Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Body Language: Barriers

People will put up barriers if they feel threatened. If some people sub-consciously feel threatened by another person they will put things between themselves and that person. A person can threaten another person by simply being overly dominant and authoritarian.

We will say than "Fifi" is the one to be potentially threatened, and "Fido" is the one to potentially be threatening.
If an object was between Fifi and Fido before the conversation then you can assume that Fifi was not threatened.
But, if by the end of a conversation an object such as a glass, a book, a purse/backpack, etc. comes between the two (and Fifi put it there) you can assume (after cross linking with other signs) that Fifi felt threatened.

In one of my classes back in high school, I saw a teacher talking to a student that was sitting down. While the conversation was not threatening at all, the teacher was 6' 6", standing close, giving direct eye contact, and had a reputation of being surly. Fairly quickly, the student took her backpack from the ground and put it on the desk between her and the teacher, and peered over it as the teacher continued speaking to her.
This was an obvious barrier to a sub-conscious threat.

Knowing body language is an important part of Thrivalism.

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