When you were a kid, did your parents ever tell you to ‘lose the attitude,’ even when you weren’t saying anything? That’s because of the impact of body language, and we all learn how to use it from an early age. Folded arms, rolled eyes, slumped heads- all these signals send a message loud and clear without you ever saying a word. And while that might be convenient as a grumpy teenager, as an adult, it becomes a bit more worrisome. The constant responsibility of controlling our body language means we have to always stay on guard, ensuring that our posture doesn’t give away how annoyed we are with a business meeting or how much we might want to smack someone.
And although these are examples of negative body language, the same principle applies to positive body language as well, especially when it comes to romance. So, when you want to decipher if other people are in love and are trying to hide it in plain sight, you should resort to interpreting body language. Understanding love body language can seem complicated, but it really isn’t. Just like negative examples send a glaringly obvious message, romantic cues have their own trademark signs and signals.
And if you’re looking for a perfect example, you don’t have to look much farther than the romance of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson. Because, according to body language experts, they liked each other way before they went public with their engagement! Experts also note that they had great chemistry and were trying to hide their attraction from the public on Saturday Night Live. How do they know? Because their bodies talked for them.
So, what did the experts find?
The hand gestures: One of the first stand-out examples can be seen when Pete approached Ariana. Whilst watching her on stage, experts noticed that he had kept his hands tightly in his pockets. When she finished, however, and came towards him, he removed his hands from his pockets, clasping them in front of him. This is significant because body language researchers have discovered that hiding one’s hands in the pockets are a sign that one is holding back from something or hiding something. Furthermore, clasping one’s hands is a sign of containment: doing so indicates the person is physically containing from acting on hidden emotional impulses, in his case, his attraction for Ariana. On top of this, Davidson was angling his body toward Ariana, which is a classic indicator of interest and attraction. (See? Once you start looking for the signs, it’s really obvious!)
On Ariana’s part, we can say that in this show, she was quite pleased sharing the spotlight with Pete. We can see it because she copied Pete’s angled stance towards her, and, much like him, refrained from facing the audience. By mirroring his body language, we can see that she’s nonverbally hinting toward their closeness. She carries this even further when she clasps her own hands in the same fashion Pete showed moments before. She also shrugged her shoulders in a nervous fashion, something that it is known to happen when in public around someone we are fond of.
Likewise, the two maintain consistent eye contact during the rest of their duet. We can see how much they respect each other when we see how often they nod and effusively react during their interactions: Ariana grins profusely just before turning away from the audience to face Pete, who again does things with his hands: he puts just one hand in the pocket (which is the closest one to Ariana) as if he was restraining from reaching for her.
As seen in the previous example, body language can be used as evidence of people’s emotions and desires. Now that you know this, how can you benefit from it? Do you want to conceal or convey? Take a look at our body language tips and take your pick!
- Control your gestures and stances. Remember that body language is a very powerful communication tool and, if done unconsciously, you can be giving information off without even noticing. On the other hand, if you want to convey something without even saying it, you can just use your body language in a controlled fashion.
- Be aware of the body language of others: After realizing how much your body can say, you should now be aware of what others say without realizing it. You can read the intentions of others in a brief period of time and, as a result, you can and plan your actions ahead of time.
- Choose accordingly: whether you are trying to conceive or convey, you can now choose your body language more accordingly with what you want. For example, if you want your public speech to convey authority, you should work on your stance and gestures and make them look more self-assured.
- Try not to use the wrong body language: avoid using body language that harms your verbal messages. If you are trying to convince someone of your ideas, do not look away, make eye contact and be sure to maintain a firm and clear tone of voice.
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