Body language: smile as a weapon



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Reprint: This text is from the book "Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014)""" from Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published at Linde Verlag, and was left to us for reprint.
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The mouth is our actual speaker. The words come out as we "sculpt" the sounds with the muscles around the mouth. So we can - with some training - also read from the lips of the other, without hearing the sound of the words.

Body language: smiles smile as a weapon

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Here writes for you: Gabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich. Profile
Here writes for you: Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG. Profile

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Just make your mouth open

Overview

In addition, the mouth also emits a multitude of signals that have nothing to do with the words. The mouth is the gateway to the vital and enjoyable food intake. If something does not taste good, we simply close our mouths.

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If we do not agree with our conversation partner, we squeeze our lips together. Although perhaps our slightly inclined head is a thoughtful gesture , the pressed lips clearly show a defense. We do not let the other opinion approach us, the mouth serves as a barrier. This kind of silence, therefore, should never be regarded as consent!

A smile that enchants

Overview

One of the most important signals of our mouth is the smile. How does a smile come about? When did we learn it? Nothing captivates the parents as much as the first smile of their baby. Many developmental psychologists are of the opinion that this is only an unconscious muscle movement in the face of the small earth citizen.

The angle of the mouth pulls up at random. And how do parents react to it? Through joyful attention, through loving words and through a conscious smile. Does the toddler only learn through this reaction that his smile has a positive effect?

Surely, there is also the inborn smile: just as the face, eyes and mouth tighten with the taste of a lemon, the corner of the mouth rises slightly at the thought of something sweet, pleasant or pleasurable. This expression is expressed - similar to the lemon example - also from the eyes.

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Smile as a weapon

Overview

It is quite different with the typical victorious smile: a series of radiant white, flawless teeth flashes out of a brown-burned face. With so much shine no one looks any more in the eyes anyway. The victor smiles and shows his teeth - our consciousness wants us to convince him that he is friendly and open to us.

But our subconscious mind also probably records the threat behind it. A dog would never come up with the idea to keep the bled teeth of another dog for a friendly welcome! This kind of smile - the lips only open so far that the teeth are clearly visible - is almost an open threat.

Cold Smiling fed off

Overview

But there is also the far more harmless, binding smile. The corners of the mouth pull upwards, but otherwise there is no muscle in the face, the eyes remain completely uninvolved. Sometimes it is accompanied by a slight nods. This smile has somehow tense, the binding gesture only pretends - behind it hides indifference and disinterest.

The other does not feel taken seriously, so real communication is even less than a real threat.

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Smile as a threat

Overview

A threat can lead to confrontation and thus to the confrontation with the other. But such a supposedly binding gesture says:

"You are not a serious opponent for me, I feed you with a smile - and then on important things!" So has a basically friendly greeting ritual - the smile - often become a difficult to overcome barrier.

Behavioral patterns of the Stone Age

Overview

Many of our body language behaviors have been the same for ages. This is especially evident in the area of ​​"defense gestures". Before man had artful weapons and defenses, he had only his body available for combat and protection.

And he knew there were more or less sensitive body parts. A fist in the belly or a bite in the neck is still mostly fatal today.

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Defense: Turn the body aside

Overview

If, on the other hand, the blow was removed with the arm, there was at most one broken bone, but usually no life-threatening injury.

Therefore, our ancestors attacked an attacker with a body turned to the side, facing the somewhat more insensitive bone side, thus protecting the sensitive soft parts.

Open body

Overview

This pattern of behavior has remained the same until today. An open posture presents the other vulnerable front - neck, chest and abdomen. "I'm not afraid of you, I'm not taking cover."

In turn, we unconsciously turn our bone side, our side face, to a potential opponent. We show him the cold shoulder. The other feels the subconscious movement, the barrier.

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Body language barriers

Overview

It is difficult to communicate with someone "over the shoulder". The conversation barrier bone side is in the way.

This often imperceptible lateral turning is one of the most common body language barriers.


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