Tag Archive for Rejection

How Men Can Use Negative Body Language

"Pecking forward" is a negative body posture for men in courtship because it makes him seem needy and low value.

“Pecking forward” is a negative body posture for men in courtship because it makes him seem needy and low value.

Men should make all their movements more planned, deliberate, and purposeful. Leaning in too much, also referred to as “pecking” forward, is a big fault most men make. Leaning back will force others to engage you, instead of the other way around. Talking quietly also has the affect of forcing people to move closer to you, thereby increasing your status but if done too frequently appears submissive and unconfident.

Don’t be afraid to use negative body language when people do things you don’t like. If they “start on you”, don’t be afraid to turn your back or cross your arms. At the same time, men should display honest and genuine interest and try to build others around them up, but at the same time force them to work for their approval. Most everyone has a sore spot for validation and if you can become a root to their confidence, then they will seek you for approval which gives you the power. However, men shouldn’t be afraid to show interest either. Body language like verbal language is a negotiation.

Does he really want to leave?  In most cases, negative body language is truthful, but he's playing a game - hard-to-get!

Does he really want to leave? In most cases, negative body language is truthful, but he’s playing a game – hard-to-get!

One negative body language technique involves talking over a shoulder so as to show some but not total interest in someone. If done correctly it, the body language teases woman and forces them to display stronger signals of interest to keep the man’s attention. That is if she’s been given enough cues to feel compelled to compete for your attention. Using negative body language in this way is especially attractive to women who habitually have men fawning all over them. Far too often men use body language that is open an accepting in all cases and situations even though women don’t fully and sometimes not even partially deserve it. Negative body language shows rejection, which a lot of women are not accustomed to so it brings out their competitive spirit.

Above: Playing hard to get can sometimes put you back in the driver’s seat with women. For example, you could display a carefree attitude by slouching lower in a seat, opening up your posture, and taking up more space than necessary to demonstrate dominance. This may excite certain women since you are displaying as a typical alpha male, but if you go overboard, it will turn women off.

The Sequencing Of Rejection Body Language

The conversation ended a long time ago!

The conversation ended a long time ago!

There are times when we are cornered or end up corning someone else through conversation, so understanding the cues that indicate rejection (and acceptance, covered next) can be useful to avoid unproductive conversations or as the case may be, to make the signals more poignant to others.

When people meet and rejection is present we see:
[A] The disinterested party turns their body and head away at a half turn.
[B] An expressionless face is assumed.
[C] The toes are re-oriented away from the speaker toward an exit, or other people. Distance separating the speaker and listener may increase by taking a step away.
[D] Fidgeting increases, swaying from side to side, picking finger nails and so forth.
[E] Poor eye contact is present and the listener frequently looks away or down.
[F] No, infrequent, poor, or random regulators are given such as “mhum” and head nods.
[G] No engagement in the conversation, no addition of unique input.
[H] Opportunity to leave is actively sought despite lack of necessity.

Tonguing Language

A tongue jut is thought to have evolutionary origins as a food rejection mechanism.  We stick our tongues out to show distaste - either for others or even for what we've said ourselves.

A tongue jut is thought to have evolutionary origins as a food rejection mechanism. We stick our tongues out to show distaste – either for others or even for what we’ve said ourselves.

Pushing the tongue through compressed lips is used to signal a cheeky attitude when done amongst friends, but has a more sinister meaning when done in competitive situations. “Tongue-jutting” is used in this case when people think they have gotten away with something, or have been caught doing something they shouldn’t have. However, in this case the tongue usually is pushed through the teeth and doesn’t touch the lips.

The gesture will be seen at the conclusion of an episode such as signing a contract or winning a hand at poker by bluffing. Most of the time tongue protrusion happens when people feel they haven’t been caught, but sometimes it’s actually because they’ve been caught. The statement reads “I’ve gotten away with this”, “I’m telling a cheeky joke or making a cheeky statement”, “I’ve made a mistake” or “I’ve been caught trying to pull a fast one.” Tongue through the lips or teeth can happen any place at anytime but signals the same thing almost everywhere and that is that a person is doing something that is pushing the envelop of acceptability or has gotten caught doing something that is unacceptable. Obviously if we notice this tongue language we should review what has been said and suspect highly that we’ve been fooled, cheated, that we or someone around us has been made the butt of a joke, or that the tongue protruder has realized they’ve made a mistake.

What Glasses Mean

Chewing or sucking on the frames of the glasses signifies deep thought.

Chewing or sucking on the frames of the glasses signifies deep thought.

As an artifact, glasses can be used to convey nonverbal meaning. Chewing or sucking on the frames of the glasses signifies deep thought. Pens placed in the mouth have the same effect. As we saw with chin stroking, what immediate follows evaluative gestures tells us what sort of decision has been made, be it positive or negative. If arms and legs become crossed, or the body leans back, it means that the person has reached a negative conclusion. The glasses can be shaken from side to side signaling a rejection of an idea which is a tempered way to finger shake – the finger shake by itself indicates a much more powerful message. Boredom can also be signaled with glasses such as folding and unfolding them repeatedly, bending them at the center can indicate agitation, and touching the tips signal tension or stress. Putting the glasses back on means the person wants to see more of the facts, setting them aside can mean that the meeting is over and throwing them aside altogether or dropping them abruptly means a full rejection of the meeting. Quickly anticipating a negative decision can be of assistance to thwart an overt conclusion in effort to leave the door open, even if just a crack. However, obviously, your work is cut out for you to sway someone who is so close to a final decision. You will need to work in overdrive to bring them back from the brink.

