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Do You See What I See?

1070 words - 4 pages

Reading and recognizing basic body language is a beneficial communication skill. Despite my earlier expectations, after taking a quiz on body language I realized that I have almost no knowledge of the basics. Recently, due to the environment that I am in and the fact that I supervise three people, I have been required to attend classes on Effective Communication and Suicide Prevention. I learned, in both cases, body language plays such a vital role in deciphering how you should respond to different situations. In reference to the quiz I took, I only got three out of nine questions correct. Some of the answers really surprised me, while others made me realize how much I do not pay attention to those around me. One question (that I actually got correct) asked, "If you want to keep someone's attention, is it better to wear a patterned or plain shirt?" Truthfully, I remember this being an issue during the O.J. Simpson Trial that was aired on CNN and Court TV years ago. The famous football player was accused of killing his wife and her male friend. The trial and its commentaries were aired twenty-four hours a day. In one such interview/debate between on-looking lawyers the subject of Mr. Simpson's wardrobe consultant came up in the discussion. They talked about how he was instructed to wear light colors such as gray during the trial. The conversation went further into how different colors and patterns affect those around you. Softer, easy colors cause calm reactions and, in some cases, sympathy, while bright patterns and styles cause excitement or jumpiness. Obviously they wanted the jury to be as calm and sympathetic as possible while rendering their verdict. This is not to say that what colors you wear will always work in your favor. In another popular court case, a teacher fell in love with her thirteen year old student and consequently got pregnant. If you throw in the fact that she was also married, you have a recipe for disaster. Throughout her trial she wore soft colors such as pink and light blue, yet the end result was life in prison for trying to get her lover to kill her husband. Upon reading about the "reciprocity reflex" (giving something upfront, unasked, before asking for a favor) in the quiz, I have to disagree with the test results. The question asked if Person A is more likely to get Person B to purchase or support him/her if they were to give up something, unasked before requesting the favor. Personally, I feel that I am being used when people do this to me. For example, I am deployed in Iraq. For business purposes I was given a cell phone. The purpose of having a phone was to keep in contact with my command team and key leaders and also if the computer system were to go down, everyone would have direct contact with me. On accident one night I found out that the phone also dialed internationally. Of course all of a sudden I...

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