Body language interpretation

The way we dress

The way we dress is often perceived as a method of body language interpretation.  But is it a reliable indicator of who and what we are?

“Eat to please thyself but dress to please others.”

Benjamin Franklin

If you are a guest at a smart hotel where a seminar is taking place, it is usually not so difficult to pick out the seminar attendees as they move to and fro.

Identifying each other

In the same way, you can usually identify trade unionists outside the hall where their annual conference is taking place, or business executives outside an annual business confederation meeting.

At each of these events the dress will be a little different, but within them the dress will usually be sufficiently similar to identify the participants.

We like to be the same, and we like to dress in a similar way to those who are like-minded.

There are times when events happen in our lives that cause us to change, at least for a while.  Most of us like to be reasonably well turned out.

This is an interesting concept when it comes to your office. As practitioners, we all come in different shapes and sizes.

One of my clients was a petite in frame and short lady, who was very fortunate to look young. However imagine this image, when you step into a professional office and ask to see the Doctor and she walks around the corner. In addition, she liked to wear “smart” sport gear as she specialised in athletes and was often called out of the office for events.

It was at times difficult for her non-athletic patients to “believe” she was able to treat them because she didn’t come in the “professional” package they had expected for a Doctor of Chiropractic.


Body language interpretation and the way we are

But if things aren’t going so well or we are unwell or depressed, sometimes our standards slip.

A few years ago, a very dear client of mine who was a radiology specialist, went through a family break up when her husband left her.

I met her for coffee, in the CBD area of Singapore one day, her usually impeccable hair was a mess, her natural make-up look was replaced with very obvious and uneven make-up and she was rambling on.

This was not the smart, well-kept woman I was used to seeing.  This is a good example of body language interpretation.

Not to put too fine a point on it, her look was in shambles and looked as if she had been dragged through a hedge backwards.  “My divorce came through”, she exclaimed, before I could utter a word.

Now, I am pleased to say that before too long, with the help of friends, she put it behind her and went on to be successful in her new ventures.