Posts for body language

Body Language Differences Across the World

Travel Tips - Ross French - April 21, 2011


By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Last night I was talking to my flatmate and realized that, although she is a very open and expressive person, when she talks about personal things, like her aspirations in life, or self-confidence she adopted a gesture of defence; arms and legs crossed, what can be understood as feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed when talking about herself.

And the thing is that body language says a lot about ourselves and most of the time we do not even realize it. So, it would be quite useful to know both, what messages are we sending to others and what messages others sending to us, especially while travelling.

–     Eye contact, which is considered positive in Western cultures, is regarded as rude or sassy in other cultures like traditional regions of Japanese, Chinese and some areas in the Caribbean, especially when done from youngsters to elderly, and women to men.

While the “thumbs-up” gesture means that something is OK, or that we like it in Western culture, it is rude in Arab countries where it is rude to use the left hand to eat as well.

–     The act of touching one another when talking is very uncommon in Japan, where people do not usually touch in public in the same way Latin or Mediterranean cultures do.

And now, let’s just take a look at our everyday life:

Imagine you have one of the apartments in Rome for a week and every time you meet the guy who is staying in the apartment next door in the lift, he smiles timidly, cannot keep eye contact, talks quickly and low, his hands are sweating, girl, he wants you! Bow chica wo wow!


Watch out when you are talking to someone who is not looking at you all, I mean, if you see that person is keeps looking at the door of that bar, or nods all the time with the look lost and from time to time they say ”yeah”, they’re probably not very interested in your story. It’s surprising when you do this to others, how they don’t notice you want OUT of this conversation.
And a useful tip: we can kind of fake our body gesture to seduce other people, to make them feel better. How? Just look them at the eyes; maybe touch their arm, to make them feel confident, a kind smile, and paused voice and you’ll have them at your feet. But be sharp! There is nothing sadder than a bad actor.

If you feel like starting to put it into practice maybe it’s a good idea to rent one of the Rome apartments and see who’s your new neighbour.

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As Traveller’s Are We Emotionally Intelligent?

Travel Tips - Ross French - April 12, 2011

By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Emotional intelligence is a term that emerged during the 90’s, which implies that a person has the ability to feel, understand, control and modify emotional states of oneself and others.
The reason I am writing this post is to make you (and me, by the way) aware of how important this kind of intelligence is in all aspects of your life, and how you can apply it during your travels.

First of all we need to learn to identify our emotions and make ourselves more aware of them, as we are at their mercy. For example, anger – as soon as we are starting to get angry, we must take notice and apply step number two:

The second step is controlling our impulses in order to adapt them to our objective. Everyone has an objective –although we often don’t even know what it is- but I guess you do not just travel around without knowing where and why. Even if this is the case, you are probably looking for something on an unconscious level, perhaps personal growth, happiness, love. Anyway, the point is that we should be able to handle our emotions. Otherwise we could go mad at an airport when the plane is canceled, or hit the jerk who gave us the wrong directions when asking how to get somewhere. Moreover, we have the right to be angry, super excited or sad, but how long will this sadness last? Can we handle it? Or is it going to last the whole trip?

Third step is achieving the ability of self-motivation. It’s about making ourselves enthusiastic about what we have to do, so that we can do it the best we can. Imagine you see a picture of a traditional lost Spanish city and you suddenly feel like spending a week or two there, rent Seville accommodation. I’m telling you this because our emotions are what make us move. Not only during our travels but through life in general. We come across difficult situations and we have to motivate ourselves from within to get ourselves out of a bad situation. Or sometimes a good situation takes work, we have to push ourselves to get there.

Empathy is the next ability implied for emotional intelligence. Empathy is the ability to notice emotions of other people. Whether you travel alone or with other people, there are moments in which empathy is essential. If you are alone, there will be moments where you need someone to empathise with you or you’ll come across others who’ll need your empathy. And this becomes even more crucial if you’re travelling with your partner. Arguments and disputes could be an everyday occurrence. And here body language plays a great role and also one’s ability to interpret it, so pay attention to the way people move…

And finally, the ability to handle relationships. In the same way we can learn to control our emotions, we can also learn to control others’ emotions. But these abilities can be used altruistically or egoistically. For example, a boss can play a great role here by empathising with his or her employees, congratulating them when doing good job, or kindly asking what’s wrong if their body language is asking for it. Of course there is the other side of the coin, when a sales person tries to sell cheap, bad quality products to helpless old people. But let’s focus on doing good to others, as we want to be treated well, too. For example, receiving a text message or a mail from a friend who knows you may need it is priceless. Automatically this friend gains ten (metaphorical) points in your friendship ranking. And this is a kind of good “handling of relationships”. Don’t forget about karma!

I hope you enjoyed the read. Actually, you don’t need to rent apartments in Seville, New Delhi or wherever to test your emotional intelligence. Start by questioning yourself “how I am feeling now?” And “how’s my partner?” This way and with good faith I’m sure life will be a better place.

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