Tag Archive for Displacement

Non Verbal Body Language Dictionary ::E::

Did we forget a nonverbal term?  Suggest it in the comment box or e-mail it direct, and we’ll be ecstatic to add it!  With well over 500 terms, the BLP dictionary is growing to be the largest free nonverbal dictionary in the world!  Brought to you exclusively by The Body Language Project!  Visit our homepage for more free learning.

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

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Ear BlushingEar blushing: Reddening of the ears due to emotional stress.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Ear FlushEar grab or ear rub or ear rubbing: The ear grab refers to a subconscious desire to “hear no evil” and is done by reaching up and pulling the ear in response to hearing or saying discomforting things.

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Echoing:  Is like mirroring where similar body postures are replicated, but of which happen sometime later.  It is a technique that makes the rapport building process more subtle.  In echoing, postures and gestures are not concurrent with what is going on with others, but instead happen after some time has elapsed.  To be effective, echoing happens within thirty seconds to a minute of separation, but can even happen with several minutes of separation, where only subtle rapport is felt.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Ejector Seat PositionEjector seat position: A sitting position where the hands are placed on the thighs near the knees and the body leans forward onto them indicating a readiness to leave.  One foot might also be extended forward in the direction one wishes to leave.

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Eibl-Eeibesfeldt, Irenaus: Born in 1928, he is the founder of human ethology and has contributed many studies regarding human behaviour.

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Ejector seat position: A sitting position where the hands are placed on the thighs near the knees and the body leans forward onto them indicating a readiness to leave.  One foot might also be extended forward in the direction one wishes to leave.

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Ekman, Paul: Ekman was born in 1934 and is noted for his extensive work on facial expressions and emotions.  His key finding is that facial expressions are universal and not culturally determined denoting a biological or inherent origins rather then learned or cultural.  The key emotions include anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise.

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Elective physical characteristics: One of two types of outer physical traits that a person might have from which a person might be judged (the other being nonelective).  An elective trait includes the type of fashion chosen, tattoos, piercing, hygiene, hair style, use of make-up, accessories, and so forth.  These are important cues to the nonverbal reader since they are chosen by the wearer and so can predict underlying emotions, characteristics and personality about a person.  These elective characteristics tell about who a person would rather be.

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Embarrassment (nonverbal):  Nonverbal signals that indicate discomfort due to being out of place or being put on the spot with unwanted attention.  It is frequently confused with anger, defensiveness, or nervousness because people often wish not to be perceived as embarrassed.  It includes signals such as blushing and trembling, in addition to submissive postures such as lowering the head, turning the shoulders inward or away, avoiding eye contact, nervous laughter, shaking the head, and a freeze response which includes reduced movement overall, less gesturing and a loss for words or fleeing so as to escape the negative stimuli.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - EmblemsEmblems: Quotable gestures that have a direct verbal translation which are culturally specific which can be used as replacement for words.  The middle finger is an obvious gesture to Westerners and so too is the peace signal (or V-sign) which can also mean victory or and insult in other cultures.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Emotional Body LanguageEmotional body language: Any body language that serves to display feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, timidity or shyness, disgust, and happiness.

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Emotional commitment: In body language it refers to the lack of objectivity a nonverbalist might experience due to a premature prediction.  Because people have fallible traits, they may have a deep desire to maintain an inaccurate assessment instead of modifying their predictions as new information is presented.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Emotional DowntimeEmotional downtime: Research shows that every three seconds, on average, people ‘slip away’ to be with their own thoughts and internalize what is happening around them.  This ‘downtime’ allows our brains the time it needs to process, the information that is happening all around us.  People that are taking downtime will exhibit characteristic body language such as appearing blank in the face, pauses in breathing, subtle chewing of the lips, or very brief eye freezes or glazing over.

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Emotional intelligence:  Abbreviated EQ is a relative measure of a person’s awareness of emotions in others as well as their relative ability to deal with them in a positive way.  A part of EQ is the understanding of emotional communication coupled with the ability to emphatically convey emotions to others.

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Emotional short-circuiting: A primarily limbic response that overrides logical thought sending a person into fits of anger, panic, fear and so forth, preventing them from doing constructive work and instead sending them into various unproductive behaviour eluded to through nonverbal channels.  Only a well tuned individual such as those in the armed forces, police, paramedics, firefighters and other high stress professions can overcome emotional short-circuiting from occurring.

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Emotional suppression: Occurs when a person tries to suppress or hide emotions from others especially through their nonverbal channels.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - EmotionsBodyLanguageProjectCom - Emotions 2Emotions: Most researchers agree that the following six emotions tend to be recognized by all cultures: happiness (enjoyment), distress (sadness), anger, disgust, surprise and fear.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - EmphasisEmphasis: Gestures that usually indicate honesty though greater than normal commitment.  They are “over-the-top” and have a higher amplitude that ordinary gestures and might even be repeated several times.  Emphasizing gestures also makes them more memorable and therefore more useful when trying to deliver important information.

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Emphatic gestures:  Gestures that reinforce spoken words such as finger jabbing, batoning or chopping hands, hand clapping, foot stomping and so forth.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Encroaching 1BodyLanguageProjectCom - Encroaching 2Encroaching: Body language that takes advantage of proxemics to violate a person’s personal space and territory.  It involves standing too close, standing over someone by exploiting height differences, touching when un-welcomed, and even raising voices or the volume of music to violate the privacy and comfort of others.

