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Chapter 1 Body Language
our body language, which includes your posture,X your expressions and your gestures, accounts formore than one-half of what other people respond to andmake assumptions about.

47how to make people Like you in 90 seconds or LessWhen people think of body language, they tend tothink it means what happens from the neck down. Butmuch of what we communicate to others—and whatthey make assumptions about—comes from the neckup. Facial gestures and nods and tilts of the head have avocabulary that equals or exceeds that of the body fromthe neck down.

The signals we send with our bodies are rich withmeaning and global in their scope. Some of them arehardwired into us at birth; others are picked up from oursociety and culture. Everywhere on the planet, panicinduces an uncontrollable shielding of the heart with thehands and/or a freezing of the limbs. A smile is a smileon all continents, while sadness is displayed throughdown-turned lips as often in New York as in Papua NewGuinea. The clenched fists of determination and theopen palms of truth convey the same message in Icelandas they do in Indonesia.

And no matter where on earth you find yourself,mothers and fathers instinctively cradle their babieswith the head against the left side of their body, close tothe heart. The heart is at the heart of it. Facial expressionsand body language are all obedient to the greaterpurpose of helping your body maintain the well-being ofits center of feeling, mood and emotion—your heart.

Volumes have been written about body language, butwhen all is said and done, this form of communication48can be broken down into two rather broad categories:

open and closed. Open body language exposes theheart, while closed body language defends or protectsit. In establishing rapport, we can also think in terms ofinclusive gestures and noninclusive gestures.

Open Body LanguageOpen body language exposes your heart and body(within limits of decency, of course!) and signals cooperation,agreement, willingness, enthusiasm and approval.

These gestures are meant to be seen. They show trust.

They say "YES!"Your body doesn't know how to lie. Unconsciously,with no directions from you, it transmits yourthoughts and feelings in a language of its own tothe bodies of other people, and these bodiesunderstand the language perfectly. Any contradictionsin the language can interrupt the developmentof rapport.

In his classic work How to Read a Person like a Book,Gerard I. Nierenberg explains the value of open gestures.

These gestures include open hands and uncrossed armsas well as the occasional subtle movement toward theother person that says "I am with you" and showsacceptance: an open coat or jacket, for example, both49literally and symbolically exposes the heart. When usedtogether, such gestures say "Things are going well."Positive, open-body gestures reach out to others.

These gestures are generally slow and deliberate. Whenan open person makes contact with the heart of anotherperson, a strong connection is made and trust becomespossible. (You know the feeling of a good hug? Or aheart-to-heart talk?)When you meet someone new, immediately pointyour heart warmly at that person's heart. There ismagic in this.

Other common open gestures include standing withyour hands on your hips and your feet apart, a stancethat shows enthusiasm and willingness, and moving forwardin your chair (if accompanied by other open gestures).

Leaning forward shows interest, and uncrossingyour arms or legs signals you are open to suggestions.

Closed Body LanguageDefensiveness is shown through gestures that protectthe body and defend the heart. These gestures suggestresistance, frustration, anxiety, stubbornness, nervousnessand impatience. They are negative gestures, andthey say "NO!"50Crossed arms are common to all manifestations ofdefensiveness. They hide ............
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