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Nonverbal behavior and communication.
Observing people without interacting with them and without their knowledge is called as people watching. It involves trying to guess the story of an unknown individual by picking up clues about them based on their body language. Observations can be made based on three techniques which will help to read people. “Initial technique is to read the body movements, facial expressions, dressing, language, behavior, and way of thinking of the subjects. One should be careful not to make an individual or individuals uncomfortable with watching them too closely” (Peterson, & Leonhardt, 2015). Having a chance to explore this opportunity, I have started watching a male and a female at the bus stop. At the beginning of my observation, I was able to identify the basic movements of facial expression and current emotions of the subjects. The physical movements can also define the characteristics of an individual like crossed legs and arms suggests anger or self-protection, hiding hands would suggest that they are hiding something, biting lips suggests that they are trying to themselves under pressure. From my initial observations at the subjects, the male appears to be aged between 25 to 30 years old, looked deep in thoughts, dressed in formals and carries a laptop bag which indicates that he is a working professional and the female appears to be aged between 18 to 20 years old, looked happy, dressed in casual wear with a bag which indicates that she must be a college student.
The “second technique in observing people is to listen more to your intuitions. Intuitions will let the observer notice the nonverbal information and lets the observer see further” (Shune & Foster, 2017). During this, it would be good to honor the intuitions, pay attention to the flashes of insight and watch for intuitive empathy. In my next stage of observations, I noticed that the male is walking forward and backward talking to someone on the phone trying to explain something in a calm manner even though his facial expressions say that he is frustrated. This says that the man is not happy about talking to the person on the other side of the call. Meanwhile, the female is sitting on the bench relaxed listening to the music with headphones plugged in, chatting and laughing looking at the phone. This indicates that the female is happy and enthusiastic. The third and final technique in reading people would be sensing the emotional energy where you can notice if the subjects are paying attention to the people surrounding them, making an eye contact, feel the handshake, touch or hug and the tone of the voice or laugh. In my next stage of observations, I noticed that the man is not making much eye contact with people around him or not laughing when his eyes meet someone else. Meanwhile, the female keeps looking at the phone as well as the people and she gives a smile when she makes an eye contact with someone. Based on my observations, I would like to conclude that the male is a reserved working professional under some pressure or tension and the female is a college student with friendlier nature and socially confident.