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Endorphins: A natural painkilling hormone that is released to sooth the body as a result of touching from others or the self and high physical stress or strain.  Self soothing or stroking such as rubbing the hands, the arms or the hair are nonverbal cues indicating a need for endorphins to sooth and that stress is present.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Energy DisplacementEnergy Displacement: When someone talks about energy displacement and body language they are talking about movements that spawn relief.  For example, someone that is nervous or excited will rub their legs, but they can also rub their hands together or stroke an object vigorously.  The action gives them something to do and also allows them to release some of their pent-up energy.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Enthusiasm NonverbalEnthusiasm (nonverbal): Refers to the relative amplitude that is carried through on the nonverbal message.  We say that a person is enthusiastic when they gesture with exaggerated motions, commit to them throughout their message, use different variations if messages are misinterpreted, and sometimes even repeat them.  Using arms in speech such as pointing, hitting the fist against the palm, jumping up and down, raising the voice and flashing the eyes, are just a few examples of showing enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm has been positively tied to honesty in nonverbal messages.

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Environmental cues or artifacts: These are objects that form part of a person’s habitat (house, office, etc.) which provide clues to their character and disposition.  They include a person’s automobile, their house and how it is decorated, their accolades in their office, photographs they keep on the wall and so forth.

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Erythrophobia:  A term applied to a medical condition that creates blushing due to the fear of blushing.  Blushing is a reflex controlled unconsciously by our sympathetic nervous system, but in people with this condition the mere fear of blushing causes them to blush, and so they blush much more frequently with minimal stimulus.  In body language, it is a misleading nonverbal message since the conditions by which they occur are somewhat detached from a regular person.  In other words, the condition produces blushing that does not indicate severe stress or discomfort.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Escape MovementsEscape movements: Any body language that indicates a desire to leave a situation.  The most common type of cue includes pointing the toes toward the doorway.  A second cue is casting the eyes in any direction other then conversation at hand to seek ways of exiting.

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Ethology: From the Greek work “ethos” meaning “character” is the scientific study of animal behaviour, however in recent times it has been extended to human behaviour and social organizations.  Because of its origins, it is a subtopic of zoology.  The study of ethology draws from many other disciplines including ecology, evolution, neurology, physiology, and when applied to humans, psychology, sociology or biopsychology.  Ethology follows animal emotions, animal cultures and sexual behaviour.  A large part of the framework by which behaviour is typed is based on evolution by natural selection.  When ethology deals with humans it strongly relates to inherited or natural body language.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - European Leg Cross 2BodyLanguageProjectCom - European Leg Cross 1European leg cross (the): A sitting position whereby the leg is crossed neatly over the other.  It is the most common seating position in European, Asian and British cultures.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Evaluative Body Language Or Critical Evaluation 3BodyLanguageProjectCom - Evaluative Body Language Or Critical Evaluation 1BodyLanguageProjectCom - Evaluative Body Language Or Critical Evaluation 2Evaluative body language or critical evaluation: Gestured that indicate that a person hasn’t yet, but is working toward a decision.  They include chin stroking or hand resting on cheek or chin, removing or putting on glasses, neck rubbing, stoking the side of the nose, looking upward and so forth.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Evasive ActionsEvasive actions: Nonverbal body language such as distancing, turning away, eye avoidance and turning the feet toward an exit that indicate a desire to escape a stimuli.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Evil EyesEvil eyes: Unblinking staring eyes fill with contempt.

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Exhaling or “blowing off steam”: A rapid expulsion of air indicating tension or frustration.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Expansive MovementsExpansive movements: A dominance driven response to appear larger and more authoritative.  It includes leg and arm spreading, puffing out the chest, placing the hands on the hips, and so forth.  Men are usually those who use expansive movements whereas women typically use diminutive movements which are the polar opposite.

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Extended eye blink or extended blink or extended eye closure: The extended eye blink is performed by arrogant individuals as they temporarily shut off the outside world as if it were irrelevant.  They are sending a message to others that what they are doing and feeling isn’t worth their energy and thought and that they either bore them, or they are superior to you.  The extended blink is a form of eye blocking which protects a person from distasteful images and ideas.

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Extravagance: A person who habitually goes over the top with the objects and events in their life.  This type of person is usually more concerned about what other people think and have a desire to be accepted.  Someone can be said to be extravagant if they own expensive toys especially if they are rarely used.

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Extravagant dresser or extravagant fashion: A type of style which is more focused on style rather than on comfort.  This type of dresser is image conscious, suffers from poor self-esteem and has a desire to be accepted by others.  Extravagance includes expensive watches, colour coordinated accessories, manicured nails and expensive haircuts.

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Extroverts: People that become energized by stimulus and seek out noisy and busy environments.  Extroverts have a high tolerance for stimulus and require a lot to keep themselves amused.  Amusement parks, busy downtown areas, any place with lots of movement and loud noises make the extrovert feel at ease.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye Accessing CuesEye accessing cues: A technique stemming from NLP that assesses thoughts based on eye movements.  For example, eyes up and left indicates a visual imagined thought which can provide clues to lying, whereas up and right indicates visual remembered.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye AversionEye aversion:  Eye aversion is used to prevent other from resorting to an attack response and prevents others from seeing us as a threat.  Subordinates commonly avoid eye contact with dominant individual to indicate submission and respect.

