adding significant stress and strain in your life. This is particularly true when negative EC creeps into your close relationships. Because marriages, partnerships, family connections, and even close friendships are largely based on emotions, any sadness, fear, or worry on the part of that other person in your life (child, parent, domestic partner, best friend) can have a profound and lasting impact on your overall mood and outlook on life.
Research has found that depression in a spouse frequently leads to depression in the partner. The same holds true for roommates. In addition, children raised by depressed parents are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression. In fact, one family members' depression can bring down an entire family system. Other emotions, such as anxiety and fear, can have the same effect.
However, negative EC is not isolated to our closest relationships. One bad (e.g., negative) apple can infect the entire tree regardless of where that tree is planted. Tony Schwartz, author, CEO of The Energy Project, and Harvard Business Review blogger, shared how this kind of unhealthy contagion spread quickly through his company after the hiring of a new executive. Schwartz writes, "Soon after settling in, he [the new hire] began to share his concerns with me. He was doing so, he assured me, only because he loved working for us, and he was looking out for the well being of the company. He reported to me, and at first, I appreciated his input." Schwartz goes on to say that over time, the new hire told him that people were taking advantage of him (Schwartz) and didn't appreciate what they had at the company. He encouraged Schwartz to be tougher.
Schwartz says, "I began to feel more anxious and suspicious, and others on our team seemed more tense. The buoyant, productive atmosphere that had characterized our culture for years, even in tough times, began to seep away." Fortunately, Schwartz eventually realized, through conversations with other employees, the toxic environment that was being created and spread by this one person and ultimately fired him. Yet, Schwartz cautions that he didn't even recognize what was happening until damage had been done to the overall mood of his employees and his company in general. He confided that once he realized what was going on and his own role in it, he felt "angry and abashed. My most important job is to be our company's Chief Energy Officer. In this case, I'd allowed myself to be unduly influenced by a destructive kind of energy, and then I had unconsciously communicated that energy to others."
This example should serve as a strong reminder to leaders that they can have a significant impact on the emotional state of their employees and the overall work environment, regardless of whether those emotions are internally produced or externally generated by a negative influence in the company. Schwartz writes, "Leaders, by virtue of their authority, exert a disproportionate impact on the mood of those they supervise. In this case, I was influenced simply by the strength of this executive's negative feelings. Others in the office were more influenced by me, because I'm their boss. Emotional contagion took hold. As the negativity spread, it drained the energy of our team and the company as a whole."
Read the rest of the story here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201210/emotions-are-contagious-choose-your-company-wiselyby Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. in High Octane Women Most people recognize that... more
She's doing two things that are a dead giveaway. Can you identify them?
Become a Human Lie Detector
Your boss tells you, "You're doing a good job." Do you believe him? You are interviewing a candidate for a job. She says, "I left my previous job, because I was tired of the long commute." Your romantic partner tells you, "I am not having an affair." True?
It's easier than you think to become a human lie detector.
Look for Suspicious Behaviors
By themselves, each of these behaviors can just be signs of stress, or even a person's natural mannerisms. One can occur by chance, but when two or more of these behaviors suddenly appear at a moment when lying could be expedient, you should be skeptical. For example, when you ask a salesman how reliable that used car is, it suggests he's lying.
Here's the top eight list of suspicious behaviors:
A change in the voice's pitch.
A change in the rate of speech.
A sudden increase in the number of "ums" and "ahs."
A change in eye contact. Normally, one makes eye contact one-quarter to one-half of the time. If suddenly, at the convenient moment to lie, he's staring at you or looking away, beware.
Turning his body away from you, even if just slightly.
Suddenly being able to see the white on the top and bottom of a person's eyes, not just the sides.
A hand reaching, even if momentarily, to cover part of the face, especially the mouth.
Nervous movement of feet or legs.
Of course, in order to notice a change, you need a baseline. So you must first watch the person when talking about innocuous issues.
A Mixed Signal
Also look for mixed signals. When someone's telling the truth, her words, her face and her body language are all congruent. For example, if a person is honestly saying that she likes you, her face is usually relaxed, offering a gentle smile and warm eyes. Her body is calm and open. But when she's lying, something is usually inconsistent. In the most obvious case, she may be saying she likes you, but she's not smiling. She may even have a clenched fist. Better liars can muster a smile, but it doesn't look natural. Even better liars can put on a convincing smile, but their eyes aren't smiling. Still better liars can control their entire face, but their bodies seem closed or cold. Look for mismatches between words and body language.
