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Another Thread On Awareness And Nonverbal Communication
#1
It's been a while since we had a thread on this topic, and they are always interesting.





I've been occasionally reading articles and watching videos on the subject and here is one that goes against what is commonly taught but lines up with some of what I have been writing on the topic:





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaxKR4CAKf8





Although she doesn't use the same terminology, she notices what I have about people commonly mistaking emotions for intuition which leads to poor awareness, either not noticing danger signs you should because of positive emotions or hallucinating danger signs when there are none due to negative emotions.



We have different perspectives, mine has been on the topic of self-defense and what I can teach people to avoid danger and hers is more related to relationships, so she has information I never considered. My view on intuition distorted by emotions or even just emotions the person claims to be intuition is that it is usually due to current emotions or even anchors, such as a similar appearance of a person to someone else, all usually unconscious, or when conscious due to reading stupid books on "body language," but in this video the woman says that those who do this simply give the "creepy" label to guys they are not attracted to who are attracted to them in an effort to not appear to be as superficial as guys.



She is more concerned about misjudging a guy's character based on whether a woman likes him or not, but then her topic is not self-defense. For a self-defense application of this knowledge, a "cool" guy who is a predator would be seen by the women she is talking about as "non-creepy" and such women could become victims of the "non-creepy" predator.



I saw another recording sometime back on the same subject but a different perspective, this one from a dating coach who's name I forgot. His presentation on creepiness was on how not to be "creepy." He said that he was out with his girlfriend and her friends who were pointing out "creepy" guys and he did not think they were creepy. When questioning the girls and the guys, it turned out that it was just that the guys were shy or socially awkward, not that they were predators, and that non-creepy guys were guys who were charming and charismatic. He did not note that sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, though his presentation was not on self-defense or even avoiding social problems, just on dating.



On the other hand, in his book "Secure from Crime" Don Paul advises women to avoid men who other men dislike since men are actually better at picking up on whether another man is dangerous or not.



All this said, from a self-defense perspective, it is better safe than sorry and if someone triggers a danger alarm then avoid them, regardless of whether it is actual intuition, a negative anchor being triggered, something you read in a stupid "body language book," or needing an excuse to not like someone. That is not the time to second guess yourself, and by avoiding an interaction you are not doing anything negative to the person.
"Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away. An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as the king can." Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
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#2
This is another topic for the same thread, going back to an older thread. There is a misconception that if some sign is considered cross-cultural then it is an accurate indication of what a person is thinking.



I disagree. On the subject of facial expressions, certain expression are supposedly cross-cultural. Maybe they are. That does no mean that they are accurate signs of a person's thoughts or emotions. Someone earlier posted that he had what people call a "perma-scowl." In looking at some pictures of myself, it does appear that I was mad at the time the picture was taken when in reality I was in a neutral or positive mood. I thought I looked mad, and might think that another person was mad if they had that expression, but I was not. My theory is that it might be possible that interpretation of expressions is cross-cultural, but that they are not necessarily accurate indicators of a person's thoughts or state.



I'm not sure that there is any practical application for the above information other than more evidence against common beliefs regarding "body language."



Some make a big deal about real and fake smiles and how to tell them apart. I've not looked into that topic in depth, but it is easy to "fake" a "real smile" in a context that you don't really have a reason to smile. Just think of something that makes you smile and get into state and you'd have a "real smile," just not for the reason the face reader thinks. You can think about having the next knife on your list of knives to buy.
"Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away. An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as the king can." Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
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#3
I studied non-Verbal Communication at Purdue. Back when there were only about a dozen Anthropologists specializing in Non-Verbal Communications, O Michael Watson was one of the acknowledged experts.



He told me that a sound knowledge of NVC was nigh to being a form of Telepathy and for him, being hyper-aware of when others were telling white lies or whatever had ruined many relationships and friendships.



I was always of the school that says, "Better Wise and Sad than Ignorant and Happy" if those are the choices.



{The Author of "Ecclesiastes" felt the same way...}



Anyway, I asked him how to develop this hyper-awareness.



"Watch a TV Soap Opera every day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday turn the sound off and try hard to follow the Plot Lines."



This was many years before VCRs came out and I was never in a good position to follow his advice.



Question: "Those are actors, doesn't that alter the NVC?"



Professor: "With good actors, far less than you'd think."



I've never been much good at reading people, because as a General Rule People Bore Me. When in the presence of people, I'm far more likely to to be thinking about metaphysics, my gun collection, string theory or some thorny theological argument than I am in observing the silly rituals of the nidderlings.



By the way, once it was well accepted that when you said some one was "Greasy" or "Oily" you meant that he was crude enough to be overtly sexual in his body language and tone of voice...



Like the Stereotype of the Italian Gigolo.



Nowadays if I say, "I hate that Greasy Bastard," folks think that I'm commenting about his Hygiene.







.....RVM45 [Image: cool.gif][Image: thumbsup.gif][Image: cool.gif]
There are only Two Types of People in the World:



A.} People who are After My Guns;



and;



B.} People who are Not After My Guns.