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Eyeball assault: When a person becomes overly aggressive with eye contact.  Eye assault happens when men appear to undress women, or stare other men down.  Women might appear to give “dirty looks.”  Assault is a matter of length and type.  Lingering stares of unbroken eye contact is the high of eyeball assault.  Eyeball assault violates the moral looking time.

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Eye blink rate: Refers to periods of excitement as it relates to an increase in blinking.  The more we blink the more we are prepared for action as we keep our eyes moist.  Pronounced eye blinking can happen during sexual arousal and attraction or while under pressure.  A rapid series of eye blinks can also indicate an inner struggle or distress.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye BlockingEye blocking: A term used to describe eyes that are constricted by squinting, covered with the hands, or shielded in any other way, in response to negative stimuli.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eyebrow CockEyebrow cock: A mixed eyebrow movement where one eyebrow is raised while the other is lowered.  It represents both aggression and fear at the same time due to the division of high and low, and when mixed, indicates suspicion or skepticism.

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Eyebrow flash: The eyebrow flash has been studied for decades most notably by Eibl-Eibesfeldt and has been shown to be a long distance universal social greeting.  It is a sort of nonverbal “hello”.  The eyebrow flash happens very briefly and lasts only about one-sixth of a second.

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Eyebrow hold:  Happens when the eyebrows raise and pause for a second when someone seeks an approval gesture such as a head nod or vocal agreement.  It indicates a lack of knowledge or even helplessness.  Politicians and children do this often when they seek approval, it says “So, what do you think, have I don’t a good job?”

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Eyebrow(s) knit: The eyebrows are raised simultaneously and drawn inward toward each other producing both horizontal creases in the forehead and vertical creases between the eyebrows.  It signifies intense grief and anxiety.

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Eyebrow lowering:  Eyebrows that are lowered indicate confrontation, anger and aggression, but if they are dropped low enough and kept low, they indicate deep weakness and insecurity.

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Eyebrows shrug: The eyebrows are raised, held for a moment, then lowered.  It signifies mild, yet unpleasant surprise and may be used in speech to emphasize certain important points.

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Eye coding: Nonverbal communication done exclusively through eye contact and eye patterns.  Eye coding is the conveyance of meaning and information between two or more people, usually women (and gay men).  It is especially applicable in PUA where women will approve or disapprove of the pick-up of others in their group based on looks alone.  In other words, eye coding is when women verify the impressions of their friends of the man who has approached.  Conveyed meaning include “I think this guy is cute/creepy”, “We should leave”, “I’m okay, you can go” and so forth.

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Eye contact: Refers to two people looking directly into each other’s eyes (versus their toward their face, mouth or body).

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye DirectionEye direction: Eye movements are a key component of NLP whereby eye direction outlines thought process.  For most right-handed people, eye movement up and to the left is a signal of accessing a visual memory, movement up and right means that a person is trying to construct a visual image.  Eyes either right or left, but still level, indicate an auditory process such as remembering sounds and words.  Down and left indicate internal dialogue or self talk and down and right indicate a tactile or visceral feeling.  When the eyes are straight ahead, unfocused or dilated they signal visual or any sensory information.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye FlashEye flash:  The eye flash lasts on average for only 0.75 seconds and is a momentary widening of the eyelids during a conversation.  It includes no involvement of the eyelids.  The widening is usually wide enough to reveal the sclera which is the whites of the surrounding the iris.  The eyeflash when given by a speaker, emphasizes specific words being spoken and can serve to change the meaning of a given word or phrase.  It normally accompanies adjectives rather than any other parts of speech, and women use it more often them men.

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Eye flutter or eye fluttering: An increase in the rate of blinking in response to arousal, nervousness or concern.  The eyes flutter in response to an internal struggle.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye-GazeEye-gaze:  Happens when the gaze is directed toward the eyes of another but of which that person might not reciprocate (as in mutual gaze).

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Eye gaze behaviour: Eye patterns that show hidden meaning and hidden thoughts.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye Glasses Body LanguageEye glasses body language: Eye glasses carry many stereotypic nonverbal messages, most of which are positive.  Researchers have found that subjects rate wearers of glasses are more intelligent, knowledgeable and studious.  In fact, they are attributed with an increase in IQ.  In contrast, when women wear glasses with provocative attire they conjure images of naughty librarians and so carry multiple meanings.  Eye glasses though can also decrease social quotients when the remaining nonverbals don’t measure up producing an image of nerdiness.

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Eye movements: Originated by American psychologist Grinder and Bandler and part of NLP – eye movements, specifically directions, are useful in predicting channels of thought accessed by a person.  They can signify recalling sights, smells, tastes, or tactile memories.  When people remember things they saw, their eyes will move upwards, if they recall something they heard, they will look to the side, emotions are recalled by looking down or to the right, and when accessing constructed memories, people will look down and to the left.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye Rolling Or Eye ShrugEye rolling or eye shrug: This cue is done by rolling the eyes around in a semi circle from bottom to top, or looking straight up.  It says disbelief as in “I can’t believe you just said this, you are a fool”, contempt, sarcasm, and a lack of respect.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye Rubbing 1BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eye Rubbing 2Eye rubbing: Occurs as the hand comes up and rubs the eye with the eyelid closed.  This is widespread gesture indicating a negative thought and disbelieve in what is being said.  The underlying thought is that a person “can’t believe what they are seeing.”

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Eyes defocused or eyes unfocused: When the eyes are unmoving and stare blankly.  Indicates that attention is focused inward rather than outward.

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Eyes flutter or batting eyes: When the eyelids are opened and closed in rapid succession.  Used to invoke feelings of protectiveness in others by appearing more childlike.

