I like to read-a lot-I find it one of the most relaxing ways to learning. I quite often have two, and sometimes three books on the go at once. If you were to visit my boudoir, you would clearly see a nice untidy pile of them on and around my bedside cabinet. But bear with me, this is a blog about body language, expectations and your unconscious mind.
At the moment I am re-reading an excellent book on how our unconscious mind rules our behaviour. How we make decisions (And do, well, virtually all other stuff) on an unconscious level despite our strong arguments that we do everything by consciously thinking about them. The book, which I highly recommend if you are into the subject is, ‘Subliminal. How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behaviour’ by a guy called Leonard Mlodinow (Don’t ask me to pronounce his name but I do know it ends in ‘ov’). He cites many case studies in it.
Anyway, on to the topic at hand; expectations, your unconscious mind and body language, the latter being a subject I have studied since the age of four. In fact, I started studying this beautiful science before I could talk.
Now, I have always said that everyone, and I mean everyone, is an expert at reading the body language of others; on an unconscious level. That is why we can instantly like or dislike somebody we meet within mili-seconds. I am sure you have experienced that too; you don’t know why you liked or disliked the person you just met, but you just knew. Your unconscious mind has read a cue from the other persons body language that they can’t be trusted say, and later you are proved right.
(Incidentally, if you can teach yourself to recognise these unconscious feelings and not be swayed by the after talk and influence the person you meet exerts over the following minutes, hours or days, you will be right more often than you are wrong)
“Your amicable words mean nothing if your body seems to be saying something different” James Borg
Now our bodies are giving away cues all the time even though our words maybe saying something completely different. It is why your partner knows that you don’t really like the dress she is wearing despite your constant reassurances she looks gorgeous. She just ‘knows’.
And just as importantly, we are reading the cues of others constantly too.
These cues are also signalled with the expectations we have of others. For example, you may say that you would like your partner to stop being impatient; you may tell your child they can score an A in math; you may say that you are empowering your employees to make their own decisions but if your expectations of those people is quite the opposite and you don’t believe it yourself, your words are not going to work.
Your real expectations, what you truly believe of them, will be transmitted in your body language and they will read these cues on an unconscious level better than any FBI profiler.
In other words, if you really expect your partner to carry on being impatient and expect your child to only really score a C, that is what is going to happen, more often than not.
Other people we associate with on a regular basis will often respond and live up to the expectations we have of them.
What can also be frightening about this leads me to ask you: What do those around you, expect of you? Do they ‘expect’ you to fail, moan every morning or be miserable like them? Do they ‘expect’ you to keep on delivering the same emotional dramas each week or month?
Or do they ‘expect’ the best from you, to succeed, become a more patient person, to get an A?
Two things I hope you can take from this blog post my friend. Change your expectations of those around you. Really and truly believe that they will be the best that they can be (Because they can be), that they can achieve, that they can be more patient, they are capable of an A. Remember, they are unconsciously reading your real signs or cues and are living up to and fulfilling those very expectations you hold.
Secondly, be mindful of the people around you. What do they really expect from you? Do they really believe and want what is best for you? You are unconsciously reading their cues and real expectations, and more often than not, you are living up to them.
I once had complete faith and belief that somebody close to me would come off drugs. I knew they would read my cues, my real expectations of them. And I believe this was instrumental in helping them kick it.