Though I am forced to live in exile, in the Twenty-First century; I am still proud to be a Citizen of the Twentieth Century.



RVM45
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#4
I've recently seen another example of distorted thinking regarding nonverbal communication, this time regarding eyes.



I don't have the picture, but it was a post on Facebook by my aunt showing Bergdal smiling with the Taliban. She said that even though he is smiling that his eyes show that he is afraid and that he really isn't a traitor. Then she said that she read a book on body language and that she can read people all the time. Maybe so, but she is ALWAYS wrong when she reads me. Most people are, but she is wrong all the time and insists she is right.



I don't know what he was doing in that context, but photographs are not good indicators of nonverbal communication. They were necessary for books so people could see what the authors described (whether or not the authors' theories made sense) rather than have the reader guess what a posture, expression, or gesture looks like, but in the real world people are dynamic and a snapshot is just a microsecond. I've had pictures where people commented that my nieces looked mad when they were actually having fun when the pictures were taken, it was just that their faces happened to be in certain positions the moment the camera was activated. I later learned to take 3 shots of anything I wanted to take a picture of.



Maybe Bergdal is innocent and was just taking a walk, frolicking with the wildlife thinking Afghanistan was a Disney movie. Maybe he deserted and was captured, maybe he deserted and tried to join the Taliban and was instead captured, maybe he did join the Taliban and they figured his best way to serve was to get more serious Taliban fighters freed, or maybe something else happened. You can't tell that from looking at a picture based on what you learned from a "body language" book.



Even if the info in the book was accurate and she correctly applied it, and Bergdal was scared, he could have been scared of something else, such as getting caught and arrested by the US. Even if you can accurately read an emotion, you might not know the proper context. This goes back to where I told how to "fake" a "real smile." I could be walking around and find out that Farscape, Stargate SG-1, Firefly, Stargate Atlantis, and The X-Files were all just renewed for new seasons and be happy about that and someone seeing me could think my emotions had something to do with the immediate environment.



On the topic of eye contact, a book I will give a very strong dis-recommendation is "The Power of Eye Contact." The book mainly tells why eye contact is important, and then goes on to very strange theories and practices but very little practical information. He claims that "good eye contact" is universal and not cultural, and cultures that don't use "good eye contact" are actually aware of "the power of eye contact" but suppress it because they are scared to connect with people. The book has negative reviews from people who bought it for business and social purposes (probably because they got the same recommendation that I did) and instead it is more about having parties where you pair up with people and stare into their eyes for long periods of time as some sort of New Age practice.
"Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away. An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as the king can." Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
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#5
Here are some thoughts on situational awareness.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7g6-_d4...MMGEa2SXPw
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#6
I took a couple of classes at Purdue taught by one of the top researchers in Non-Verbal Communication.



[sub]{O Michael Watson}[/sub]



He continually stressed that you cannot say that one Non-Verbal Action—like crossing the arms for instance—"Means" "X", "Y" or "Z".



Everything must be evaluated in Context:



What do you know about the Subject?



Who else is present?



What kind of presence are you projecting?



What came before and after that micro-momentary?



Voice stress and timbre, cadence of speaking, cadence of rhythmic movements or gestures are all important too.



So far as that goes—in face-to-face encounters you may even be able to add the presence of scents and pheromones to your analysis.



{Many scents and all pheromones are processed subliminally—but if you really want to get good at this sort of thing, you have to listen to subjective "Feels" that are often based on sound subliminal impressions.}



Personally, I've never got all that good at People Reading.



#1} I focus very strongly on the Literal Meaning of Verbal Communication.



There are Lies of course—but my default state is to assume that even Liars want their statements to be accepted as Literal Fact.



#2} When I'm out among people, I tend to be bored and my mind is dwelling on something interesting—not on all the mundane hairless apes surrounding me.



I was a little old to remedy that when I finally became aware of it. I very seldom go out anymore. I have to take the trash out to the sidewalk every couple weeks and I often don't don shoes or step outside in the interim. Sometimes I won't leave my property for two or three montha at a time.



At this point I don't really care about F2F People Reading.



Anyone who wants to get good at People Reading needs to be very skeptical of Pop-Science books on Non-Verbal Communication.







........RVM45 [Image: cool.gif][Image: thumbsup.gif][Image: cool.gif]
There are only Two Types of People in the World:



A.} People who are After My Guns;



and;



B.} People who are Not After My Guns.



Though I am forced to live in exile, in the Twenty-First century; I am still proud to be a Citizen of the Twentieth Century.



RVM45
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#7
It was obvious the officer in the Brown shooting used good awareness skills. Mr Brown was using a tactic straight from Sun Tzu. I see this type of tactic all the time. Mr Brown had his hands up not to surrender, but to deliver a surprise attack on the officer. Its apparent the surprise did not work.





At work, this tactic is not always a planned tactic but a part of schizophrenic behavior. I've been bitten 2 times from these type manic acting people.