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Eyes glistening: Eyes that appear moist due to active tear ducts.  Indicates arousal that is an order less than that which produces actual tears.  It can show passion, love, anguish, distress, or bereavement.

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Eyes multi-blink: A rapid eyelid movement open and closed when a person is on the verge of tears.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eyes Narrowing Or Eyes Squinting Or FurrowingEyes narrowing or eyes squinting or furrowing: When the eyelids are compressed constricting the eyes.  Indicates contempt, distaste and distain.

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Eyes super-blink: An exaggerated closing of the eyelids that is slow in speed but has a high amplitude.  It is used to indicate feigned surprise as in “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Eyes Weep Or CryingEyes weep or crying: When the eyes produce secretions due to extreme pain or joy.

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Eye widening: Eye widening is a positive nonverbal cue indicating that someone is observing positive stimuli that bring them joy and happiness.  The size of the eyes directly indicates how positive someone is about a topic or other stimuli.

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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.

Non Verbal Body Language Dictionary ::P::

Did we forget a nonverbal term?  Suggest it in the comment box or e-mail it direct, and we’ll be ecstatic to add it!  With well over 500 terms, the BLP dictionary is growing to be the largest free nonverbal dictionary in the world!  Brought to you exclusively by The Body Language Project!  Visit our homepage for more free learning.

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

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Pat (the): Done near the end of a hug when a person wishes to “submit” and break away – ending the hug.

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Patterning: A rapport building speech technique that involves mirroring the types of words used by another person within a category, meaning either, visual, auditory or kinesthetic.  For example, if your target used sentences like “I see that” implying they are a visual learner, one would pattern them by asking them “how does that look to you?” or “You’d really look good doing such and such.”

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pacifier 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pacifier 1Pacifier: A nonverbal cue that is done to produce calm such as stroking the hair, mouthing a pencil, smoking a cigarette, licking the lips, rubbing the chin, and so forth.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pacify 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pacify 2Pacifying or pacify or self-stimulating gestures: Gestures done specifically to sooth or calm underlying stress, anxiety and emotional discomfort, as a child would do by sucking on a pacifier.  They include sucking on a pen or finger, stroking the hair or arm, touching the neck, and any myriad of other person specific cue. By watching for pacifiers the nonverbalist can uncover sources of anxiety in real time as pacifiers follow closely with their originators.

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Pace: A speech related term referring the relative speed with which communication takes place.  The speed of speech tells us about the character of a person through nonverbal channel.  Those who speak quickly are thought to be of lower confidence, while those that speak too slowly – of lower intelligence.  Having “good pace” is when there is proper balance between quickness and slowness where confidence is conveyed.  Pace covers appropriate pausing, and rhythm.

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Pacing (a): A classic of anxiety and a form of energy displacement because it gives us something to do and burns extra calories and releases positive natural pain killers to create relaxation.

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Pacing (b): When two people match speech patterns exactly or nearly, we can this “pacing.”

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Pale face or Blanching: Terms used to describe a white appearance that is cast over the face during periods of high anxiety or illness.  When the body enters its flight or fight response, blood is diverted from the body’s periphery to its large muscle groups including the legs and arms.  This draws blood away from the face and neck to make them appear white.

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Pale skin or pale complexion: When the skin is very light due to lack of UV exposure.  This is due to having few outdoor activities and lacking vanity to use artificial tanning machines like tanning beds.  Other reasons include a health conscious attitude leading a person to protect the skin against harmful rays, a cold climate keeping a person indoors or when sun exposure is limited to geographic location.

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Palmar sweat glands: Sweat glands that are found in the grip lines in the palms that respond directly to stress rather than to an increase in temperature.  Interestingly, while sleeping and under relaxed conditions these glands are not activated, however as stress increases, palm sweating increases, so these provide a good indicator of stress.  If palms are bone dry, one is relaxed.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Palm Down DisplayPalm down: Palm down displays show emphatically that a position is held confidently.  Hands usually are palm down on a table when speaking on a topic or issue.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Palm Flash Or Palm Display Or Palm Up 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Palm Flash Or Palm Display Or Palm Up 3 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Palm Flash Or Palm Display Or Palm Up 1Palm flash or palm display or palm up:  In evolutionary terms, the palm display is an important gesture signifying honesty because it is a way to make evident to others that no threat or weapon is present (such as spear, sword or bow and arrow). Palm flashes are essentially what would have happened thousands of years ago when two foreign tribes met.  Palm and wrist displays have also been noted to be sexual in nature and more frequently flashed by women during courtship likely because it is such a vulnerable part of the body.

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Palm down handshake: A palm orientation where it faces downward and is dominant in nature.

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Palm up handshake: Where the palm is oriented to face upward meant to show submissiveness.

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Palm even handshake: Where the palms of both handshakers are perfectly vertical (neither up, nor down) indicating an egalitarian relationship.

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Palm finger stroke: A gestures that happens by stroking the inside of the palm with the fingers.  Palm finger stroking is due to doubt or mild confidence issues.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Palm PowerPalm power: The harnessed ability to convey diverse meaning with use of the palms alone.  Palm-up, palm-down and palm even all represent different things, from authority to submission.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pan Faced Or Stone FacedPan faced or stone faced: A term with similar meaning as “poker face” that describes a face devoid of emotional expression.

