What Does Our Body Language Say?

Our body language and facial expressions make up so much of what we say – experts suggest that it may make up 50 – 70% of all communication! If we use it so much in our daily lives, have you ever wondered: what exactly am I saying with my body language? Here are some common movements and habits that people have and what we might be saying without words!

Eyes

  • Eyebrows: your eyebrows can say a lot about your emotions! Furrowed or scrunched up eyebrows typically mean frustration or confusion, while raised eyebrows shows interest, curiosity, or surprise!.
  • Blinking: most people blink an average of 6-8 times per minute. If you’re under stress, you blink a lot more. You can tell if others might be stressing out by how much they’re blinking.
  • Looking up or to the side: this tells a lot about how our memory works. If you are trying to remember something you’ve seen before, you will typically look up like you’re trying to picture it. If you are trying to remember something you’ve heard, you will look to the side towards one of your ears, like you’re listening for it.
  • Lowering your eyes: can you picture little kids doing this when they feel sorry or want something? Lowering your eyes is a common human response to wanting the support of others or needing some empathy.

Mouth

  • Smiling: there’s a reason people say smiling is contagious! When you smile, it sends signals to the other person that they should be smiling, too.
  • Chewing on your lip: many people have a habit of biting or sucking on their lip when they’re in an awkward situation or feel uncomfortable. It could be because they’re trying to soothe themselves!
  • Tense lips: pursed or tensed lips are often a sign of anger or annoyance. Be sure to pick up on this cue and try to alleviate the tension next time you’re around some with pursed lips!

face

  • Scratching your nose: this is often associated with telling lies. This is because when someone tells a lie, they get a small adrenaline rush which causes your nose to itch! So watch out for people itching their nose when saying something suspicious.
  • Tilting your head: this is a sign of interest and engagement. We do it out of habit when listening to a friend’s interesting story, both out of intrigue and also it helps us hear better when we angle our ear towards them.

body

  • Angling your body: we will usually angle our feet towards those we are paying close attention to or respect. For example, you may angle your body towards your professor when listening to a lecture. It’s also a sign of acceptance when a friend walks up to join your group and you angle your body out to welcome them in!
  • Slouching shoulders: doing this too much can make your body hold on to stress and feel sad or weighed down. Try to stand up straight and you’ll feel more confident and positive!
  • Rocking from side to side: when you shift your weight back and forth between your legs, this is often a sign that you are anxious and are trying to comfort yourself.

hands

  • Handshakes: some people say the way you shake hands says a lot about you! A firm but nice grip implies that you’re outgoing and confident, while a limp squeeze or too quick of a shake could mean you are shy or unsure.
  • Gesturing when you talk: research shows that those who gesture more with their arms tend to be energetic and agreeable, so if you are trying to make an impression or be more memorable, try to use your hands when you talk. But don’t overdo it! Too much arm movement can seem overly excited or out of control.
  • Picking at your nails: this is a sign of low confidence or stress. Instead of messing with your nails, try finding something else to do with your hands such as a stress ball, fidget object of some sort, or folding your hands together so you’re not able to reach the nails.

Cheap Hangout Ideas

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Summer is in the air and you’re ready for some fun with friends after a long semester! Summer time is always great for family vacations, road trips with friends, and other big, exciting adventures. However, sometimes you just want to have fun without spending lots of money! Here are some great ways to spend your time hanging out with friends that don’t break the bank.

Game Night
Having a game night with my friends is probably the cheapest and most frequent activity we do. It can also be an inclusive activity especially when you have friends with kids (hello twenties). Board games don’t have to be boring, so we usually opt for different games every week such as:

1. Mafia – this card game can get pretty intense especially if your friends are great at being secretive! Essentially, you are assigned a card and given the role of either a detective, a doctor, a mafia member (the killer), or an innocent civilian. The purpose of the game is to find the killer before everyone else gets killed. Find all the rules here.

2. Murder Mystery Games – with this game, you can either go all out or play it casually. There are hundreds of free downloadable online if you don’t feel like paying for a pack. Here is a website with 9 free ones you can look at right now!

3. Heads Up! – this app is great for a large group of people. The purpose is to get someone to correctly guess the word that is on the screen, either by singing, miming, or giving clues. The app is free to download and has tons of categories to choose from!

Picnic/Barbequeben-duchac-66002-unsplash
When the beautiful spring and summer weather hits, take advantage of pretty days by having a picnic or even a barbeque! Like game night, this activity can also be pretty inclusive and if you plan on hosting, there’s no shame in making it a potluck/bring-your-own-food outing. The great thing about picnics is that you can host it at pretty much any free place. Bonus points if it’s at the beach or a lake!

Exploring
This category is pretty broad, but exploring your city is always an option. You probably would take the option to travel instead of staying home, but what allures us to hitting the road is the notion of experiencing new things and seeing new places. If you live in a pretty big city, chances are you haven’t seen everything. Try out that new coffee shop or go to a restaurant you’ve never been before. You can even use this opportunity to sharpen your photography skills! If you live in a pretty old city, there’s probably a bunch of historic places that offer guided tours.

Try a New Recipe
This may be hit or miss with some people, but at the end of the day, eating is essential. Pick a recipe that aligns with your cooking experience and try it out. If you’re new to cooking (or think you’re terrible at it), get someone who has experience to help you out. You can do this with friends, your significant other or even do it to bond with your family. Plus, this will give you an opportunity to try out all those recipes you’ve pinned on Pinterest!

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In the age of DIY, there’s plenty of how-to videos floating on the internet. Don’t be afraid to get artsy and try something new! You can try pretty much anything, from crocheting to woodworking. Put on a Bob Ross video and paint with your friends! You can even plan crafting events around holidays and birthdays like card making, pumpkin carving, and gingerbread house building.

Mini Golf/Bowling
Not every city has a TopGolf or a Main Event, but chances are, there may be something similar. There are also tons of other options like indoor skydiving, VR arcades, go-karting, ice skating, and roller skating. Check out your local entertainment spots to see if they offer discounted evenings, or browse Groupon for some deals to save money!

Escape Rooms
Escape Rooms are hot right now and they keep getting better and better! The most expensive we’ve seen was $30/person, but there are some rooms that go for around $15. Do your research and pick the best one that suits you and your group.

Live Musicbogomil-mihaylov-519207-unsplash
You don’t always have to pay for a concert. So many restaurants, lounges, and even coffee shops have live music. And if you’re feeling bold, some places even have open mic nights! A lot of downtown areas carry events like this almost every night, so check out their calendars and see what sounds best to you and your friends!

Use some of these ideas or brainstorm your own, and go have some fun this summer!