As part of my major, I study body language and posturing throughout cultures. This can vary from how to adapt public speaking methods to personal space differences, and analyzing background from gestures. Here are some red flags that have helped me out abroad and domestically. I can be wrong, tossing these out anyway, use your discretion.
-Do you ever sit with one leg crossed onto the opposite leg? This is a common way to sit casually. It's known as the 'American Figure 4', because for some reason this sitting posture is only seen throughout North America. Back in WW2 German Intelligence trained soldiers to spot anyone who sat like this because they were either Americans or had spent time in the States. Add on the risk of exposing your heel in Muslim countries, not a way to sit abroad.
-People with a background with weapons develop posture quirks from their training. For instance, whenever they carry something in their strong hand, the other arm becomes poised and the weaker side becomes dominant, trailing the strong side to protect whatever it's holding. It's not some mall ninja stance, it's just natural to keep your gun close and avoid bumping into people or things when you're armed. This carries over into everyday life, soon enough you may do the same thing when you're carrying a stapler at work. Likewise, when suddenly approached, the right hand will move slightly towards a CCW. Newbies tend to pat their pockets or side habitually to make sure whatever they're carrying is still there, this tends to be how I spot people carrying clipped pocketknives.
-Boot camp trains some subtle features that some may never realize. People with long time spent in formations and bearing busters eventually stop widening their eyes in the usual 'Huh?' gesture, preferring a tighter gaze when in public. They save the wilder expressions for in private, unless they're gregarious. I've only seen this in Western and African cultures, can't apply it worldwide. I seem to attract a lot of 'war heroes' with stories to tell, and I eventually paid close attention to their eye-set if something caught their attention. The ones who had a sterner stare typically had been in the military but were exaggerating slightly, the gawkers very rarely had actual service time.
-Polished shoes tell tales. Are they well-maintained but he seems to be okay getting them dirty? Are they black mirrors that he keeps pristine? Is he well dressed but leaves his shoes dull? When Asians bow...they're looking at your shoes, and do judge accordingly whether intentionally or not. Some dating studies have even pointed out that women check the back of a guy's shoes if he's walking away, along with other obvious areas. My own personal experience: I can tell when a shoe is spit-shined, brush polished, or when they just rub on those horrible 'quick-shine' sponges. The quick-shiners are in this to impress, but are either impatient or clueless when it comes to normal polishing. This look is ultra-shiny, but looks wiped on and artificial if you look more than a second.
-How do you breathe and speak? Through the diaphragm or through your upper chest? Easiest to spot when some one is sitting down because if you breathe through the chest your shoulders will rise and fall. Some one who breathes through their diaphragm is probably an athlete, actor, singer, martial artist, or even the type who meditates or does yoga. This changes vocal quality quite a bit, it projects the voice and adds quality to your resonation. Hang around enough performers, you'll notice they speak clearer and present better. If you really want to avoid people noticing you while speaking, breathe through your chest and let it be a tad nasal, but not too falsetto. I'm a shoestring-income voice actor who does narration and amateur character work, people used to turn around in restaurants when they hear me talking because of my abnormally radio-sounding voice. I learned to breathe and inflect differently to blend in and make my voice carry less. When I didn't, people would keep looking at me because I sound incredibly rehearsed and overly grand when I say the simplest things, even though I'm a hundred twenty pound white guy with a mullet.
jamoni wrote:Zombie Squad, the things you have experience with scare me.