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Panhandler’s approach (the):  Making eye contact is a way to personify other people and by the same measure, avoiding eye contact makes people insignificant.  This is why eye contact is avoided between masters and their servants, bosses and certain employees, and regular citizens and panhandlers.  It says “I don’t recognize your existence.”

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Parade: Women emphasize their hips with a walk called the “parade” which happens when a woman walks with exaggerated swinging or rolling of the hips, back arched, stomach flat, breasts protruding, and head held high.  Studies show us that women out of committed relationship naturally walk in this manner to attract attention.

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Paralanguage or paralinguistic sounds or paralingual: Those elements of speech that are “para” (beside) the words which are spoken such as pitch, tone of voice, rate of speech, intensity or emphasis and volume.  These all convey additional meaning that is on top of the meaning conveyed by words.  Tone of voice can convey emotions, personality can come through voice quality and speech errors can provide indications of mood.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Parallel LegsParallel legs:  Happens when the legs are crossed one leg over the knee, but with the legs pressed together.  One leg pressed against the other makes the legs sexier and more youthful in appearance.  The legs parallel is a sign of femininity because men aren’t able to perform this posture.

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Paraverbal and verbal cues in deception: At times verbal and paraverbal cues betray the liar and these are cues tied directly to the words in which they speak.  Although they fall outside the realm of body language at large, they do define cues associated with deception.  They include vocal tension, hectic speech, faltering speech, expressing self doubt, negative complaints or statements, defensiveness or aggressiveness, changes in pitch (high low or monotone), shaky or soft voice, stuttering, false starts, silent pauses, filled pauses, delayed response, appearing to be thinking, admitted lack of memory, tentative construction of sentences, , improper structure or grammar, implausible story, inconsistent story, superfluous details, clearing the throat and spontaneous corrections.

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Parted lips: A sexual attraction signal done by women.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Partial Arm Cross 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Partial Arm Cross 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Partial Arm Cross 3Partial arm cross: Includes holding the opposite elbow in the hand, with that hand dropped to the side.  It can also happen by reaching across to grab the opposite shoulder.  Both postures form a barrier across the core of the body and signals to others that they don’t wish others to come close.

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Passive listening: The opposite of active listening where a person does not reflects on what is being said and lacks nonverbal indicators.  A passive listener holds poor or no eye contact, is sometimes unblinking as if glazed over, orients away from the speaker with their torso despite facing them, and fails to nod their head at all or nods inappropriately.

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Pat on the behind: A sexual, but sometimes friendly slap done to the rear end.  When done by men on women it usually takes on a sexual meaning, but sports athletes commonly use the gesture to build comradery.

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Patting: A reassurance gesture done by repeatedly and rhythmically applying the hand to the back, head, thigh or other.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - PeacockingPeacocking: A term used by the pick-up artist community that describes the dress or fashion designed specifically to attract attention from women and initiate conversations.  It usually involves wearing something unique, sometimes ridiculous, such as an interesting hat, or something flashy like a glowing necklace.  Peacocking also describes a state of mind that is willing to stand up to pressures from outside forces stemming from other alpha males who might try to put the pick-up artist off with his unique attire.

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Pease, Allan: An Australian author and motivational speaker who has studied for almost four decades in the field of body language.  His book “The definitive book of body language” is a multi-million seller.  Pease began life as a musician, who later moved on to life insurance sales before embarking on a career in training and education.  Allan Pease’s original book “Body language” brought him international recognition inspiring him to co-write “Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps”, “Why men don’t have a clue and women always need more shoes”, “Why men want sex and women need love”, “Easy Peasey: people skills for life” with the help of his wife Barbara Pease.

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Peering over glasses or looking over glasses: A disdain, contempt, haughty and judgmental attitude is felt by the bearer of this posture.  Sometimes the head is lowered and the eyes peer over top of the glasses, other times the glasses are pulled down the bridge of the nose in accompaniment with a glare.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pecking Forward 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pecking Forward 2Pecking forward: A term stemming from the PUA (pick up artist) community that describes men who, in dating situations, tend to lean forward to appease women they are attempting to attract.  It makes men appear needy rather than dominant and instead of showing interest, shows that men aren’t chase worthy in the eyes of women.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Peek-a-boo GamePeek-a-boo game: An adult game where eyes are hidden from view with objects such as menus, drinking glasses, and even other people.  It is often sexual in nature where the absence of the eyes is made better with their resurgence.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Penis Sheath, Koteka, Horim, Or Penis GourdPenis sheath, koteka, horim, or penis gourd: It is an ornamental phallic object (a dried gourd) worn over the penis by native males in New Guinea.  The penis sheath is significant as nonverbal cue because it shows the ubiquity of male genital displays.  Western men will draw attention through finger pointing by placing fingers in belt loops and aiming them downward toward the penis, or by spreading the legs while sitting.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pensive Displays 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pensive Displays 2Pensive displays: Gestures that indicate thought is occurring such as fingers stroking the chin, cheek stroking, taping a pen against the chin and temple rubbing.

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Perception: The ability to see and read another person’s body language coupled with the ability to translate it to accurate and useful descriptors that help decipher otherwise hidden intentions, emotions and thought patterns.  A person is perceptive when they see an entire person by summing up all of its silent communication and when they are able to spot contradictions between spoken words and their body language.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Personal Space 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Personal Space 1Personal space: Generally there are four common distances by which people interact.  They are intimate distances which includes is about 18 inches or less, personal distance from 18 inches to 5 feet, social distance which is from 5 to 10 feet and public distance which is from 10 feet to 25 feet.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Personal Space ThreatsPersonal space threats: Encroachment upon the boundaries of a person causing a visceral fight or flight response.

