Body Language at the Coffee House

Just a few hours after posting my review of the great book The Definitive Book of Body Language, I went to a coffee place to pick up some espresso. While waiting for my beans to get packaged, I started to make small talk with two customers about the newspaper headline that everyone in Seattle is talking about.

A lady about 45 started chatting with me about the cold weather story and then brought up another story. After a few minutes, I noticed her hand briefly stroked her hair. According to the book, that is one of the 13 flirting moves. But no single body language signal can be interpreted on its own. For confirmation I learned you need a cluster.

latte art

Now I was 0% attracted to this woman, but as recent student of body language I wanted to see if I could detect other signals. Then she lifted her arm up and displayed an exposed wrist directly toward me. After another minute of small talk her foot position went from facing the wall to pointing at me. Two more clear signs.

At this point she started talking about some sports team and I couldn’t fake interest in small talk anymore and I guess it showed with my body language. Down came the wrist and her feet were now pointed more toward the door. After another minute of friendly chatting she left the coffee shop.

Had that scene happened a month ago I would have missed every signal.

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MAS

Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.

2 thoughts on “Body Language at the Coffee House”

  1. I know this is an old post but it’s brilliant. I work in the area of relationships and at one point my business partner of old pushed me to get into the whole ‘Game’ thing. Part of this was studying body language and my experience was much like your own. Suddenly I was picking up on a whole new language being spoken that I’d been missing. One of the downsides was realising I’d missed a couple of stellar opportunities with people I’d been attracted to and hadn’t spotted their interest. Once I learned the new language it didn’t happen again, years later I’m married to the woman of my dreams. Hey, I love your ‘brotard’ phrase too. Your blog is very rich.

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