By Carolyn Steber Aug.
Maybe they were saying something great. Maybe they were gossiping and being mean.
Gossip is Bad Form
But either way, they probably tried to cover it up and act like it didn't happen — and that's what tipped you off. While it's important not to jump to conclusions or assume the worst of people, their reaction can tell you a lot about the situation.
Awkward body language, a strange silence in the room, and even just that gut feeling that something's off can all add up to confirm your suspicions. If things like this keep happening and you'd like to know what's up, don't be afraid to clear the air. Maybe their intentions weren't malicious, but don't be afraid to set stricter boundaries with them moving forward.
Read on for a few body language cues that may mean someone was just talking behind your back. Are they holding themselves differently? Does their laugh seem off? Do they greet you in a different way?
While you might not want to do so immediately, it may be a good idea to talk to the person about it tak especially if you have to see them everyday, or they're important to you. Moments like these can be uncomfortable, but they can be dealt with in a mature way.
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And that can tell you a lot. They "may stiffly smile and badlly hello," Wood says. Keep in mind, though, that people have more than one reason to seem awkward.
If someone has social anxietyfor example, they might come off this way, so it's important not to jump to conclusions or assume the worst. As Wood says, "They may extend a handshake, a hug, or extend the time they say your name, all in an effort to Do they share secrets about other people with you?
Don't assume that you're exempt to their gossiping," Boquin says. If they're known to bad-mouth others, chances are they [might be] bad-mouthing you, too. Are they looking away? Looking shiftily towards others?
Or staring at you longer than they normally would? If they were just gossipingthey may "fear being discovered and baly off or reduce the length of eye contact," Wood says.
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They might also do the overcompensation thing, and stare you down longer than they normally would. Or, you might notice they look more to others bdly in a nervous way — to try and assess the situation.
Basically, if their eye contact seems different for them, it may be a something's up. This is something people subconsciously do when they want to leave a room, which is exactly what they might be trying to do if you just caught them gossiping.
So the most important thing to do is trust your gut. Have you begun to tense up or feel anxious around them?
What is their body language telling you? Whether it's a friend, coworker, or family member, don't be afraid to ask them about it in a kind and understanding way. By talking about how they made you feel, you can help clear the air, and hopefully salvage the relationship.