Tag Archive for Aggressiveness

Verbal And Paraverbal Cues

At times verbal and paraverbal cues betray the liar and these are cues tied directly to the words in which they speak. Although they fall outside the realm of body language at large, they do complete this chapter with regards to cues associated with deception which is why they have been included. These cues are, as always, related to the stress of fibbing so can be confused with nervousness of any other source. Some however are the direct consequences of lying such as the telling of an implausible story or using more negative comments or statements, which has been shown to increase during lying.

Here are the cues to deception as they relate to our verbal dialogue: Vocal tension, hectic speech, faltering speech, improper structure or grammar, implausible story, inconsistent story, superfluous details, describing feelings rather than events such as “I felt this way when I did this” or “I must have felt this way because of this” etc, adding qualifying statement such as “This is what I am about to say” then saying it, word or phrase repetition, using less contractions saying “I did not” instead of “I didn’t”, using the persons name in sentences instead of saying “he” or “she”, for example “Bill went to the store” rather than “He went to the store”, the use of clichés, blocking access to information, evasive responses or desire to change the subject, speech is less compelling, less personal and with less or too much detail, expressing self doubt, negative complaints or statements, defensiveness or aggressiveness, changes in pitch (high low or monotone), shaky or soft voice, stuttering, false starts, silent pauses, filled pauses, delayed response, appearing to be thinking, admitted lack of memory, tentative construction of sentences, clearing the throat and spontaneous corrections.

Appearing Masculine – Power Dressing Advice For Women

Our dress conveys a lot about who we are and what we intend to do. At work, our dress is even more significant. We could never pull off evening wear at work, and work-wear makes us appear uptight at a club. One of the most significant factors at work for women, is their sexuality. Unfortunately, what gives women power to arouse in clubs, will make them appear insignificant at work. Studies have shown that when women dress overtly sexual they are taken far less seriously and, not surprisingly, are even objectified by others. This isn’t just a male chauvinism problem either, as women in the workplace will also tend to take women who dress sexy less seriously even talking about them behind their backs.

In a study by Sandra Forsythe of Miami University in 1984 it was found that subjects rated theoretical applicants more favourably when they whore more masculine clothing regardless of their sex Masculine clothing was significant in forming positive opinions about forcefulness, self reliance, dynamism, aggressiveness, decisiveness and received a much greater likelihood of recommendation to be hired. While women don’t need to appear stiff, by wearing tie, pants and jackets, like men, they do need to downplay their sexuality especially with respect to their attire.

In the workplace masculinity is the dominant factor. For women, a suite tailored in the style of men to square the body off is a good place to start. This doesn’t exclude tailored curves though, exposing some femininity but it does mean avoiding cleavage. Despite the common misconception, short skirts and high heels might command more attention, but it won’t be the kind of attention that invites promotions. Darker colours can signify a power position, but if the desire is to appear more social than lighter brighter colours can be appropriate. White is associated with honesty and purity which is why we see doctors and estheticians wear it, and black is associated with intellect, expertise and authority. Make-up should be subtle or go unnoticed or if the attire is subdued can be more elaborate to trace the magical boundary between sexuality and femininity. The key message is to downplay gender signals and play up asexuality. Being either too masculine or too feminine are reported much less favourably at work in studies so be sure to blend both and find a happy medium that works for you.

Tonality And Voice Depth

The differences between the sexes is huge when it comes to our voices. Women’s voices are nearly twice as high pitched as men’s so with only rare exceptions, we all know which sex is speaking even without seeing them. The term “pitch” is defined as the voices “highness” or “lowness” of the voice which is affected by the natural body chemical androgen. Androgen is the male sex hormone which is also tied to physical prowess and aggressiveness and also loosely tied to a competitor’s health and vigor.

