I’m not being a male apologist when I say that men are worse at noticing fine details than women. Hey, it’s scientific. Men have worse peripheral vision, and they rely slightly less on body language (or at least read different types of body language) than their female counterparts. As a result, we’ll often make a big social faux pas because we simply didn’t read the signals right.
Here’s a look at some common pieces of body language that guys miss.
1. “Let’s Take Off” Signals
You know how, sometimes, you want to get out of a conversation or leave a party, so you try to send a subtle signal to your significant other? Unless he’s James Bond, he’s unlikely to notice that you’re gripping your purse or gradually moving toward the door.
When guys aren’t bored, they’re often not on the lookout for signs that you are. They’ll assume that you’ll just say something to them if you want to take off.
2. Boredom Signals
Likewise, guys will often miss signals that the very person they’re talking to is bored as hell. We’ll completely blow it off when a person begins to rest her head on her hands or starts looking around the room in mid-conversation for an exit or a machete. We’ll assume that you’re loving the long-ass story about the time our grandmother bought pinto beans from a Flemish barber unless you actually tell us that you couldn’t care less.
3. The Smaller Signs of Anger
If a person’s fuming, we’ll certainly catch those signals, but the subtler signs of anger whiz right by us. Whether you let your mouth gape open when we stared at the waitress’s breasts, I mean “necklace,” or avoided eye contact all night, we’ll think everything’s fine. This leads many women to assume that guys are idiots—this is not the case. We’re just really dense when it comes to picking up subtle anger signals.
4. Body Language Combined With Speech
We can really get thrown off when women use body language combined with speech to indicate something like sarcasm. Women are often completely unaware that they use body language in this way, but often a much bigger signal is sent with the body than with actual spoken words.
This can lead to some tough situations, as guys will take words at face value, without checking out the subtext. When you’re trying to get across an important point, it’s important to actually say what you mean, or a guy might assume otherwise.
5. Flirting Signals
By far, the most often missed body signals sent by a woman are flirting signals. You’ve undoubtedly noticed from time to time that guys practically need women to grab their genitals in order to realize that there’s some interest there.
Ultimately, it’s we guys who pay the biggest price for missing the flirting signals. Until a guy gets good at noticing the casual body touches and eye contact, he’ll spend his whole life hitting himself in the face at random times during the day and going, “Oh crap! Molly Smith was totally into me in the 8th grade!”
Have you ever been in a situation where missed body language cues led to disaster? Post in the comments below.
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