3
   

Body Language-Arms Folding

 
 
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 05:17 pm
Hi,

I learnt from different sources i.e. books, video, that if a person folds his / her arms before the chest unconsciously, the gesture is defensive.

They illustrated how the gesture could mean that in their examples that convinced me.

But it seems to me unconscious "arms folding" doesn't always mean the person is being defensive.

e.g. 1, I saw a customer folded his arms waiting for his purchase, while the salesperson just turned her back on him, packing the commodity. There were not other people who were around him at all, and I mean he was 100% safe there then.

e.g. 2. On a vedio clip, Dr. Phil, who is an American TV personality, folded his arms before his chest, with some opening words, and soon he dropped his arms... I don't think this gesture was defensive. (If he was a newbie before camera, he would probably be nervous, but he is often before camera. How could he be nervous and unconsciously adopt the gesture which can be commonly interpreted as being defensive?

Would anyone have any idea about this?

Thanks!


 
roger
 
  5  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 05:29 pm
@iclearwater,
I take it as defensive - sometimes. Maybe the person is cold. Maybe folded arms are just more comfortable for some people.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 11:34 pm
@iclearwater,
Where I come from, folding your arms is often an offensive (not defensive) posture, designed to deceive an unsuspecting victim of an imminent attack.

For example, you approach a person with your arms folded before bashing his sorry face in without warning, which helps you hide the brass knuckles you're wearing and doesn't telegraph your malicious intentions.

Get it?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 11:44 pm
@layman,
Well, sure, but as I said - sometimes.
0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 06:13 am
Thank you both for your replies.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  3  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 02:46 pm
@iclearwater,
The easiest way to think of it is context.

On a warm day, one on one, you're both standing and talking when they suddenly fold their arms while looking at you...I'd be quickly reviewing what I've just said, and it's effect on them.

Group of people sitting around in an airconditioned room, and one folds their arms:
- are they getting tired
- are they cold
- are they sick of sitting in the same posture for ages
- or are they defensive

A quick review of what you've said, and it's outcome on them will inform you on the last option, but not the others
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 02:57 pm
All said and done, the elaborate speculations of "body language experts," is just as pseudo-scientific as Freudian "dream analyisis." They purport to have unique insight into things which are merely the product of imagination, not empirical evidence.

I would often tend to interpret folding one's arm as a product of determination, or disgust, or thoughtfullness, or any number of other things, if pressed for an "interpretation." Of course it could be nothing in particular.

Of course it's always kinda nice to pretend you have special knowledge of something that is basically unknowable. It makes you unique and special, know what I'm sayin?
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 03:09 pm
@layman,
layman wrote:
All said and done, the elaborate speculations of "body language experts," is just as pseudo-scientific as Freudian "dream analyisis."

Yup. Absolutely. A lot of stuff written about "body language" is bullshit.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 03:09 pm
@layman,
I think the whole body language thing is usually valid if taken in context by someone with experience. I don't think a snapshot of someone with folded arms or "evasive" eye movements means a darn thing.
0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 05:02 pm
@vikorr,
Good point. Context.

I agree. In a book I forgot the name, the author said, simply one word "no" an actor could convey around 16 different meanings in different context including tonality- yes, no, disdain, etc.
0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 05:33 pm
@layman,
Quote:
Of course it's always kinda nice to pretend you have special knowledge of something that is basically unknowable. It makes you unique and special, know what I'm sayin?


I'm talking about unconscious body language, instead of consciously declaring of something with non-verbal body language.

People can lie, because lies are processed under conscious mind. People just cannot consciously fake or pretend every detail of their body language, especially without being trained or having relevant knowledge. The unconscious reaction of his body language doesn't likely lie.

If someone says to another person that he loves her, while his eyes are cold without emotion. He lies about that.

An experienced teacher can tell who is going to cheat in an examination. A student keeps watching the teacher with his fist clenches, the teacher would know he is going to cheat, and the slip is just in his hand.

An experienced salesperson is able to know if a customer is interested in buying specific something or not since the very moment he steps into the door.

What kinds of person they are, some people could just exactly tell.

Well, I respect your input and knowledge if you don't believe body language. That's fine. I am not going to desperately try to convince you or anyone else. I know arguments mostly would end up in fights, resentment, because it is human nature. No, I'm not submissive or weak, but I am not looking for fights, and resent either. That means nothing to me.

It's almost in vain to tell a God-believer, the non-existence of the God. Likewise, it is almost futile to tell an atheist the existence of the God.

