Body Languages to Show that You're Being Judged
Do you ever find yourself getting lost in a conversation when you are certain that the other person is trying to tell you something with the incline of their head, the position of their arms, or their relative posture? You are not alone.
Body language is an extensive subject and if you are very much on the introverted side it can be easy to get lost. So many non-verbal cues exist that in reality, you are having more than one conversation!
While we can only touch on a few here are some big ones that you will want to be sure to recognize. We'll include a description and some helpful advice for dealing with each.
1. "I Judge You A Danger/I'm Sizing You Up."
Visible signs: That 'burning eyes' look and their head lowered.
Be careful. This person is telling you that you are making them wary. Calm your voice and relax your posture a bit so you look less aggressive.
2. "I'm Suspicious Of You."
Visible signs: Eyes are narrowed, sometimes they will raise an eyebrow or glance at you from their peripheral vision a bit.
Relax your posture a bit as before or mention something personal and non-threatening as a way to lessen distrust.
3. "You Are Making Me ANGRY."
Visible signs: Nodding the head slowly and increased furrowing of the brow.
Watch out. This conversation is going south fast. Hold up both hands in a 'stop' type gesture and slow your words a little. Let them see in your gestures that you don't mean to be a threat.
4. 'I'm Humoring You But Not Receptive To Your Message."
Visible signs: A smile that doesn't reach the eyes and crossed arms.
This person doesn't take you seriously and is humoring you at best. If having a debate then try switching to questions to force more personal interaction and see what it is they disagree so strongly with.
5. "I'm Suspicious But Unsure Of You."
Visible signs: Blowing out of cheeks or a sigh-like 'hmm'
This likely indicates that they might not trust you 100% but they aren't sure about it. Maybe they like you but don't know you. Lead with some questions as before and find a point or two you can agree on to lead them to favor you.
6. 'Keep Going, I'm Listening"
Visible signs: Furrowed brow, lips are pressed together, and sometimes a head-tilt is accompanied as if they are trying to focus on something in the distance.
Elaborate on what you are saying just a little to help clarify things or simply ask politely if you can clarify anything. They want to understand you.
7. "I Dress Better Than You"
Visible signs: Chin uplifted, maybe even looking down their nose a little. This is followed by touching and adjustment of clothing.
You are being judged for what you are wearing. If this is one of your bosses at work then you might want to upgrade the wardrobe. If not, you've been given a clear sign that they are vulnerable to vanity. Compliment them on their clothing every now and again and see if their attitude becomes more friendly.
8. 'I am Intimidated/Shy'
Visible signs: Arms are folded and sometimes the head is down. They seem to be trying to make themselves smaller. Speak a little more gently and invite them to open up by making the conversation more interactive. Ask a lot of questions with 'you'. "How do you feel about this?" or "What is your opinion on the subject?". Invite them to express themselves.
9. 'I Might Be Lying Right Now'
Visible signs: While speaking the eyes keep darting right and left
No guarantees but often eye-darting instead of the standard 'looking into your eyes' type contact can indicate that they are making it up as they go along. Listen but take things with a grain of salt, this person might be lying to you.
While these are only a few signs we hope this will be enough to get you started. If you don't get a lot of social then try this. Turn on the webcam at home and tell one of your favorite stories. Watch it later and see what kind of hand gestures, postures, and head positions you employ when telling the story.
Try again imagining that you are telling it to someone you trust, then again like you are speaking with someone who intimidates you. Learning your own body language can help you immensely in social interactions in the future. It is a rich subject and there is much to learn so get started!