Moving the glasses up on the forehead can signal honesty while peering over the glasses is a classic evaluative gesture that signals scrutiny and judgment. The image it invokes in people is that of the discerning librarian or catholic school teacher bearing down on naughty students. The presence of glasses is not paramount to the gesture, but does help make it more salient. With or without glasses it happens by tilting the head downward with the eyes peering onto the subject across the bridge of the nose. With glasses, the gesture includes pulling them forward with the hand and simultaneously peering over them. If the head is cocked to the side it says “Really? You can’t be serious.” The cue cluster also includes arms folded or on the hips, legs crossed, squinted eyes and pursed lips, scowling and or an index finger that wags from side to side (meaning naughty).

Studies show that we also rate wearers of glasses as being more studious, intelligent, sincere and conservative, although having particularly thick glasses negates those positive attributes. We think thick glasses are for those with low social skills who are overly-intelligent (geeks or nerds). While not all of these gestures are perfectly predictive glasses, just like pencils, pieces of paper, folders or books, they are an extension of the hand so carry the same message but in an exaggerated way.

Chin Stroking And Tongue Protrusion

It's common for the hand to come to the chin when we're making up our minds.

It’s common for the hand to come to the chin when we’re making up our minds.

Chin stroking, is another evaluative gesture which was made popular by movies, television shows and cartoons. The cliché says that the chin scratcher is old, wise and is bearded! Beard or chin stroking signifies that the decision making process has begun, but that a conclusion hasn’t yet been reached. What follows the chin scratch tells us exactly what to expect, be it a positive or negative outcome. When prompted for a final decision,
if the hand comes down and across the body at right angles it tells us that a negative answer will follow, but if the hand comes forward and is placed on the thighs in a ready posture or the arms remains uncrossed the answer will be positive.

Without conscious awareness the tongue makes an appearance under deep concentration usually by being protruded to the side. Tongue protrusion is an evolutionary throwaway gesture thought to have arisen as food rejection mechanism by infants. When it happens in adults it means they are genuinely focused on their task and wish not to be bothered by others, hence the rejection root. The tongue can also be seen moistening the lips more often when under stress or anxiety as the mouth dries up, or can be moved back and forth across the lips as a pacifying behaviour to sooth while under stress.

Objects As Barriers

The chair is employed to maintain distance.

The chair is employed to maintain distance.

How the environment is used by people can provide clues to their inner thoughts and emotions. For example, propping up against the wall indicates that the person is in need of support (or is really tired) which shows that they are incapable of comfort without the assistance the structure affords. Hiding a portion of the body behind a desk also indicates insecurity and we rarely invite commerce onto ourselves without placing a desk between us and our clients because we require the security it provides.

Imagine what it would be like to meeting face-to-face in an empty room. Desks and tables are more than just places to store notes! The “employee’s line” by which customers are forbidden to cross in retail stores has more to do with privacy, power and territoriality than security. What would happen if retailers could freely move into storage rooms and behind the counter, what about enter the kitchen at a dinner? The formalities of the establishment would drop significantly and it would be like being at home, free of boundaries.

The chair is a prop used to shield the body from "attack."

The chair is a prop used to shield the body from “attack.”

Even podiums creates a much needed refuge, a place of security for presenters where the self conscious can be partially out of sight, or even dodge flying tomatoes! Only those that are supremely confident or experienced in front of others will ignore the podium and instead immerse themselves into the embrace of the crowd. Women who wish to quell an advance by men can steer them away by turning a cold shoulder, a barrier, or if possible, moving to the backside of a chair which can be used as a shield. When nervous around women, on the other hand, men can use bar tops to prop up against to protect them from rejection. As you see, objects are sometimes used as crutches and at the same time indicated to us as body language readers that a person is uncomfortable standing by themselves. In other words, it tells us that they are worried that they might suffer an emotional attack so they limit their exposure. People can use chairs, lean against a bar as discussed, a beam, a table, or might simply use objects like mugs or cups, or even pens and utensils which can figuratively represent make-shift weapons. Obviously pens would never be drawn, so to speak, as a weapon, but they still offer a psychologically comforting mechanism.

Avoiding The Eyes

Avoiding eye contact is usually bad news.

Avoiding eye contact is usually bad news.

The eyes can also signal that someone is closed-off. We turn our heads when we wish to avoid being singled out in a lecture hall or boardroom meeting. To represent a closed attitude we might pull our chins in and tuck our heads down. In theory this is to protect our vulnerable necks from attack so it also indicates and fearful state. When we wish to scold children we make sure they give us full eye contact in order to measures their reaction and to ensure they’ve given us their undivided attention. This trait is culturally specific however, as some parents require that children avoid eye contact precisely for the same reason other parents require it; to show respect for authority.

That being said, a lack of direct eye contact during a conversation is not always to be taken as a negative cue or rejection. Research has shown that concentrating on faces takes a lot of effort so we look away in order to properly analyze what is being said. Looking away is also a signal that we are comfortable with our company because we can safely look away with no risk of being attacked. In other words, looking away shows that we trust those around us. As such, looking away is a “comfort display.” The distinction between rude eye avoidance and a comfort display should be obvious. For example, dropping the eyes in order to focus on picking the dirt from beneath the nails to “preen”, removing lint from clothing while avoiding a topic, or glazing over expressionless in boredom is not the same as looking away during a conversation to focus more deeply.

While this type of eye avoidance is normal and acceptable in casual situations, do avoid it during job interviews as potential employers have noted they prefer candidates to focus on them rather than casting their gaze all over their office as if they own it. In a subordinate dominant situation freely moving eyes leave bad impressions and make potential employees appear disinterested which turn interviewers off.