I believe the unconscious body language, and I hope some persons who understand this can share their expertise or insight with me.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 01:03 am
@iclearwater,
Although I've never seen this in a book, I've asked a few people to do this, and it seems to work with most people - imagine there is a point in your brain and the rear bottom of your skull. Put your thoughts there, and try to push that point further to the back bottom of your skull. Now try to push that point out of your skull (to the back bottom of it). Once you've pushed it as far as you can - try to think 'words' in your mind. If you've done it right, you should not be able to think in words (that's the instinctive part of your brain. Your logical part that processes language is in an different area)

That was about when I first started dividing the brain into 'zones' (personally i think this is all a quirk of how the brain works, rather than what's actually happening in the brain, but its useful all the same)

I've come to break up body language in 'domains', around the central axis of the body:
- forward = social
- backwards = individual
- right = creative
- middle = auditory
- left = memory
- up = visual
- down = feelings / instincts

After I did this, I notice something very interesting - you can tell who is the dominant partner in any relationship by having a look at photos of them together. The person who's neck is leaning in the most, is the one who is most in love / the more submissive of the two.

I also noticed that way a person is leaning, while it has meaning, is modified by the angle of the neck (relative to the body), and the angle of the face (relative to the body).

And that they use their body language to access different parts of their brain (look into Neurolinguistic Programming to see how this works with someones eyes)

Then I started noticing things about stubbornness, and started understanding the difference between a jutting jaw (which has to have a bent neck) and the forehead pointing forward.

Sometime after noticing these things, I noticed how peoples hands would move in patterns similar to the tone, pitch, and speed of their voice...and realised this is all unconscious.

Having looked extensively into handwriting analysis, I realised that peoples guestures mirrored the nature of their handwriting. The question arose 'why should their hand guestures show glaring similarities to the flow of their handwriting'?

That lead me to realise that people thoughts....move through the different zones (individual / social / visual etc), and personal observation lead me to realise that when I'm nervous, and my voice quavers - so to does my mind. And that if you tried to write at that time, that your writing would likely do the same.

Placing my mind into different zones (using same technique as at the start), and them moving my mind through different zones, I noticed that my voice changed pitch/tone with the zone I moved through - and did so in a consistent way.

That means that the way we talk (rather than what we say) is very subconscious - but it can be trained.
-------------------------------------------------
What that means is most body language is subconscious, most is a reflection of what is going on in a persons brain, and you can tell certain things from it.

Of course, people train to present certain body languages too, and I wouldn't put too much stock into conscious body language.
--------------------------------------------------
I guess that explanation works for me. Whether or not it does for anyone else, is up to them.

In the end, body language has been the subject of numerous books, but very few experts...who often disagree with each other.
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 02:58 am
@vikorr,
Hear, hear, I can echo almost everything you said.

You illustrated some interesting examples, though I hadn't paid attention to those before, I can instantly understand and associate them with the theories in the books I read before. I appreciate you can share them with me and other folks who would like to learn, and from now on I can obverve them consciously.

As to body language in 'domains, when I read this, I said to myself "wow". It is exactly the same what I learnt about the directions of the movements of eyeballs, which are called "Eye Accessing Cues" in a book, though which is mostly not about the unconcious body language. You can search and watch that with key words "Eye Cue, NLP" on Youtube, if you're interested in.

And I'm not quite sure I understand completely about the "body language in domain". It reminds me of a sulpture named "The Thinker" by French artist Auguste Rodin. Gusture of the thinker is that his head is down(feeling and instinct?) and his right hand props up his chin. (right = creative ?) Are these exampels what you mean about "body language in domain"?

Quote:
In the end, body language has been the subject of numerous books, but very few experts...who often disagree with each other.

Practices are the best touchstone for the different theories and opinions. That's why I created this thread, because my observations about arm-folding are different from what the books wrote about.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 04:26 am
@iclearwater,
Arm folding is one of the most often focused on aspects from body language books. If you go back and read them, even they should say that it is subjective to the context (most good body language books will constantly reinforce that you need to look at body language in context). It's the most commonly picked issue in body language books because it has the most subjectiveness about it (ie the most to disagree with).

'The Thinker' could represent such as you say - if the artist had an instinctive understanding of such. But one of the things that needs to be understood clearly is that around 10% of people's brain hemisphere's are reversed. This becomes very clear if you read writings of investigative interviewers who use NLP techniques to help detect lies. Those particular professionals ask base-line questions first (just like a lie detector really), to determine which hemisphere the interviewee uses to access memory (the easiest one to tell). It seems to correlate to how many people are left handed (though don't quote me on that)

As an example of how 'zones' or 'domains' work - your palms upwards (not facing the other person) using rounded guestures, in generally interpretted as supportive:
- they are in the social zone (you could have your hands behind you, or by your side)
- supportive guestures are usually made lower down - they are in the instinctive / feelings zone (so it's not about logic)
- the movements are rounded (in a way it indicates accessing all the zones, being circular, it certainly equates to softer, whereas critical etc are sharper guesture, usually straight down from visual to feeling)
- and they make the guesture of lifting (bring up from the feeling/instinctive into the the visual / logic zone)


Watching interviews is fascinating as well, if you watch the lean of the body, the lean of the neck (relative to the body) and the placement of the neck. A person who is listenning, and:
- is leaning to the left (if they are in the 90% majority)
- has their neck leaning to the left (relative to the body)

....Is well and truly accessing their memories....but,

...listening is a creative skill. You have never heard what the other person is saying before, and you must interpret it. That takes creativity.

