Over recent years, body language has become a trendy subject in the tabloid press. What a pity the more sensational articles aren't true!
How easy life would be if we could buy body-language dictionaries which would tell us what everyone was feeling and thinking about us deep down in their subconscious. Sadly, or perhaps it's just as well, body language does not reveal all our innermost secret thoughts, but that does not mean it is unimportant. Far from it.
Nor is it really a new subject. In fact, it has an authoritative scientific pedigree. Charles Darwin, discoverer of evolution, published a book titled The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. And Professor Michael Argyle, one of Britain's foremost social psychologists, has written: 'Human relationships are established, developed and maintained mainly by non-verbal signals, although of course words are also used ... We are only partly aware of non-verbal signals from others, we are hardly ever aware of the signals we are sending ourselves. These non-verbal signals constitute a silent language which, although they may be the more important aspect of an encounter, operate largely outside the focus of constant attention.'