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Personal space zone: A distance of interaction that is from 18 inches to about 5 feet which we use to communicate to friends and those we trust or have a history with.  All others are denied access.  Our personal space has been referred to as a “bubble”, since it encircles us, but it more closely resembles a cylinder.  Personal space zones vary from culture to culture.

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Personalities:  A dynamic and organized set of characteristics held by a person that influences their motivation, cognition and body language.  The word “personality” has origins in the Latin “persona” meaning mask.  Personality plays an important role in the body language that typifies individuals.  It is these signals that make everyone unique and predictable.

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Persuasive appeal: Described by Aristotle in On Rhetoric as Ethos, who addresses persuasive appeal based on character and the qualities that make him credible, Pathos who appeals to emotion and Logos who addresses the logic behind given arguments.  The nonverbalist requires all three elements to appeal to those around him.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Phallic Displays Or Crotch Displays Or Genital Presentation Or Genital DisplaysPhallic displays or crotch displays or genital presentation or genital displays: Gestures which flaunt the genitals and draw emphasis toward them.  Framing the genitals with the hands or fingers by placing the thumbs in a belt look and aiming the fingers downward is a sexual display of dominance.  Other times, the legs can be spread wide open while seated or standing to draw attention to the midsection.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Phallic Mimicry Or Phallic Symbols Or Phallus 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Phallic Mimicry Or Phallic Symbols Or Phallus 2Phallic mimicry or phallic symbols or phallus: Referring to objects appearing like a penis and meant to replace them commonly called phallic symbols.  In nonverbal communication phallic symbols that imitate the male sexual organ are incorporated in attraction by females to create interest.  For example, stroking the stem of a whine glass, patting the fingers to the mouth, eating a banana with enthusiasm, or mouthing a pen or cigarette shows sexual intention and desire.

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Pheromones: Chemicals emitted by the body of a unique signature usually associated with sexual attraction.  Women and men emit these scents naturally through the various parts of their body to peek the interest of the opposite sex.

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Physical appearance:  The nonverbal signals that are tied directly to the physic of a person such as their body shape and size, height, facial shape, attractiveness, eyebrows, hair and hair colour, hairiness, skin pigmentation or blemishes and so forth.  Immutable physical attributes carry many stereotypical implications which influence the perceptions of other people and are particularly important when forming first impressions.  Physical appearance liking or disliking is also culturally influenced and variable across generations.

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Physiognomy: A concept whereby facial features, expressions and their outer appearance are thought to indicate a person’s character, personality, nature as well as their ethnic origin.  The word physiognomy is from Greek “physis” meaning “nature” and “gnomon” meaning “judge” or “interpreter.”  Recent research has linked traits such as trustworthiness, social dominance and aggression to levels of testosterone during development signifying an underlying biological origin.  Physiognomy says that aggressive people have wider, more angular faces, whereas nice people have rounder and less sharp faces.

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Pick-up artist: A man (usually) or women who is committed to attracting and seducing members of the opposite sex through specific tailored methods.  The culture is highly technical and loosely connected through a community.  The PUA is learned in sociology, biology, zoology, evolution and psychology.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pigeon ToesPigeon toes: Having the toes pointed inwards, often called pigeon toes or anatomically “tibial torsion” shows meek body language.  Children and women who are smitten will point their toes inwards.  It signals that they are willing to follow more dominant individuals.  It is reminiscent of making the body appear smaller and less threatening.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pinching The Bridge Of NosePinching the bridge of nose: An evaluative gesture.  Indicates deep thought or a negative emotion.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pinocchio EffectPinocchio effect: Derived from the popular fairytale about the boy who’s nose grew when he told lies, the Pinocchio effect has roots in biology that says that a person’s nose actually does increase blood flow during high stress, anxiety or during lying and so it “grows” and swells.  This increase in blood flow produces a sensation which creates a desire in a person to touch or scratch their nose giving them away.

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Pitch: Pitch is a voice quality describing the number of vibrations emitted from the vocal cords in a unit of time.  The greater the vibrations, the higher the pitch, and therefore the higher the note achieved.  The rate of vibration is in turn controlled by the length and thickness of the vocal cords and how they are contracted or relaxed.  In most cases, men’s voices are of lower pitch than women’s, but even men can tighten their vocal cords enough to achieve comparable pitch so is therefore partly under conscious control.  The highness and lowness of natural voices is affected by the body chemical androgen which is the male sex hormone.  The same hormone is tied to physical prowess and aggressiveness and also loosely tied to a competitor’s health and vigor making a low voice attractive to females when it is found in men.  To the nonverbal world, meaning is conveyed through pitch as when emotions run high the voice can raise such as when screaming, and be lowered when trying to sound authoritarian.  Pitch also tells us what kind of person we are dealing with, be they subordinate with higher pitch or dominant with lower pitch.  When authority is concerned a lower pitch is preferred to a high pitch.  A high pitch says ineffective no matter how capable the person.  A low pitch can also signal depression and weariness.

