Reading Kids vs. Adults

There is no doubt about it – kids are easier to read than adults. Here are some of the main reasons:

1. Kids are still very dependent on instinctual responses to situations.

2. Kids are very speedy when it comes to body language.

3. Kids show basic gestures and expressions when they try to communicate something to other people.

4. Kids have more muscle tone and muscle flexibility and therefore, they can easily express themselves through facial expressions and gestures.

These four main points are important because these present why adults are harder to read. Simply reverse the situation for adults:

1. Adults tend to be more careful about their body language.

2. There is generally a gap or delay when an adult says something and follows his verbal language with body language.

3. Adults may or may not show significant gestures when talking or expressing themselves.

4. Adults are not as keen on moving about and using facial expressions when talking. If an adult can keep it straightforward and simple, he will. Of course, this still varies from one person to another but

speaking, adults like to keep everything simple because excess movement and gestures can tire out an adult easily.

Do adults leave behind gestures and expressions that they have used when they were kids? Not entirely.

Of course, as adults we would have to refrain from performing gestures and movements that may be frowned upon by others (i.e. laughing giddily and loudly when we see someone we know) but that doesn‟t mean that we completely leave behind our expressions when we were kids.

Here‟s a great example of how gestures and physical expressions can „carry over‟ to adulthood. Have you ever seen a child tell a small lie?

What do you notice about the child, specifically his hands? 7 out of 10, the child that you have seen probably put his hand/s near his mouth, as if he was trying to cover up his mouth as he was telling the fib or lie.

Kids as young as four can use this gesture when they are either lying or they have been caught saying something that wasn‟t entirely true. This happens all the time and to kids, the hand-to-mouth movement is the most appropriate gesture for that situation.

But the question now is do adults actually use this gesture?

The answer, believe it or not, is yes. Adults still use a variation of the original gesture but there is usually a delay between the actual gesture and the lie.

The toned down version of this gesture is placing a finger near the mouth after a lie has been spoken. The perceived purpose of this gesture is the same with the perceived purpose of the basic gesture – to cover up the mouth which has spoken something deceitful.

Now you may have heard of people who actually fake body language to fool people into thinking that they are being sincere. Can this be done, at all? Fortunately, to a body language reader, any attempts at faking body language are futile.

The reason for this quite simple: the mind may instruct the body to lie, but the body is hard-wired to express what‟s in the mind.

So if a person is not being sincere, there might be one or two gesture that seem to be showing sincerity but there would be other gestures and expressions within the cluster that would be incongruent with what the other person is trying to project consciously.

For example, a person might consciously hold out his hands (palms exposed) to show passive acceptance or inability to understand but at the same time, his eyes might suddenly narrow or some parts of his body might become twitchy because he is trying to conceal what he truly thinks and feels.

As a master of body language, your first task is to separate fact from fiction. Verbal language, vocal language and non- verbal language (body language) can all be used equally to communicate truth and falsity.

A person who is bent on deceit can mimic the body language of a sincere person to hide his deceit. A master reader on the other hand, would be able to see through the guise of a faker and uncover what he truly feels and thinks.

Always remember that the hands are usually used to „fake‟ sincerity so pay close attention when a person makes use of his hands often to drive home a point, etc. The following cannot be consciously controlled:

1. Dilation and contraction of the pupils 2. Profuse sweating 3. Redness or paleness of the cheeks and face

If a person appears sincere but is suddenly sweating even if it‟s not hot, the person is probably trying to hide something.

And here‟s the thing about people who try to fake their body language – they can only go on for so long. Fakers usually don‟t have the energy to sustain the deceit for long periods of time.

For genuine sincere people on the other hand, it is easy to appear happy, grateful or sad at something because everything comes out naturally. They don‟t have to remember to do this or that – because they are being truthful to what they feel and think.

Fakers on the other hand, have to keep a close watch on what they say and what they show the other person so they can keep their guise up. Faking body language is like being thrown unto a theater stage where you have to act for the whole duration of the scene.

If Person A absolutely despised his boss but he has to talk to this person because he was called to a private meeting, he has to pretend that he wants to be there for the whole duration of the meeting. Doing this can be very exhausting, indeed!

Now, a master reader should also remember that he should also show positive body language when he is talking to people so he can get the right response from other people.

Positive body language helps build self-confidence and can also facilitate better communication between people.

Negative body language (i.e. aggressive body language) should be avoided at all cost because negative body language rarely produces desired results because people are usually more sensitive to negative body language.

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