In 2005 Anthropologist David Puts used voice recordings of men to study the relationship between the tone of the voice and men’s attractiveness. He was able to increase and decrease the pitch of the voices using computer software to make the recording more or less dominant. Puts found that low-pitched masculine voices increased ratings of men’s physical and social dominance. He also found that men who felt they were more dominant than their competitors tended to lower their voices when speaking with them. Additionally, men who had deeper voices also reported having had more sexual partners over the year previous to the study. Naturally, women have also been shown to prefer men with lower pitched voices for short-term sexual relationships. Voice pitch can also help men rise in social dominance. For men, this means plenty. It means that lowering the voice can lead to a better attractiveness rating in the eye of women and can also be used as a tool to build dominance and leadership.

The pitch of the human voice also varies with emotional state. Even actors are able to portray different feelings based on their voice. You can imagine a father with his baby where he draws out his voice and makes it more like mom so he can grab his infants attention. Women can also lower their voices to be more like dad to scorn their children or conversely screech at them when they are really upset. The tendency to raise the pitch of the voice at the end of each sentence to make all statements seem like questions, is a bad habit adopted frequently by young women. If carried into adulthood, it can be disastrous in a business context. People read this inflection as a signal of insecurity and believe that you are unsure about what you are saying. In a business context, it is always best to be direct and act with conviction.

What Does Thumbing Indicate?

Exposed thumbs indicate high confidence.  When we feel insecure we tuck our thumbs out of view.

Exposed thumbs indicate high confidence. When we feel insecure we tuck our thumbs out of view.

In Shakespeare’s Romen and Juliet, Capulet’s servant Sampson induces a fight by biting his thumb at Montague’s servant Abraham. This traditional Sicilian gesture is performed today by placing the thumb behind the upper incisors and flicking the thumb forward toward the person you wish to insult. The symbol means “To hell with you.” The thumbs down gesture would have meant death in Roman times for a gladiator, while the thumbs shooting off to the side is associated with a negative thought about someone we wish not to offer respect. It begins or ends a conversation such as “I told you about that guy over there (followed by thumbing in their direction) …he’s up to no good.” However, not all thumb gestures are negative as we see with the thumbs up gesture in western cultures.

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 4Thumb displays denote superiority and royalty has made them famous, but they have also been adopted by lawyers trying to seem noble and important. One way thumb displays happen is by placing all but the thumbs in the front pockets of a vest or suite jacket, or by knuckling the vest and leaving the thumbs out. Thumbs-up can also turn a timid interlaced fingers gesture into a positive thoughts gesture by flaring the thumbs up during conversation. Thumbs-out is a representation of ego, dominance, confidence, comfort, assertiveness and sometimes even aggressiveness. The thumbs out gesture is usually found in clusters with other dominant body language. For example, to denote superiority, the legs would also be spread apart, the chest puffed out to appear larger and the head held back, all the while glaring down the nose at any onlookers. The thumbs up gesture, wherever it happens, is a form of “gravity defying’ body language. This means that it is related to positive emotions since it requires energy to do and people that are depressed aren’t interested in burning energy especially wastefully.

We rarely see those with low status carry this posture, but if we do, we certainly will know something “important” about them! Sometimes our boss will be caught walking around his office holding this posture signifying his dominance, or at least his attempt at dominance. Men seeking the affection and attention of women will also sometimes carry thumbing postures, but they might downplay their dominant attitude by holding their hands in their back pockets so as to hide them. Another variation altogether includes flaunting the thumbs by placing them under the arm whilst folded. This last posture is a closed, yet dominant cue cluster. The crossed arms tell others that they are closed off from communication while the exposed thumbs reveal superiority.

The polar opposite to the thumb display is hidden thumbs which may happen by placing just the thumbs in front pockets with the remaining fingers outside. This posture says “I’m unsure of myself” and denotes extreme low confidence and low status. Hidden thumbs can be found when people are timid, insecure, or feel social discomfort and is a childhood throwback to when children stand in front of their parents looking disappointed and saddened.