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Pituitary gland: The pituitary gland or hypophysis is structure about the size of a pea weighing only 0.02 ounces located at the base of the brain.  It is an endocrine gland which is under the direct control of the hypothalamus.  The pituitary gland produces many hormones but the most important in body language is oxytocin and endorphins which are released to produce a calming effect and reduce pain.  Various patterns of nonverbal behaviour can be seen in accompaniment with the desire to release calming hormones or lack thereof.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Planes Of The Eyes 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Planes Of The Eyes 2Planes of the eyes: A body language technique to built trust and equality or the exact oppose where the eyes are kept at the same level as someone else or raised higher.  If a person is sitting or standing, then body lowering or rising is used to maintain or not maintain even planes.  When equality is sought, eyes are kept level, when dominance is desired, eyes are kept higher and when subordination is desired, eyes are lowered.

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Poker face or block face:  This is a term originating from the card game which describes a face that shows no expression or emotion.  Block face is another word with the same meaning, in this case, it relates the face to an expressionless object.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pointing 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pointing 2Pointing:  The pointer is akin to a spear thrower.  Every time they thrusts their finger forward, it is as if they are jabbing their ideas into their audience.  We see this most often during aggressive verbal fights where the accuser is making strong personal attacks against the other.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pointing KneePointing knee: A sitting posture whereby the leg is tucked under and sat on.  It indicates high comfort because it prohibits a quick escape.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pointing Toes 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pointing Toes 1Pointing toes: An intention indicator.  The toes point in the direction the mind wants to “travel.”

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Polygraph or lie detector machine: A machines that reads changes in heart rate, blood pressure and increases in perspiration or respiration in order to detect deception.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Polite SmilePolite smile: Used with people we only know in passing or not at all.  The teeth are shown and the lips are curved upward modestly.

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Position of invisibility: The chairs found alongside the wall in a boardroom setting.  These are the second-tier chairs and ones in which no participation is required at all.

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Position of neutrality or seating position of neutrality or neutral sitting position: The seating positions located on either side of the stardust chairs (which flank the head seating position).  This seating position is commonly overlooked and is rarely expected to participate in the conversation since they are surrounded by alphas who are seeking attention.

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Position of secondary influence: The seating position which falls dead center of the table immediately after the position of neutrality.  This is a position which lends to active participation since it is easier to cast eyes on the middle yet not as powerful as the stardust chairs.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Postural Tonus 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Postural Tonus 2Postural tonus: A term referring to the relative rigidity and erectness of the body and its overall posture.  A “slopper” holds his shoulders rounded and head hanging downward proving to be depressed, drowsy or ill whereas “the scout” carries himself fully erect with shoulders back and head held high depicting confidence and good spirit.

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Postural patterns: Define the movement and positioning of the body such as closed or open body positions, rigid or loose torso, rounded shoulders or upright and so forth.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - PosturePosture:  A term derived from the Latin verb “ponere” meaning “to put in place” and refers to the way the body is held including the arms, legs and spine.  Posture refers not only to the erectness of our bodies, but also to our body orientation, direction of lean, and the degree to which our bodies are open and inviting. Good posture happens when the joints are not bent, the spine is aligned and not twisted and the person is able to optimally balance the mass of the body over its framework without stress.  Posture tells us a lot about a person and their history and feelings about themselves and how they feel about others.  For example, shoulders hunched carries negative sentiments whereas shoulders back mean confidence.  Posture can give way to feelings of like or dislike, interest or disinterest as well as many other sentiments.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - PoutingPouting: A facial gesture done by pressing the lips together and pushing them forward and crunching the eyebrows downward and inward as if in grief.  This gesture is usually done by small children or by adults resorting to juvenile characteristics trying to secure affection, privilege, resource, or reward of some kind from another person.  The gesture signifies a negative emotion due to the grief element of the puckered lips and scrunched eyebrows.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pouting Lips Or PuckeringPouting lips or puckering: A desire to be kissed when done by women in dating situations.  Sometimes occurs only very slightly or barely perceivable.

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Power dressing: A term originating with the feminist movement as women began to enter to workforce.  With it came padded shoulders, male-type attire such as dark business suites.  Eventually power dressing turned more feminine with elaborate colours and styles, and then only briefly more sexual attire such as short skirts.  Power dressing today is more of a universal term for men and women who wish to rise in the ranks by looking stylish.

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Power player (the) (a): One of three types in business.  They are someone that arrive slightly late, spends most of their time with other leaders, interrupts others more often, and will try to sit where they can influence the most people possible.

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Power player (the) (b): A person who is usually versed in nonverbal communication or else one who is proficient at using it so as to gain the advantage and manipulate people subconsciously into serving their needs.

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Power plays: Nonverbal communication that takes advantage of the channel so as to yield desirable results in a zero-sum game.  Zero-sum refers to only one (or several) winners and one (or several losers), but of which there is no mutual benefit between those interacting.  Using height differences to control, using touch to manipulate, using smiles to gain favours and flirting to gain access to resources are all nonverbal power plays.

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Power lift (the): A technique used to control the eyes of another person usually in a business situation.  It is done by using a pen to point toward information of interest then lifting the pen and holding it in between your eyes and their eyes to creates a magnetic effect.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Power SittingPower sitting: Most dominant sitting position are ineffective for women because it inadvertently increases their sexuality (leg spreading – crotch display, full body steeple).  One way they can reverse it is by power sitting.  It is done by sitting with the legs crossed, leg over knee and point the heel horizontally at someone they wish to intimidate.

The heel acts like a dagger against its prey – it emasculates men.

