I don’t speak Spanish, Japanese, or French…but I can read her body language


“Body language is an outward reflection of a person’s emotional condition,” according to “The Definitive Book of Body Language” by Allan and Barbara Pease. Therefore, the way people are feeling can sometimes be better understood through body language rather than words.


Handshakes can reveal a lot about someone’s personality. When two people go for a handshake and one person tends to have their hand on top of the other person’s hand that means he feels dominant and more powerful than the other person. Some people that would use this handshake method would be CEOs and managers of important businesses. If a person is really smart and they realize that someone is trying to show dominance over them through a handshake, they can pull out the “Double-Hander” and place their open hand over the other person’s hand to show that they can be powerful too.


Most students don’t think about how they shake hands until asked about it. “I just go web to web and shake,” said junior, Laura Johnson. Some students think more about handshaking, like Megan Denn, also a junior, who claimed, “I don’t really think about it…but sometimes I am scared that someone is going to break my hand.” Those tough grips are referred to as “the Bone-Crusher.”


Along with handshakes, smiles can show a lot about personality as well. Most people do not even take it into consideration that some people are not actually smiling, but they are “fake smiling” to try and give off a good vibe. The difference between a “fake smile” and “real smile” is that when a person is actually smiling because they are happy, wrinkles appear around the eyes whereas in a “fake smile” just the mouth is being used.


Junior Blake Olson says distinguishing between a fake and real smile is easy “when you know the person.” Otherwise you can’t tell if it’s genuine or a painful attempt at a smile.


Similar to smiling, laughing can tell a lot about a person. Men think that when women laugh at them it means that they are attracted to them, and when a girl thinks a guy is cute, she will laugh even if he is not telling jokes. Additionally, according to the book, only fifteen percent of our laughter has to do with jokes, the rest has to do with bonding.


A few more interesting body language facts: American television is the prime reason that cross-cultural body language differences are disappearing, when people fold their arms, their credibility dramatically decreases, hand signals mean different things in different parts of the world, and lastly when men lie, their body language can be obvious while women prefer to look busy when they lie.