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Back channel signals: A set of body language that indicates that a speaker is being heard.  They include noises such as “mhum” and “uh-huh”, gestures such as nodding and expressions such as smiling in agreement.

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Bandler, Richard, W.:  Born February 24, 1950.  Bandler is an American author on personal development and is best know for his work on NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) in association with John Grinder.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Barriers 1Barriers: Postures, gestures or inanimate objects that are placed in front of someone which are used to block off other people.  They are usually employed when someone is uncomfortable and wishes to control the space around them.  Barriers function much like security blankets, as they have an emotionally protective feature.

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Baselining or baseline or norming:  Probably one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of reading body language.  It refers to the “normal” body motions that populate the repertoire of each person.  “Normal” is defined as the body language that happens when a person is relaxed.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Baton gestures Or Hand Chop GestureBaton gestures or hand chop gesture:  A motion done with the hands to emphasize points in speech.  A baton or chop adds emotion to the words it is attached to.  It is habitually done by powerful people who have the floor and are in charge.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - BeckoningBeckoning: Using the index finger, hand, head and even the eyes to draw another person nearer.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Becoming LoudBecoming loud: An sudden increase in the volume of the voice.  Becoming loud can be due to a variety of reasons including an attempt to be noticed, to dominate a room, to express anger, frustration, act out aggressively, berate, scorn, celebrate and show excitement, display enjoyment, or due to inebriation.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Bedroom EyesBedroom eyes: Eyes who’s pupils are large and fully dilated.  Found in those who are reacting subconsciously to sexually stimulating imagery such as attractive mates.

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Beady little eyes or snake eyes: Eyes that are squinted or constricted who’s pupils are small and undilated.  It indicates fear, aggression and dislike.

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Beards: Facial hair on the chin, cheeks and sometimes the neck.  It is a nonverbal message signifying wisdom and is scholarly unless left to grow untrimmed.  In this case, it is seen as unwieldy and primitive.  Rarely does a beard indicate secretiveness, rather it is a cosmetic choice.  Bears can mean that a man looks better that way, is trying to look older, is trying to hide age by covering wrinkles, is trying to conceal a facial flaw such as a weak chin or has a rebellious or artistic personality.

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Beauty dividend: A term referring to the profit aspect to appearances.  Well studied this states that as a persons attractiveness increases so too does their earning power on a per unit basis.  Good looking people tend to receive more raises, more often and also get hired for better positions.  They’ve also been found to benefit their company with increased business and revenue over the long term.

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Becoming quiet: A sudden lowering in the volume of the voice.  Becoming quiet can be due to a variety of reasons including trying to keep secrets and remain private, to create intimacy, to inhibit drawing attention to the self, to power play people into drawing them into personal space and forcing them to listen hard or due to shyness or timidity.

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Behaviourists: A school of psychology that limits its focus to observable and quantifiable aspects of behaviour excluding emotions and motives.

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Behaviourism: A term originating from the studies of John B. Watson in 1913.  It says that behaviours can be measured, trained and changed.  According to behaviourism responses to the environmental stimuli shape people’s behaviours according to various processes such as classical and operant conditioning and reinforcement schedules.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Bent Over Posture Or Rump PresentationBent over posture or rump presentation: A submissive appeasement posture done by bending forward either facing toward or away.  When done facing away can be taken as a sexual invitation.  It says “I am offering myself in the passive female role” and is a request to be mounted.  Young girls might be seen doing this while dancing in night clubs as they grind on men.  Conversely the bow has origins in the same submissive bent over posture, however it is usually, but not always done facing whomever is being submitted.

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Bernieri, Frank:  Professor of Psychology at Oregon State University.  His primary focus of research is social perception and judgment, nonverbal behavior and communication, face-to-face interactions, multi-channel communication, interpersonal synchrony, empathy and research methodology and has published over 40 scientific articles and chapters.

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Beta males and females: Beta males and females are normally classified as anyone who does not fall into the “alpha” category, however in reality, beta is much less broad.  Betas are second in command, and the term refers to contenders or subservient who’s purpose is to serve alpha’s.  Beta’s can, at anytime, challenge the alpha for dominance and dethrone the alpha’s.  Beta’s are identified by their body language.  They can sometimes hold dominant language, but only when other alphas aren’t present.  It is important to note that alpha and beta, in humans, is a floating concept as nearly everyone is alpha and beta at one time or another, as our company which includes our culture and sub-culture varies significantly.  Beta body language includes leaning in while speaking, fidgeting, touching the face, taking on smaller body forms such as hunching the shoulders and pressing the legs together.