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Power stare (the): A technique that builds strength by using an unblinking eye while maintaining eye contact followed by narrowed eyelids and increased focus.  Eyes can also be moved from one person to another without blinking for added effect – usually done by first moving the eyes, then following with the head.  When done correctly, the power stare recreates a predator-prey relationship causing emotional discomfort.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Power TiePower tie: A term referring to a particularly fashionable necktie that brings with it confidence and the ability to close deals.

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Power venting: Dramatic and sometimes violent outburst of nonverbal behavior stemming from anger and frustration.  They include temper tantrums, throwing things, passive aggression, punching walls, storming off, crying, and other forms of drama.

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Practical dresser or practical fashion: A type of style which is more focused on functionality and utility instead of extravagance.  People who wear practical attire are at ease with themselves, are not self-centered, are willing to go against the grain so as to feel comfortable in their clothing, and are frugal.

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Prance (the): A playful gait which is peppered with unnecessary leaps and bounces.

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Pregnant pause (the): A sudden cessation of free-flowing conversation.  It usually accompanies a provocative or threatening topic.  The pregnant pause signifies that a person has been taken off-guard or has been derailed and is taking some time to collect his or her thoughts.  The pause is due to a fear reaction from a “deer in the headlights.”  Brief pauses mean something different and can signify anger, frustration, or disgust as a person takes a moment to cool off before speaking.

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Pressing the flesh:  Descriptive term given to intimate handshakes which are usually reserved for politicians.

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Pretend fear or sadness: A facial expression where there is no accompanying forehead movement.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Primary Emotions Anger BodyLanguageProjectCom - Primary Emotions Disgust BodyLanguageProjectCom - Primary Emotions Happiness BodyLanguageProjectCom - Primary Emotions SadnessPrimary emotions:  First identified by naturalist Charles Darwin which include the six main universal facial expressions and their root causes – happiness, sadness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise.

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Professional touching: Touching in a business setting including shaking hands with a client, a dentist working on your teeth or a doctor checking for discomfort.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Prolonged Eye ContactProlonged eye contact: When eye contact continues for longer than normal.  This extended eye contact can be due to sexual interest, hostility, aggression or defensiveness.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Protective Reflexes 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Protective Reflexes 2Protective reflexes: Instinctive movements of the body which guard vulnerable areas such as the head, neck, groin and ventral side.  Protective reflexes includes crossing the arms and legs to protect the heart and lungs and the genitals from attack, or turning the body away and head down.  Protective reflexes often arise due to emotional threat rather than physical threat which is unexpected indicating that these movements are evolutionary throwaways to a time when physical harm was much more common than it is today.

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Proxemics: The study of how people use space.  First introduced by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in the 1960’ to describe the implications distances play between people as they interact.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - ProximityProximity: An important aspect of nonverbal communication that indicates liking and agreement.  When agreement is formed, people will move closer to one another by leaning forward or extending body parts such as feet and hands.  When disagreement is present, the reverse will happen, arms will be drawn inward and people will tend to step away.  One of the key elements of dating, is increased proximity.

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Provine, Robert: Born in 1943, Dr. Provine is a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who has published over fifty research papers within developmental neuroscience and neural mechanisms of behaviour over a span of thirty years.  He is the foremost researcher of laughter with other focus on the development, evolution and neural mechanisms of behavior.  He uses human social behaviour in an interdisciplinary method to understand the development and evolution of the nervous system as well as human social behaviour.  Recent studies have focused on nonverbal aspects such as laughter, yawning, tickling, and behavioral contagion.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pseudo-Infantile GesturesPseudo-infantile gestures:  Nonverbal signals stemming from childhood that create submission and produce sympathy, compassion, attention and avoid attack. Ducking or bowing the head, cowering, rolling the shoulders and slumping are a few examples.

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Psychology: Is a realm of study that looks at human and animal behaviour related to mental functions such as neurology and physiology.  Psychologists study topics such as perception, cognition, emotion, motivation, personality and interpersonal relationships through various studies that examine cause and effect, versus correlational relationships.  They look at family, employment, education and treatment of mental health issues.  Body language fits into psychology by tying human behaviour with underlying motivation and emotions.  Body language plays an important factor in interpersonal relationships and psychologists tackle these issues.

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Public space zone: A distance of 12 feet or greater which we use when addressing a large crowd as is the case when presenting or performing.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - Pulling PunchesPulling punches: A playful fighting gesture where false punches are applied to another person to strengthen bonds.

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Pupil dilation or papillary constriction: Pupil dilation is an aspect of nonverbal communication which outlines when arousal is taking place. Under stress or arousal of any kind, be it liking or visceral disliking, the pupils expand so as to allow more light in.  This can include stress and fear due to lying, any other fearful situation and even attraction.

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BodyLanguageProjectCom - PupillometricsPupillometrics:  The study of pupil size in relation to emotion such as liking, interest, fear and dislike.

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Putdown humour: Putdown humour is any humour that derives amusement at the expense of others.  It can be demeaning jokes, teasing, sarcasm or even a self-deprecating remark.  Laughter at the expense of others and their misfortunes can create togetherness and solidarity.

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Puts, David: An anthropologist at Penn State University.  Dr. Puts studies the neuroendocrine and evolutionary bases of human behavior, with special focus on the development and evolution of behavioral sex differences.  Puts studies how sex hormones affect psychology, behaviour, effects of menstrual cycle-related changes in ovarian hormones, as well as sexual selection and the evolution of sexual dimorphism, including the evolution sex differences in voices, faces, bodies, brains, and behavior.  Throughout his studies, he looks at nonverbal channels of communication and has published several journal articles on the topic.

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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.

 

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