Not all arguments are about ideas and words however. Whenever we argue and debate our body language tells a story and this story often betrays what we are saying. We can make bold claims but our posture and expression can reveal uncertainty. Likewise, we can also claim we are conceding and agreeing to points whilst our body language suggests aggressiveness and hostility.
Even if most people tend not to explicitly note or understand body language, we all pick up on the signals other people produce. We can get the impression that someone is angry, sad or distracted by the way they present themselves, even if we can’t note exactly why we get this feeling.
The take-home point here is that body language is powerful and often works against us. However by learning to control your body language and know what signals and postures imply what messages you can win an argument without even using words at all.
However, as you might expect it’s important to develop your attention span and your mindfulness of your body in order to manipulate your body language. You can’t give out subtle signals if you are not aware of them in the first place. Try to gradually build up your bodily awareness, taking moments throughout the day to pay attention to how your entire body is feeling. What are the sensations in your face, your fingers, and your legs? How are you postured? Do you realize that your muscles are tensed, or are you entirely relaxed? Don’t try to judge or evaluate these sensations for meaning to begin with – just become aware of them to start with.
Likewise, also make an effort to observe other people. When you are talking to someone, pay intricate attention to how they are posed and the expression on their face. If you look closely, you might see signals that you wouldn’t otherwise pay conscious attention to. If this feels too awkward to do in conversation, try to observe people in your nearby vicinity – you can even grab a coffee and observe the body language and expressions of people in the coffee shop or bystanders walking on the high street.