The next time you chuckle at the antics of a comedic duo performing a slapstick routine, you'll notice that two roles are being played. One person gets the pies in the face, while the other throws them. Most relationships, curiously enough, are like this. One partner is dominant, while the other is submissive. We reveal which role we play in various ways, the most obvious of which is through speech. Phrases like, "I'm very sorry," "Excuse my clumsiness", or "May I please?" all imply a degree of submissiveness. Phrases like, "Can you do such and such?" "Will you let me know?" or "Get back to me soon" all reveal the dominant mode.
However, dominant or submissive behavior isn't shown only through what we say. It can be conveyed non-verbally as well. Can you tell the difference between these roles just by watching two people interact? If you know what to look for, body movements contain signs that are just as telling as words, but not nearly as obvious.
Following is a list of everyday gestures. To learn how well you can decipher these physical flags, rate each behavior as dominant or submissive.
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Can You Read Body Language?
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