Studies have shown this tactic can have remarkable successful results. The Tueller drill or 21 feet rule is a reason this tactic is so deadly. Eye contact and awareness saved this officer's life!
Message of Insight and Unity 

We go into the wilderness to fulfill our hearts and empty our minds of life's garbage.
The gear we leave behind and the challenges we encounter, 
Are methods we use to cleanse our spirits.
Of Survivalists and Bushcrafters, Primitive Technologists too, we are one.........

It is the wilderness within, we strive for first and always.
Not everyone can have a cabin in the mountains.
The thread that connects us, is fine like silk and strong as steel.
Together, the song of the wilderness is the song we sing!

"And can I say something else?"
Bushcrafting is "doing what you want to do." 
Survival is "doing what you have to do"
Primitive Technology is about all of the above........

By TNRR aka "Survival Sully"
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#8
Well Duh!



I knew that there had been a recent post on Non-Verbal—but somehow I didn't read the top half of this one.



{Usually the computer sends me to the top of a thread.}



So I posted almost the same post twice.



Just noticed that the other day.



NNo, I'm not that stupid.



.....RVM45 [Image: cool.gif][Image: thumbsup.gif][Image: cool.gif]
There are only Two Types of People in the World:



A.} People who are After My Guns;



and;



B.} People who are Not After My Guns.



Though I am forced to live in exile, in the Twenty-First century; I am still proud to be a Citizen of the Twentieth Century.



RVM45
Reply
#9
[quote name='TN RIDGE ROVER' timestamp='1409357940' post='594212']



At work, this tactic is not always a planned tactic but a part of schizophrenic behavior. I've been bitten 2 times from these type manic acting people.



[/quote]





Yes, and even people with IQs in the 30s know to "apologize" to someone they attacked in order to get into position to attack again.



IIRC residents attempted to bite me 3 times but never succeeded, but one time came close.



I had a co-worker who was at a house I would not work at. It had a resident with hepatitis who smeared feces on his hands and liked to claw people with his sharp nails. The regular staff was supposed to keep everyone's nails clipped but they were lazy and this guy was filling in and got attacked and scratched. After that he had to get STD tests.



For some reason I was better able to detect attacks by residents when I was a new staff than when I had more experience. Maybe I was desensitized due to constant exposure. During my orientation the supervisor pointed out each resident to me and explained their behaviors and pre-behavior indicators and pointed out one resident and told me that he gives off no indicators before an attack. My response was "He's going to attack now." and he attacked the staff near him. I noticed a sudden shift in muscle tension.
"Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away. An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as the king can." Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
Reply
#10
Shit like that has happened to me a few times. I was helping a nurse strap down a blind old man with one leg and C-Diff. He gave me good scratches on my arm that drew too much blood. Had to go thru blood tests for a year!







Some of us have learned the science of awareness. It starts with focus. Your focus was far superior than most people when you observed that muscle twitch. You accurately predicted violence mili-seconds before it happened.







My incident like that was when someone who had taken 156 aspirin suddenly turned violent by attacking a nurse. My partner had just left the room, when the patient resting in bed turned facing the nurse. I called for my partner who entered the room just when all hell broke loose! I was bitten and bloody from my blood. My adrenalin was thru the roof, my focus was more like Superman!







Attention to the smallest details is what sets simple awareness and real focus apart. It comes from experience, the ability to remain calm, and just being patient. Some people are born that way, others have o work at it, and others learn the hard way.
Message of Insight and Unity 

We go into the wilderness to fulfill our hearts and empty our minds of life's garbage.
The gear we leave behind and the challenges we encounter, 
Are methods we use to cleanse our spirits.
Of Survivalists and Bushcrafters, Primitive Technologists too, we are one.........

It is the wilderness within, we strive for first and always.
Not everyone can have a cabin in the mountains.
The thread that connects us, is fine like silk and strong as steel.
Together, the song of the wilderness is the song we sing!

"And can I say something else?"
Bushcrafting is "doing what you want to do." 
Survival is "doing what you have to do"
Primitive Technology is about all of the above........

By TNRR aka "Survival Sully"
Reply
#11
[quote name='Benjamin Liu' timestamp='1406838363' post='593450']She said that even though he is smiling that his eyes show that he is afraid and that he really isn't a traitor. Then she said that she read a book on body language and that she can read people all the time. Maybe so, but she is ALWAYS wrong when she reads me. Most people are, but she is wrong all the time and insists she is right. .....

[/quote]



Funny how eager people are to assume they're right just b/c they never receive negative feedback - and they don't usually pursue any feedback at all. Unless you get positive feedback, you have no idea if you are right or wrong and who really has the gumption to go up to a complete stranger, on a regular basis, to ask how they are feeling in order to confirm if they were correct in reading body language. Kinda like on another forum people think they are good at guessing what kind of concealed firearm people have w/o ever asking the person to confirm the guess.
Steve
  • Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but it can get there real fast.
  • Losing an illusion makes you smarter than finding a truth - Ludwig Borne
  • Always remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.
  • This is more fun than beating a tree hugger with a dead baby seal.
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