#9 Body Lingua is really personal.
Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.
Body language plays a vital role in our day to day conversations, but...
There’s no universal body language. There are lots of cultural differences. What means something to American, might mean something else to a German or a Viking.
Cultural differences might also affect how you use nonverbal communication.
What does crossing your arms mean in universal body language? Usually, it means that you are forming a closed defensive shield and blocking the outside world.
I cross my arms all the time. If you know anything about me, I’m all warm and fuzzy and I’m comfortable that way. I just can’t stand hands by my side. It’s either pocket-pooling or crossed arms, you choose.
Have you ever talked to Italians when they’re trying to explain you something? You might consider busting in some Matrix "dodging the bullet" moves not to receive the “complementary” eye poke. I’ve never seen any other nation who creates more wind while gesturing during the conversation. It’s amazing how much more colourful they make every single conversation. But to some people it might seem that they are pissed off at something and telling you off.
Have you ever met a sober Estonian? We might break a smile once in a while. Somewhere around once in 4 years, much like the Olympics. When we do, it might come with a squeaky sound of somebody opening the front door of an old house in a horror movie. It’s because we last used it when Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” first became a hit.
We also might seem emotionless. You have to understand one thing about us. If we wake up on 29th of April and it's snowing outside, nothing really surprises us anymore. For us, it doesn't mean that we are not interested.
My point is, we are all good people. We just have different ways to put together our conversational masterpieces. There’s no bulletproof method to understand body language. If body language shows something totally different from your words, ask questions to make sure. It’s the easiest way to avoid any mixed feelings. Don’t fully rely on body language and judge before you get to know people.