Our body language can say a lot about us: what we're thinking, whether we're lying, if we're stressed out or anxious, whether we're interested in someone, what our personality is.
We make unconscious gestures that give hints as to what's going through our minds, but if we're able to spot these signals in other people, it can give us a huge advantage.
So, the folks at TheWacky recently made a YouTube video called "10 Things Body Language Says About You" to help us interpret a person's body language so we can figure out what they're really thinking, or their personality traits.
One of the types of body language the video discusses is the smile. They explain that smiling is a natural response to a positive emotion, but that it can be faked. If you want to be able to tell if a smile is genuine, take a look at the person's eyes: if a person smiles but it doesn't quite reach their eyes, they're faking it.
If we're able to spot these signals in other people, it can give us a huge advantage.
That doesn't mean there's malicious intent behind faking a smile, though. People fake smiles for a bunch of reasons: they can be stressed, uncomfortable, or unhappy. But if you want to fake a smile, TheWacky suggests you use your eyes and don't hold the grin for too long.
Other types of body language that give away what a person is feeling is brushing away your hair, which, for women, can mean they want you to notice them; blinking frequently, which can be a sign that you're nervous; and licking your lips, which can be a sign that you're attempting to calm yourself down (or that your lips are actually dry).
Additionally, steady eye contact can mean a person is confident, that they're interested in you, or that they're just being honest.
"Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80 per cent of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words," former ballet dancer Deborah Bull once said.
According to Psychology Today, body communication has been part of our "biological heritage for so long that we still primarily communicate non-verbally" and that when it comes to communication, it is "more truthful than the spoken word."
Which is why it is so important to pay attention to those subtle nonverbal clues when communicating with someone, whether it's an employee or your boss, a romantic partner, or a friend or family member. It can literally change the result of the conversation, as well as your mood and your own thoughts.
"Having that extra insight gives us a more honest appraisal of others and it will in the end assist us in communicating more effectively and empathetically for a deeper understanding," reports Psychology Today.
For more on how body language can make you look bad, click here.