...so for a person doing so in those circumstanaces, the most likely explanation is what you are saying doesn't gel with their memories (hence why they are accessing their memories, rather than interpreting what you are saying).

...if you add in them turning their head to the right (in addition to still leaning to the left etc). They are accessing their memories....and also accessing their creative abilities. The most likely reason is, what you are saying is not gelling with their experiences, AND, they think you are an idiot (which is a creative activity, because they are coming up with reasons for such).

But there's other things to realise - people experience life in different ways. There are 3 primary ways:
- visually (by far the most common)
- feelings/tactile (the next most common, but not particularly common)
- auditory

- There's also smell, but it is very rare to have this as ones primary trait for experiencing life

If you take my 'body cues access parts of the mind', this would mean that for those people who experience life primarily through their feelings, looking down a lot is quite natural - and this would mean that, contrary to popular belief, that not looking you in the eyes would not necessarily mean they are being dishonest - nor would it necessarily mean so so for anyone to whom the topic has great emotional meaning (but there are qualifications on this)
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 06:16 pm
@vikorr,
Would you suggest how to systematically, efficiently, consciously observe any person whom you are encountering, you're dealing with, you're in any relationship with in reality?

I realise that I don't really know a person who is even my firend for years. I realise that some couples who are married, and sleep in the same bed, but they don't really know each other, even they claim they love each other. People seem to know each other, but are virtually strangers .

I can understand that the answer to this question of mine, that is I am asking in the first paragraph in this post, can be extremely inclusive and complex, because that involves behaviour, attire, speaking, writing, style, family background, etc. Would you possibly recommend some books which are practical if you think they are good read? If no, that is fine.

I went to a public place, and ramdonly chose someone to observe and saw if what the books taught me were true, but I was simply lost, and soon I was distracted. For example, in a street, I saw two persons were talking and I tried to check the instructions in a book, observing their feet directions, the distance between them, but I almost discovered nothing. They are too normal in my virtual "blind" eyes.

What would you likely do? Would you observe their body language orderly systematically i.e. from the feet, then body, then hand, then facial expressions? Or would you observe their attire and decoraton, tattoo, first?
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 09:13 pm
@iclearwater,
No.

I don't think anyone does.

The problem with body language, is any one given gesture can be the result of:
- cultural gestures
- multiple causes (see below)
- personal idiosyncrasies (discoordinated, twitchy, cant sit still etc)
- injuries / pains / discomforts

At best, I think it indicates what part of the brain a person is using, and in what way they are using it...that says nothing of context.

-----------------------------------------------------------

If you want better ideas of how to use it, how to read it:
- look up the sympathetic system (it talks about how our body physiology will mimic another persons state)
- mimic body language (it will help you understand what they are feeling)
- read up on handwriting analysis - there are startling similarities between handwriting and bodylanguage...but handwriting analysis is a much better understood field of psychology, with a lot more study having gone into that field.
- understand that all body cues (just like the eyes) indicate what part of the brain a person is accessing (this will start making more sense if you read up on handwriting analysis)

But at the end of the day, the initial problems I mentioned still exist. You have to put it into context (and the reality is, you rarely know all of a persons context, their history, their beliefs, their values, their character, their 'knowledge' etc). Its why its easier to interpret simple situations, rather than complex situations.





0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2017 10:51 pm
Thank you for all your replies. Many of them are enlightening and interesting.

Quote:
Having looked extensively into handwriting analysis, I realised that peoples guestures mirrored the nature of their handwriting.


What could you distinguish from a person's handwriting?
- Gender?
- Character?
- Eduacation background?
- Family background?
or anything else?

I'm curious about what you can find, since you read and research so much about this field. Are they very accurate?

And would you draw a similar conclusion from the handwriting by the same person if the handwriting in the language you don't know, i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc?

For example, If I write "i clear water" both in English and Chinese, hypothetically you are Chinese illiterate, would you possibly draw the same conclusion with analysis? Do the different languages matter for analysis? Wink

With handwriting analysis, do you think the cultural background is important for you? For example, do you need to know if he is English, American or Canadian, etc?
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 02:13 am
@iclearwater,
iclearwater wrote:
What could you distinguish from a person's handwriting?
- Gender?
- Character?
- Eduacation background?
- Family background?
or anything else?


Yes. I volunteer!

https://images2.imgbox.com/72/f5/oGXkdFA5_o.jpg
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 06:13 am
@centrox,
I'm not sure if you are responding to me.

Are you saying you volunteer to offer your analysis to handwriting of some forum fellows, i.e. me, or you volunteer to submit your handwriting for analysis?

centrox
 
  0  
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 06:26 am
@iclearwater,
iclearwater wrote:
I'm not sure if you are responding to me.

I challenge anyone to analyse my character from my handwriting.
 

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