I love to watch people, to examine them as they interact with other people or a space. I’m certainly not alone in this pursuit as the popularity of fly on the wall documentaries has proved. Most of all it is fun to watch the non-verbal communication that takes place, portrayed in part by the plethora of muscles within our face. There is an attempt to develop software predicting our moods, information that our brains can compute without any effort.
The non-verbal language is the subconscious responses when put under pressure. One classic example of this was when Bill Clinton who tried to conceal information whilst being interviewed by Sky News, and proceeded to touch his nose, a give away by those in the know. Other obvious messages are the folding of the arms or legs in a protective mode, and the self hug in moments of intense stress. Slouching in a chair or leaning your head against your hand sends a message of boredom, especially when I am preaching!
Desmond Morris goes into some detail on this art in his book People Watching, but we don’t need to study to enjoy this art, it’s as natural as breathing. Why not go in for a spot of people watching today, observe from a distance as friends interact together. They will speak an elaborate language that words in text message or email cannot begin to compete with. Enjoy….. I’m watching you….. watching me!