Why Introverts Are Pros at Reading Body Language

An introvert reads a friend’s body language

While extroverts can get caught up in the moment, introverts notice details, allowing them to pick up on others’ tiny hints.

I’m an introvert who often feels more comfortable in smaller groups. I used to wonder why, in larger gatherings, people would start conversations with others but not with me.

I later understood it wasn’t about my personality but more about how I presented myself. When I feel confident, my body language is more inviting, making me seem approachable. People pick up on this, whether they realize it or not.

This realization got me interested in learning how to read body language better. After researching the topic, I was happy to find that introverts can be pros at reading body language.

Introverts Are Better at Detecting Lies

One study looked into who’s better at spotting lies: introverts or extroverts. It turned out that introverts were better at it than extroverts.

The study delves into the reasons introverts might be better at detecting deception. It suggests that because introverts tend to be less engaged in external events and more inclined to introspectively assess a situation, they might possess a more objective viewpoint. This objectivity allows them to filter out extraneous emotional signals that could otherwise mislead someone.

In other words, while extroverts can get caught up in the moment and might miss little signs, introverts take their time to think and notice details. This means they can pick up on tiny hints that show if someone isn’t being truthful.

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How Introverts Can Use Their Skills to Their Advantage 

Reading body language is a valuable skill. Doctors, therapists, and detectives use it to figure out how people really feel or if they’re telling the truth. But it’s helpful for everyone. By catching non-verbal hints, you can tell if a friend’s upset or how your boss feels about a project. It’s like having an extra tool to read situations better, whether at work, with friends, or during a job interview. It simply helps us connect with others and understand situations more clearly.

For instance, the way someone stands or the amount of eye contact they make can tell a lot about their emotions. College Info Geek suggests to appear approachable, one should adopt “open body language.” This means standing tall, facing others, relaxing your shoulders, and smiling. For introverts like you and me, recognizing these cues can help us decide when to join a conversation. It can also help us be more aware of how we appear to other people.

Being attentive to someone’s actions can lead to deeper connections. It lets you sense if something’s bothering someone, even if they haven’t voiced it. This awareness can give you a valuable opportunity to provide support or initiate a comforting conversation.

In a nutshell, understanding body language helps in connecting with others, navigating social settings, and in workplaces to read colleagues better.

Detecting Lies Through Body Language

In a TV series called Lie to Me, the main character, Dr. Cal Lightman, uses his expertise to detect lies in crime cases. The character is “based on the world’s most respected expert in lie detection, Paul Ekman.” His work focused on facial micro-expressions and unconscious body language in order to determine truthfulness.

Ekman was part of the process when creating the episodes for the TV series, and it shows. The writers explored ideas with him before writing the episodes and sent the script for him to review before they started shooting.

According to Forensic Psychology Online, Ekman “…reveals, through Tim Roth’s character Cal Lightman, that humans use the same facial muscles all around the world in every language to express surprise, anger, despair, and happiness.”

This means that no matter where you are in the world, if you know how to read body language, you definitely have an advantage. As introverts, we can excel at it. 

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

Being Aware of Our Own Body Language

People often react based on the body language they observe. Actions like avoiding eye contact or having a closed posture might make others feel you’re not interested in them. Sometimes, they may think you don’t like them based on your body language.

However, the more open and positive our body language, the more welcoming we seem. It’s about self-awareness. I learned that it wasn’t necessarily that people didn’t like me, but how I presented myself.

Everyone reads body language and might make assumptions based on it. Understanding this can help you present yourself better and interpret others more accurately.

And if someone ever says you overthink things, remember: As an introvert, this analytical trait can be an advantage, especially in understanding people. That’s a valuable skill to have!

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