Social Question

Wine's avatar

In what ways is the ability to properly read body language important?

Asked by Wine (560 points ) November 6th, 2012

I was recently informed of how a factor of some rape incidents is the misconception of body language.

What are some other examples where body language plays a dramatic role? Both beneficial and disadvantageous.

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I disagree with your contention about rape. The word no is all that should be required.

Wine's avatar

You mean, you disagree with the current dictionary definition of rape.

marinelife's avatar

@Wine No, that is not what I mean:

“Definition of RAPE
1: an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
2: unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent”

Merriam Webster

Wine's avatar

Ah I see, you didn’t include 3: an outrageous violation
Though then what a person believes is outrageous comes into play.

Here is a scholarly source explaining what rape is generally defined as.
http://www.clarku.edu/offices/dos/survivorguide/definition.cfm

Unbroken's avatar

I work with the elderly with various physical and mental maladies. I find body langauge a key component in assessing their needs, pain, escalating/deescalating triggers. It brings so much humanity to the workplace and interacting with family members not aware of all the details of their relationships it helps me navigate emotionally heavy situations with compassion and less hiccups and the smallest victory can often feel like the sweetest reward.

I also find body language helpful with animals, knowing cues and how to respond helps with wild animals, helps me train or befriend or pet sit with ease. I love animals and by taking the time to intrepret they telegraph and to a limited extent communicate my own pleasure or displeasure at their actions I am often likely to win a friend or at least avoid getting bitten or trampled or whatever.

Leanne1986's avatar

I work with dogs (some with serious “reactivity issues”). If I don’t read their body language correctly I risk getting bitten.

zenvelo's avatar

I also agree with @marinelife . A misconception about body language has nothing to do with rape, it is an excuse for a rapist to use that extends the lie that rapists are not responsible. It’s no clothing, smiling, make up , or body language. Rape is rape, no means no.

wundayatta's avatar

Body language can offer you a lot of information in every human interaction, if you pay attention and you know how to read it. Much of our interpretation of body language is done instinctively, without our even being aware we are doing it. Still, if you become conscious of what you are doing, you can do it even better.

I have spent over twenty years doing a dance class that has, as a side benefit, been teaching me how to read body language more effectively. I find that I can learn an awful lot by dancing with a person and that this skill translates over into the real world, too. It is interesting comparing notes with other dancers about people we have danced with and what we have learned.

By way of example, I can tell when a person has serious intimacy issues by the way they hold themselves during the dance. There are many other things I learn, as well. I learn who is trustworthy and who needs distance. There are other things I learn that I can’t really articulate now, although I could tell you all about them at the time.

lifeflame's avatar

Totally agree with the dance thing.

ucme's avatar

Okay, if a sick dude is seen chasing a woman down an alley, wearing nothing but a hard on & carrying a knife, i’m going to suspect foul play is at hand.

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