Ever wondered why you keep misreading or missing body language signals? If it’s an innate skill, or our gift, why don’t we always get it right? Confused about body language? Watch my video to learn why you keep misreading their signals.


5 Reasons Why You’re Misreading Body Language


1. We Often See What we Want to See

How we interpret or read body language and facial expressions is influenced by our beliefs, expectations, background and experiences. In other words, we often see what we want to see.

2. Motivational Conflict

One of the reasons why we misread non-verbal signals is that people tend to send mixed messages. Now while this might sound manipulative, it’s perfectly normal.

Humans are complex and our non-verbal communication reflects the complexity of our thoughts and emotions.

For example, you might be really excited about the prospect of new job but nervous about the interview, or dying to talk to someone that you think is super cute, but at the very same time, scared of approaching and worried about rejection. This is called motivational conflict.

3. We analyse one gesture in isolation rather than looking for the cluster.

When it comes to non-verbal communication we always need to look a cluster of 3 to 5

simultaneous signals to understand the message. A signal in isolation is just one piece of the puzzle and can have multiple meanings depending on the other signals in the cluster, the situation, timing, temperature etc.)

4. We’re prewired to look for the negative.

Ever notice that everything seems to go wrong when you’re having a bad day? Our brains are always on lookout for negative signals…and because that’s what we focus on, it’s often what we see.

5. It’s all about the context

Another reason that we misread signals is that we don’t consider the context. How we react in different situations is influenced by  a number of factors so it’s important to consider the  the context, situation, location, timing, temp, relationships, experiences).

To the untrained eye many signals appear similar, but our reactions are as complex as we are. For instance, someone going to an interview or first date may experience heightened negative emotional arousal.

Fear can throw us into fight or flight mode as we try and get away from an uncomfortable situation, avoiding eye contact, burying our palms, turning our legs or torso towards the door, or using arm barriers in an attempt to create emotion and physical distance. We retreat and withdraw, our body becoming smaller as a subconscious attempt to protect ourselves.

While this position may provide a sense of comfort it projects doubt, insecurity and can even be interpreted for disinterest.

Projecting non-verbal confidence is one of the key factors in determining who gets hired and who gets asked out for a second date, projecting confidence, sociability, trustworthiness, dominance and even competence. In fact, in interview settings, research shows that projecting non-verbal confidence accounts for nearly  50% of interviewer ratings of potential candidates.

It’s easy to misread withdrawal as incompetence and disinterest, when often what it’s really telling us is that person we’re connecting with needs reassurance. So before you write them off, change your focus and do a mental checklist to ensure that you look open and approachable. You’ll put them at ease and in doing so you’ll get to see the real them shine through.



Katia Loisel

Katia Loisel

Katia Loisel is an internationally recognised dating, relationship and body language expert with over 19 years experience in the TV Industry. She is the co-author of the bestselling How To Get The Man/Woman You Want and has conducted a widely published five-year global study into dating and mating patterns. A sought after media commentator, spokesperson and host, Katia has been interviewed over 1,000 times by media outlets worldwide. Her production credits include programme creation, development and production of various dating and relationship related TV shows for the Australian and US market and a global online ‘how to’ campaign for the dating and relationship market that generated over 12 million views. Katia is the Founder of The Love Destination, and is on a mission to empower and inspire, bringing more love and good news into the world.

Leave a Reply