People Watch: Body Language Observations And Analysis During A Night On The Town.

(Photo Credit: Mash Potato)

Going out on the town is a great place to people watch. Here are a couple of my observations.

When three or more men are talking in a pub, their natural instinct is to have a drink in their right hand, whilst placing their left hand into their trouser pocket. Or visa versa. I witnessed this behaviour all night, at different times, and in different venues, and was amazed at how popular this stance has become. Even when I was in Canada and New York, men of all cultures seem to prefer this stance over others. I even catch myself performing this posture when I’m chatting...Could I have just stumbled on a universal behavior?! What’s even more interesting is that when a new person is introduced into a group, he adopts the same stance! This type of behavior is both a rapport builder, and a comfort display, done silently and unconsciously to blend in. This is a great example of how a gesture can have more than one meaning. Cast your mind back to Thursday, I did a post about the chap from Subway, who removed his hands into his sleeve when he felt anxiety. In this instance, one hand is hidden away in a pocket, but anxiety isn't felt. The next time you’re in a busy pub/bar/club, keep an eye out for this revealing display. The message is clear – ‘I’m comfortable and unthreatened.’

Men and Women are polar opposites when it comes to silently observing the opposite sex. Last night, I witnessed some classic behavior on both parts. Men are as subtle as a brick when they’re attracted. For instance, when Kat got up to go to the bar, the men I mentioned above rotated their heads and gaze to follow her path. It was unmistakably obvious. I kept my focus on the lads, and noticed how their eye brows quick raised when they viewed someone they liked, which further backs up the theory that when we’re attracted, we show gravity deifying behaviors, and everything goes up. (I say!) I had an unrestricted view of their faces, which meant that I was able to lip read one of the group say ‘she’s well fit!’ By this stage, he had removed his left hand from his pocket, as was bobbing about like a dancer. This ladies and gentlemen is known as happy feet!

On the other hand, Women are a lot more subtle when it comes to observing someone they like. After Kat got back to her seat, I witnessed two sets of friends (one male, one female) meeting for what seemed like the first time. After the usual pleasantries, it was clear that one lady had taken a shine to one of the guys. She found any excuse to touch his arm; she repeatedly made the old classic ‘eye contact when putting a drink to her mouth’ gesture, and made a comforting standing leg cross next to him. The standing leg cross was quite a surprise to me, because I never saw another woman stand like this in front of a guy all night. This gesture makes puts you off balance, as all your weight is transferred onto one foot, which makes the fight/flight response difficult. She was silently letting this guy know that ‘I have vetted you, I find you safe to be with and I don’t find you a threat.’ Sadly for the bloke, none of these reliable non-verbal clues of attraction registered, and he went off with his mates to watch the Barcelona game on TV. Someone get that man on my page!

I do hope you enjoyed my observations! When you’re trained in body language, the silent behaviors you see are fascinating, and make for great talking points. The next time you’re out in town; keep an eye out for these fascinating non-verbal displays!

Warm Wishes,


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