Guest AuthorKhyati Gupta Babbar

How to Understand ‘Likes and Dislikes’ by Observing Body Language?

By | Khyati Gupta Babbar | Santulan Behavioural Sciences

In our day to day interaction with people, many times we are trying to understand whether someone likes us or not. Sales professionals would want to know whether a potential client likes their proposal or not. Or a speaker would want to know whether the audience likes their speech or not. To help us deal effectively with these day to day life questions, read below a few tips on how we can use body language to understand LIKE OR DISLIKE better.


  1. Leaning in vs. Leaning Away: When we like what we are listening to we lean in; non-verbally indicating that we are bringing our ears closer because we want to listen more! Similarly, you would have observed in meetings, if you make a point which someone does not like he/she will immediately lean back on their chair showing their dislike or lack of approval.
  2. Touching vs. No show of hands: Think about it, every time you like an item that you have purchased, you like to touch it and hold it. We touch our loved ones by hugging them and showing our affection. Similarly, touch plays a very important role in our work life. If your potential client likes what you have to offer, he or she will usually touch your demo piece or your brochure and keep it close. However, when we see an absolute no use of hands then probably the person is sending out signs of dis-interest. This science is very helpful for shop attendants at malls. They usually take away the clothes that the shopper is holding to keep them in the try room. If you just let the person hold the clothes for a little while longer they might just like the clothes more.
  3. Fronting vs. Distancing: When we like someone we align our top, torso and toes towards them. This is called fronting. But when we do not like someone we dis-engage from fronting and angle our body away from them. Understanding this is very crucial to enhance our ability to perceive how the other person is reacting to us.
  4. Comfortable vs. Self-Soothing: When we are comfortable with the other person or the topic being discussed, we are relaxed and at ease. But what is important to watch out for is whether our actions or speech are making the other person uncomfortable. How do we notice this? Observe self-soothing gestures that the person might display such as touching themselves, stroking their hair or constantly touching their face.
  5. Mirroring vs. Unresponsive: You know that feeling! When in a conversation you both are absolutely in sync with each other. You are building your conversation from each other’s point and thoroughly loving it. That natural bond is being formed and you both are mirroring each other verbally and non-verbally. For example, if he leans forward you too lean forward naturally. When you observe such behaviour in a conversation it is definitely going great. But when we see no mirroring at all and an unresponsive person then you need to explore further if the person wants to be a part of the conversation or not.
  6. Close vs. Far Proxemics: Proxemics is the science of space or social distance. When someone likes you they will come closer to you and vice versa. Observe this specially in coffee shops how a person who likes the other person will slowly narrow the distance between them.
  7. Nodding vs. Stiff Neck: Are they interested in listening to you? Observe that when you are listening to someone intently, you slowly nod your head up and down. Especially observe the triple nod, where a listener makes three slow and purposeful nods to encourage the speaker to speak more. On the contrary, when you notice a stiff neck or distancing of the head, re-evaluate your listener’s interest or pause for a moment to engage them and ask a question.

Our body language is communicating with us. All that we got to do is listen with our ears and eyes both! What are your challenges in understanding likes and dislikes? It will be wonderful to hear from you.

Republished with permission and originally published at Khyati Gupta Babbar’s Linkedin

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: