While closely observing how a person’s hands move or where his or her toes are pointed will help you figure out what he or she might be thinking, grouping these gestures into clusters will make it easier for you to tell what general mood or mindset a person is without taking too much time.
Body language comes in groups of signals and postures that will tell you the general mood or emotion of the person you are observing. Being able to identify and recognize a whole cluster will greatly save you time in assessing a person’s overall behavior. These are referred to by experts as message clusters and some examples of these message clusters are:
- Aggressive Body Language: This specific message cluster displays behavior or gestures that translate to physical threat or the potential of physical threat such as disapproving frowns, pursed lips, clenched fists and the like. Moving within a person’s physical comfort zone without him or being invited is a sign that the person is being aggressive.
- Assertive Body Language: This set of body language expresses the person taking initiative or being assertive without giving the impression that he or she is aggressive or submissive to someone. Steady movement or pace tells a person is emotionally and mentally calm and firm. The shoulders are not tensed and are relaxed, the legs have ample space in-between, the palms are open and relaxed and the feet are flat on the floor. If you see a person who is generally relaxed then you can consider it or categorized it under this message cluster.
- Attentive Body Language: If you see a person who is leaning forward with his or her eyes directed towards you or to the speaker in a business meeting for example, then it is likely that he is being attentive in general. This holds true especially if there are distracting stimuli surrounding that person but somehow, he or she is focused on what the speaker is saying. People who are expressing this message cluster are often seen with their brows furrowed; nodding slowly in response to what a person is saying or doing.
Is it not easier looking at the general posture or movement of a person you are trying to read than observing how his or her nostrils flare up, where he or she points his or her feet or that short moment where the person swallowed which could just be the person getting choked of what he or she is eating?