Why people don't respect the science of body language

From: Denise
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 6:10 AM
Subject: [Body Language Lady] 12/15/2005 06:03:27 AM

Hi Patti, I am another body language expert, I have enjoyed your comments. I, like you, enjoy watching the body language between people and working out end results. Don’t know why people don’t read more into body language what's your thoughts.

Denise, This is a difficult question to answer but I will try. I think people don’t (read more) into body language because it’s not a science that is taught in schools, nor is it given credibility in other ways. It is a relatively young science, only having originated in the 50’s so it may just be a natural arch or recognition that will eventually lead to its credibility.

Another problem with attainting recognition of the science is that a lot of people don’t realize what their doing when they read body language or that they are even doing it. Nonverbal Communication is processed in the more primitive part of the brain, not attached to language and the recognition of cues happens rapidly so we don’t have that long drawn out logical process to retain what we did and how we did it. That’s why I love to break down photos and videos and read them for the media. It’s like playing where Waldo and showing people is where Waldo is and how you found him so the reader recognizes the mostly subconscious process they went through to read the photo or video and say, “I think he is lying.” “Or I think this couple is in love.”

A third reason people don’t read more into it is that some people do not have a natural ability to read it. It’s an emotional intelligence and about half the population is more skilled at more task or technical related intelligences so they don’t give credence to it. They’re not good at it, it must not be important.

I remember when I taught body language at Florida State. I had the largest class in the College of Communication with around 150 students a semester, but the professors in the department laughed when they talked to me about the class. They thought it was a joke. I knew I was so blessed to teach that class, because the students told me how valuable it was to them, how they used what they learned, and how it had so much more relevance to their lives than other courses they were taking. Even years later, when I run into an old student from those four years at Florida State, they tell me it was the most valuable class they took. But guess what? They aren’t teaching it at Florida State any more!