Communication Skills/Body language


Hi Phil,

Thanks for reading my question. Hopefully you can answer it. If not, that is okay it seems I am the only one with the closest answer to it anyway. Some understanding would help, however. Ok, so I have a sensitive awareness to body language and I guess that comes from being in tune with people's emotions. Whenever I see someone attractive, if I send the admire vibes like we all do, sometimes they respond. Like how when you feel someone stare at you and you turn in their direction. These people that I see don't have a chance to see me but its weird because their body language still responds favorably in many cases. For example, I was behind someone on the road and I do not think he saw me but I got to see him. I thought he was attractive and I felt the attraction between us. I saw him respond in an agreeable and open way (hair combing alot pretty much), but I do not think he ever seen me? How does stuff like that happen.

In another situation, I saw someone attractive that was walking on the sidewalk as I was driving pass. I was gazing at him to build a connection and get him to notice me, however he ended up turning his head completely the other way as if he didn't want that connection. Of course it is all happening subconsciously. How can this be explained more rationally.

I'll give one more example, I have a neighbor who I talk to occasionally. I noticed that when I go to just observe him, he would end up lining himself behind an object out of eyesight as if to hide. It is a strange pattern that he has. I wish there was a way to understand this more.

Thanks Phil

Hi Quentin,

This is a fun question to answer because within your question is the clue.  In your three examples, they would be strange responses if we as entities ended at the end of our skin. We of course do not. We not only receive information from our senses, but we send out signals as well.  If this were not the case then, machines that measure our brain waves would not work.

So we transmit and receive all the time. A person walks into a room and 'knows' that there is a lot of 'tension in the room'.  Also, we produce pheromones are are so subtle that our subconscious mind senses them, but we are unaware that we have sent or received any information.  Those pheromones communicate fear, tension, interest, attraction etc. and they can be picked up from a surprising distance. There is probably more of our attraction to others that is attributed to smell than we have been previously unaware. Those two things plus the fact that the subtleties of micro-body-language where we communicate messages in a fraction of a second that are picked up subconsciously, covers your examples where individuals are seeing you or have their backs towards you.

Your neighbor, for example, is giving you a very clear message; that the way you look at him makes him feel uncomfortable. If it surprises you, then it also shows how we are often blissfully aware of our own micro-messages. Here is a little saying that will help you to observe even more than you do;  "The message sent is the one that is received." In other words, Quentin, whatever you are telling someone, verbally or otherwise, the only thing that counts is what the receiver interprets.  Of course they will add their own interpretation to the message, which could conceivably turn your messages around completely. What they get from what you say or do, is what THEY make out of it.  Your neighbor, again for example, is getting a message that makes him uncomfortable.  It doesn't mean that you are doing that; it means that the combination of what you are sending and what he is receiving gets translated into a message that has the particular result that you observe.

The difficulty in communication is that the burden of understanding is in the communicator, even though we have no direct control in the translation of the communicatee.  The only thing we can do is to elicit feedback from the communicatee that helps us to determine if the message sent was the message received.  A much more difficult task when the communication is nonverbal, isn't it?

To throw the last wrench into the machine, Quentin, we also should be aware that, especially in nonverbal communication, that the answer we perceive may also be wishful thinking in our part. After all, the communicator then becomes the communicatee, once feedback is observed, and the statement: "The message sent is the one that is received.", then works the other way!

I hope that this gives you something to think about. Of course (tongue in cheek), I'm not sure if what I wrote is what you will read, or if what I read is what you meant. Alas, I have no feedback mechanism to know.

Thanks for asking, and please rate the response honestly,

Phil L. Méthot  

Communication Skills

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Phil L. Méthot


For individuals wanting help with public speaking, I can answer most questions dealing with skills, memory,and body language. Essentially the tools required to become a great speaker. For individuals having trouble communicating one on one, or getting their voice heard, or their message across, I can help you with that too. Listening is an important part of communication, so we can work on improving your listening skills as well. If you feel you are not being understood, that is a deeper issue, but we can start here to steer you in the right direction


I have successfully worked with corporations as a motivational management consultant across Canada. I have twice been President of a Toastmasters group, as an Advanced Toastmaster Gold. I wrote the multimedia ebook: "10 Steps to Becoming A Great Public Speaker." My book "Through the Door!" :A Journey to the Self, dealt with self-image and Will Power. Self Image plays a key role in our ability to communicate and listen effectively.

Toastmasters - Currently President of Pointe-Claire Toastmasters (club 9750)

Book: "Through the Door!" :A Journey to the Self by Phil L. Méthot Book: The Weight is Over - A revolution in Thin Thinking by Phil L. Méthot Multimedia Book: 10 Steps to Becoming A Great Public speaker by Phil L. Méthot Articles in,

Canadian Training and Development Group, success Motivation International

Awards and Honors
Three times recipient of the Presidents club award through the Canadian Training and Development Group and Success Motivation International.

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