When you've gotten a signal -- a change in body language or a mixed signal that the person may be lying -- ask for more information about the same topic. Are those same lying signs apparent? That can confirm your suspicion.
Of course, there's no foolproof way to detect lying. Some people are terrific at covering themselves up, especially if they are naturally emotionally flat or have practiced their lying skills over many years -- certain political leaders come to mind. But if you look for behavior changes and mixed signals at lying-expedient moments, you will improve your BS detector.
http://career-advice.comcast.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/become-a-human-lie-detector/article.aspx?WT.mc_n=comcast802She's doing two things that are a dead giveaway. Can you identify them? Become... more
Jewelzz Patrick is an R&B, Soul, and Pop artist that currently resides in Las Vegas, but he's originally from the "Motown" city of Detriot, IL. Jewelzz is not just a performer, he is also a producer.
Coming off his debut CD entitled, "Body Language" it is one of the better listening debut digital albums on the indie market comparing to Usher, Babyface, Robin Thicke, Eric Roberson. His vocal quality compares to the legendary recording artist, Stevie Wonder.
Check out an exclusive interview and music preview with Jewelzz Patrick:
http://thegreatunknowns.podomatic.com/entry/2010-12-03T08_44_49-08_00Jewelzz Patrick is an R&B, Soul, and Pop artist that currently resides in Las... more
There are subtle body language signals we can pick up on the next time we’re in a job interview or on a blind date. Keep your eyes peeled for these little-known body language signals for an inside look at how someone feels regarding a situation or subject.
link: http://www.mastersinpsychology.net/20-little-known-body-language-signals-and-what-message-they-sendThere are subtle body language signals we can pick up on the next time we’re in... more
Everyday you may do things--online or off--that compromise your financial privacy and security.Everyday you may do things--online or off--that compromise your financial privacy and... more
The following 50 body language secrets will provide you with tips you can use in job interviews, boosting your career, enhancing your social life, learning how to read other people’s body language.
Link : http://www.careeroverview.com/blog/2010/50-body-language-secrets/The following 50 body language secrets will provide you with tips you can use in job... more
Your body language says a lot about you and your reaction to a conversation you are having.You can lose control of a conversation easily with poor body language. Depending on the type of conversation you are engaged in, here are some tips to give you more control over a conversation.Your body language says a lot about you and your reaction to a conversation you are... more
According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 7% of communication is via the spoken word, 38% is by the tone of the words, and a massive 55% of communication is made through body language.
So ladies... What types of cues do men give us?
[Click link above to read article]According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 7% of communication is via the spoken... more
Sometimes words don’t matter. You can learn more about what someone is up to by the way they move and the look on their face. It’s body language. And Retired FBI agent Joe Navarro says it’s often more reliable than what someone actually says. Consumer Warning Network’s Angie Moreschi interviewed Navarro, an expert on human behavior, about his new book What Every BODY is Saying, to get some insight on how to avoid getting scammed.Sometimes words don’t matter. You can learn more about what someone is up to by... more
According to this study, people with high socioeconomic status are more rude when interacting with others. They fidget more and doodle more. Basically they show less interest in what you are saying.
The articles says this is do to our "animalistic tendencies." Snooty gestures of a person with higher economic status is modern society's way of saying "I'm fit" or "I don't need you." Where people of lower economic status, apparently, do not have that luxury and thus must depend on others (or should depend on others) and can't afford to be a rude.According to this study, people with high socioeconomic status are more rude when... more
Being able to understand when someone is lying can really help your manage your life better. Think about it for a while...wouldn't be nice if you could easily understand when someone tells you a lie? Are you living an intense live where you talk to many people and you have a sense that some of them tell lies but you do not know whom? The answer is simpler than you think...Look at the movements of the person talking to you, look at their eyes and their smile. Why? But because ... body language never tells lies!Being able to understand when someone is lying can really help your manage your life... more
Body language is when you talk to others not with your voice but with your body and gestures. It serves to better understand words since it gives them colour, emotion and meaning. The body language is many times more ... "betraying" as we would like. It also serves to understand if the other person lies, is honest with us and he really believes about us. It is a way to diagnose character, personality, mood and emotions.Body language is when you talk to others not with your voice but with your body and... more
Quick guide to reading dog body language
When President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama met in front of the White House, they didn’t take questions from reporters. But as far as body-language experts were concerned, the two men said volumes.