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Bipedalism: The human form of locomotion that involves two (bi), feet (pedal).  Bipedalism in humans produced the condition that allow men and women to use their hands to manipulate tools and communicate.  Because the feet where relegated to more rudimentary tasks, they hold more of the visceral reactions (such as running from predators, or being pulled under the table when in stressful negotiations) and so tend to be more honest.  The hands and arms are more controlled by the conscious mind, rather than the primitive mind, and so tend to be more deceitful.  In other words, bipedalism kept feet honest.

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Birdwhistell, Ray L.: American anthropologist who pioneered the study of kinesics.  He utilized slow-motion replays to analyze the actions of people.  He published a book called Introduction to Kinesics in 1952.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Blade Away Or Blade Toward Blading 1Blade away or blade toward (blading): The turning of the body with only small degrees either toward or away from stimuli that a person agrees with or disagrees with.  The turning away of the torso by degrees as an encounter becomes less and less enjoyable or to our liking.  Think of a knife that is turned on an angle so as to slice more or less steeply.  Blading away is to “turn the back on someone” when in dislike, or to blade toward so as to “face them head on” when liking is present.

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Blanching: When the surface of the body or face appears white.  It is due to the presence of extremely fearful situations that creates a flight or fight response drawing blood from the periphery and diverting it to the major muscles in the core of the body.  It is the body’s way to prepare to escape or mount an aggressive challenge.

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Blepharoplasty: A very popular surgery for Asian women is to create the double eyelid.

Asian people lack the fold or eyelid crease and so their eyes are narrowed and oval in appearance.  The surgery adds a second fold or crease in the eyelid from an eyelid without a crease, producing a rounder westernized eye.  It is proof of how important large eyes are in terms of creating attractiveness and neoteny.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Blade Away Or Blade Toward Blading 2Blocking: A term used to describe when a person wishes to distance themselves from a distressing stimulus by erecting barriers.  Blocking is a part of the fight or flight response, and takes the form of the flight element because it creates distance between things we wish to avoid.  It includes crossing the arms or legs, turning a shoulder so the body faces away, rebuttoning jackets or pulling a jacket closed, pulling the feet and arms inward, or pointing the feet toward the doorway indicating a desire to leave.

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Blowing off steam or exhaling or blowing out air through the lips: Done by forcefully exhaling air through a compressed mouth and indicates frustration, disapproval, uncertainty and an attempt at pacifying.

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Blushing: Blushing is linked to the release of adrenaline and cortisol which courses through the body when people get excited, feel pressure or are nervous.  The hormone also diverts blood flow from the digestive system and shunts it to major muscle groups giving them a burst of energy.  As a side effect, our blood vessels that deliver blood to our faces dilate, meaning they relax or open, allowing more blood to reach the surface of our face causing them to turn red.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Bodifications And TattoosBodifications and tattoos: Conscious alterations of the body such as clothing, jewelry, tattoos, severely plucked eyebrows and false nails.  More severe are the forms that are permanent such as breast implants, dramatic piercing, facelifts, liposuction, collagen insertion, etc.  The type of tattoos and art it contains can be telling of a person’s character.  Bodifications reveal a need to be different, rebelliousness, nonconformist, have an artistic nature, a desire to fit in or lower socioeconomic status (heavy tattoos).

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body CrossBody cross: A posture whereby the arms connect in some way across the front of the body to produce a safety barrier.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body CutoffBody cutoff: An orienting reflex designed to end conversations.  When people wish to exit they will cut their centerline off from the conversation as if leaving preliminarily.  The greater the angle, the less interest or more dislike is present.

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Body language (a): A subset of nonverbal communication that includes body postures, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements.

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Body language or nonverbal communication (b): A method of conveying information through conscious and subconscious gestures, body movements, postures and facial expressions.  Body language is used as conscious replacement of speech, to reinforce speech, and as an indicator of mood.

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Body language reader: A person who is receiving and decoding hidden meaning from nonverbal channels.

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Body language reader: A person who collects nonverbal language around them so as to study and interpret them.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body Language SenderBody language sender: A person who is emitting nonverbal language which is being received by another person and interpreted.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body LoweringBody lowering: A technique whereby a person takes a lower position relative to another to show that they wish to submit.  One such example is the curtsey which is done to show respect and taking a knee when interacting with someone else who is seated is another.  Dropping the head can also be a form of body lowering.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body Orientation Or Body Angling 2Body orientation or body angling:  Refers to the angle at which people sit or stand in relation to one another.  A subset of posture that is important in conveying information such as the desire to leave as when the body faces away or when weight is applied to one side over the other, disinterest when bodies lean away or liking when bodies create proximity.  The purpose to meeting is also conveyed through orientation such as confrontation, bargaining, friendship, or even indifference.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body Raising Or Elevation 2Body raising or elevation: Status and dominance are closely related to the relative height of a person which is why people are seen as leaders when they are taller.  Height can be artificially raised as well with high heels or special footware for men, by using situation specific features such as staircases, using chairs which are taller or elevated platforms such as where the judge sits overlooking his courtroom.

