Good Read About Body Language
I’ve never thought that I’d start recommending books but here it is – a great read, very thorough and as a bonus it has many applications both to daygame and everyday life. Meet Joe Navarro and his “What Every BODY Is Saying“.
The book is written by Mr. Navarro, a former FBI agent that excelled at reading people, especially suspects and witnesses. It’s nicely structured – first you get some information about our brain (limbic vs neocortex) and our instincts. Then going from feet up to the top of your head each body part is analyzed and most common signs and tells are described along with pictures. It’s very much like a textbook. You almost expect a test in the end but instead you get a summary on detecting deception (spoiler: you can’t tell when someone’s lying; you can only tell that something is making him nervous).
Most of our communication is nonverbal – it’s in the tone of voice and the body language. You can understand people a lot better if you focus on how they’re saying things and what they’re doing rather than listening to the words. The “gut feeling” is real not because of some magic but because you subconsciously analyze all subtle changes in people’s behavior. By doing it consciously you can be a lot better at it.
Don’t get any funny ideas. Reading people is very hard. You need to establish a base level of their reactions and only then you can guess whether certain topics are particularly uncomfortable. You won’t become a human lie detector cause it’s just not possible. An average reader though would at very least start noticing some cues in behavior of others… but also in his own.
To read others you need to be actively looking at them, analyzing whole time. This isn’t always doable. Many of the FBI interviews were filmed and reviewed but you have to act immediately. However, armed with all that knowledge you will notice particular behaviors, especially when they come in sequences or groups. You will also notice drastic changes in nonverbals. This book isn’t that big of revelation for anyone that did thousands of daygame approaches but it nicely systematize all this.
I’ve also started to notice my own nonverbals. You can only recognize them with hindsight. It would be really hard if not impossible to suppress your somewhat subconscious reactions. But even after they occur you can compensate by faking confidence for example by changing your posture or voice. Still – you have to understand not only what you did but also why. It was really an unexpected result of reading this book as now sometimes I notice that I’m nervous without feeling it in the first place.
However, the most important thing to me was notion that discomfort (e.g. hunger, coldness, crippling debt) is making you behave as if you’re nervous. There is no difference between acting troubled, sick or anxious. When you’re not comfortable your nonverbals will be projecting low confidence. So I was right when I wrote that you shouldn’t do daygame when you have to take a piss or you’re hungry or cold. That’s also the reason that when you have a “bad day” everyone seems less friendly. You’re just presenting yourself that way and people pick up on this. Emotions have huge impact on your behavior that’s beyond your control.
Or is it? Your emotions may influence the way you behave but in the same time your behavior also has an impact on your thoughts and mood (think cognitive theories and things like cognitive behavioral therapy). If you start to behave like a happy person you’ll become more happy. Simple things like straightening your posture, raising your head and putting a smile on your face can make you actually feel better. If you can – do more! Start humming, singing, dancing or whatever you do when you’re really happy. Treat yourself with something of your liking, gather positive emotions, leech good vibes from others. You’ll notice that your interactions will be different, better. Of course the best thing would be dealing with all your daemons also known as “sorting yourself out”. But this is a great short term solution. And in some cases “fake it till you make it” really works.
Daygame as its best is a solitary activity. Knowing exactly when you’re feeling low and correcting that can be crucial in ending a bad streak. If you haven’t done hundreds or thousands of sets then this book can also help you in understanding nonverbals. And besides that – it’s really a nice read.