"Physically, [Obama] was definitely in charge there," says Allan Pease, author of "The Definitive Book of Body Language." Obama grabbed Bush’s upper arm during their handshake, which is a "control gesture."
Pease says Obama was also in charge when it came time to go into the White House, leading Bush in with a pat on the back, basically saying "welcome to my home."
Body language is so interesting...When President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama met in front of the... more
"Many people, including the punditocracy, commented on McCain's body language during the first debate. He looked away from Obama when they greeted one another. He did not look at him once during the debate. His jaws clenched, his body was tense, his eyes were fixed forward and glared. His grins were forced, and occurred at inappropriate times. He was clearly seething.
The conclusion has been that his body language showed that McCain has disdain for Obama, and wanted to show it.
I believe that conclusion is wrong. Instead, I believe it shows that McCain literally hates Obama, and was not able to control his reactions. For example, Hillary Clinton also had disdain for Obama, but she did not hate him. She looked at him, and her body language engaged him during the debates.
McCain has written that the Presidency is not a calling to accomplish a set of goals but just a matter of his personal ambition. Prevented--one must assume by his inadequacy that he cannot admit to himself--from fulfilling his family's tradition of becoming Admiral, McCain is driven to become President, to one-up them.
McCain hates anyone, or anything, that stands in his way and, right now, that is Obama. While Joe Biden may "love the guy", McCain does not return the sentiment so long as Biden stands in his way. The media that was once McCain's "base", is now the object of his hatred. Episodes of McCain's physically attacking opposing Senators--even from his own party!--are not examples of being a maverick, but rather that his hatred can be triggered when he believes others are in his way."
More at link! What do you think?"Many people, including the punditocracy, commented on McCain's body... more
Since our last post, we've been asked many times to comment on Sarah Palin's mannerisms. Her Body-Talk is not as blatant as her running mate, probably because she has a background as a performer in beauty pageants and television. She has learned to conceal the smirks and clenches that play so openly across the countenance of John McCain.
In our work we call body language the Five Flags, because there are five major ways human beings react when they're not speaking the authentic truth. Twitches and jaw-clenches are examples of Flag #1, Body-Flags. To understand Sarah Palin, though, you need to understand Flags #2 and #3, Voice-Flags and Attitude-Flags. The English word 'personality' comes from two Latin words, per and sona, "through sound." The Romans knew that the personality comes through in the tone of voice and other vocal aspects. Since our last post, we've been asked many times to comment on Sarah Palin's... more
"Whether you've got Barack Obama posters in your yard or John McCain stickers on the back of your car, your strong beliefs may be linked to your physiology.
A new study, published in Science, shows that Americans with strong political opinions whose bodies react more strongly to threatening pictures and sudden loud noises tended to support causes like defense spending and capital punishment.
The reason, the researchers suggest, is that these participants' views may be linked to a concern with protecting their group -- in this case the U.S. -- from perceived threats.
Those people with lesser physical reactions to threatening pictures and sounds were more likely to support causes such as gun control and foreign aid.
Douglas Oxley, from the department of political science at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a team of researchers studied 46 people with strong political beliefs. These participants, chosen for having strong political views, were identified through random phone calls in spring 2007. Participants filled out a questionnaire about their political beliefs, personality traits, and demographic characteristics.
Later, they were hooked up to machines to measure their physiological reactions to threatening stimuli, such as a picture of a large spider on the face of a frightened person, vs. nonthreatening stimuli, such as a picture of a rabbit.
The amount of reaction was measured by a machine that tests the conductivity of the skin. This is important because arousal can increase moisture on the outer layers of the skin, which then increases skin conductivity.
In another test, participants' blinks were measured after they heard an unexpected loud noise. Harder blinks are linked to higher level of fear, according to researchers.
The researchers emphasize that their findings can't confirm cause and effect.
So next time you are trying to convert a strong-minded friend to your way of political thinking, don't be disappointed if your best arguments are unsuccessful.
The authors conclude, "Our findings suggest that political attitudes vary with physiological traits linked to divergent manners of experiencing and processing environmental threats. Consequently, our research provides one possible explanation for both the lack of malleability in the beliefs of individuals with strong political convictions and for the associated ubiquity of political conflict.""Whether you've got Barack Obama posters in your yard or John McCain... more