My grandfather always used to say, "Words can lie but bodies always tell the truth." He was a firm believer in the importance of body language, or how our posture, movements, and facial expressions often provide hints about our moods and personality. Initially, I found these lectures on body language to be extremely boring. Years later, however, they turned out to be invaluable.
My first big job interview provided a lesson on the importance of body language. I remember sitting in the waiting room and eyeing my nearest competitor. He was slouching in his chair with his arms crossed in front of him. If my grandfather were there, he would have politely told him that his body language implied a lazy, antisocial personality. When it came time for my interview, I abided by all the rules of positive body language: I maintained good eye contact and posture to convey self-confidence, and I made sure not to fidget with my hands or feet. The interview ended up going so well that I was hired on the spot.
After that, I applied my grandfather's theories of good body language to every aspect of my life. When out on a date, I knew if the girl was interested in me. If she always moved closer, kept her hands and arms open, and smiled and maintained eye contact, I knew she was a keeper. However, someone who tilted her body backward, looked off to the side a lot, or fiddled with her hands wasn't worth much of an emotional investment.
There was even one time when I knew a breakup was coming months in advance, all because I noticed a few telltale signs that my partner was lying. According to my grandfather, liars will often touch their face or hands, cross their arms, and lean away from you. As much as I didn't want to believe it at the time, it turns out he's totally correct.
I owe a great deal to my grandfather for the insight into body language he gave me. Good body language can open doors in someone's professional and personal life, and bad body language can be a considerable handicap.