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Body rocking: A technique used to show a desire to leave a conversation.  It is also meant to indicate a nonverbal “time constraint.”  It is a body language expression done by design to show others that one must be someplace else in order to appear more important.   The body is rocked from weight forward to weight back, from side to side, or turning the shoulders slightly away as one does naturally when exiting conversations.  This can tell people to warp up their conversation, or when done in dating, tease women inducing them to pursue.

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Body shifting: When a person rocks back and forth while sitting or standing.  This indicates a moderate uneasiness or boredom and a desire to leave.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Body Size ReductionBody size reduction: Whenever the body is less erect and less spread than normal.  Happens by pulling the arms and legs inward, lowering the head, tucking the chin inward.  Body size reduction shows submission, timidity and shyness.

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Bottom pinching: A sexually aggressive gesture when done by a man on an attractive woman especially when un-welcomed.  It takes on three forms and has been an Italian pastime: the pizzicato which is a quick tweak with the thumb and middle finger, the vivace which is more vigorous and uses several fingers and done more than once and the sostenuto which is prolonged and heavy handed with a rotation.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Boredom 6Boredom: An emotional state whereby an individual displays disinterest in the activities or the people around them.  Boredom is indicated by fidgeting, tapping the fingers or toes, appearing to have no emotion on the face, supporting the head on the hand and leaning against walls, tables, slouching backwards, letting the eyes wonder, gazing into the distance, sighing heavily, yawning, crossing and recrossing the arms and legs, fiddling with pens, eyeglasses or papers, doodling, pointing the body away from the speaker, shifting the weight, moving the head from side to side, rolling the eyes, stretching and picking at the fingernails.

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Bounce (the): A type of gait usually found in teenage girls who walk with a springy step.  It signifies health and optimism.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Brain-Body InterplayBrain-body interplay: As it relates to body language, the brain-body interplay says that they are linked making it difficult to “untie” body expressions from the underlying emotions that compel them.  For example, it is difficult to have a negative attitude while dancing spryly.  The actions the body performs tends to bleed through into the mind and create positive or negative feelings as the case may be.  Even laughing, done for no good reason, can put someone in a good mood because it helps release all sorts of positive hormones.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Broad Smile 2Broad smile:  In this smile the upper and lower teeth are made visible and the gaze is relaxed and the smile is intended to convey joy and pleasure.  This is a true smile and not one that is easily faked because the corners of the eyes display crow’s feet.

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Broken window theory (the): Says that disorderly appearance of an area increases the incidence of crime and antisocial behaviour occurring in that area.  Graffiti, trash and litter, and other items in disrepair tend to attract more damage and litter and also those types of people likely to inflict such detritus.  In a well known city experiment, graffiti that was quickly removed tended to reduce the amount of crime occurring in the area.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Buccinator MusclesBuccinator muscles: Muscles located on the sides of the face that draw the lip corners toward the ears.  It is activated during the sneer producing dimples in the cheeks.

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Business gaze: Eye contact in a business gaze that is held about 80-90% of the time to avoid feelings of discomfort.  They eyes follow a pattern whereby they never leave the face and spend the majority of the time between the forehead and the eyes, never below.

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Buttock clasping: A sexual display of affection usually done during copulation.  It is a firm grasping of the read end during pelvic thrusting.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Buttress StanceButtress stance: A standing posture where the leg bearing the body’s weight is straight, while the other leg is extended forward and outward away from the body.  It indicates a readiness to depart.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Buy SignalsBuy signals: These are nonverbal signals that indicate that a person is ready to commit to a sale.  They include eye increased eye contact, moving in and shrinking distance, touching the chin and greater relaxation.

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Get a free start in learning body language today! Click here: Getting Started.

The Body Language Project is the result of a decade of personal research including a thorough review of over 60 primary scientific research journal articles. Learning body language forms the perfect foundation for success in ALL your communication.

If you are only picking up on what is being said, you are missing more than half of the message.

For more information on BodyLanguage be sure to check out: BodyLanguageProject.com and the Ebook – The Body Language Guide to Dating, Attraction and Sexual Body Language.