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"Researchers say having an infectious personality induces others to copy your body language and facial expressions."

From the first installment of the BBC's "A step-by-step guide to charisma".

I find it safer to avoid all friendly people and only hang out with the completely anti-social. I'm more likely to retain my own personality that way.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
juniperus
May. 26th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
I really dislike self-consciously touchy-feely people trying to use those sorts of charisma techniques to get by - and I have great fake-dar...my Father has been a (steel yourself) car salesman most of my life, and I can spot salesman fakery a mile away from all of the experience I've had with some of his slimier co-workers over the years...
oursin
May. 26th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
Spooky or what? reminds me of a sf story by Katharine Mclean about a ?colonising group on a distant planet who are all being deliberately infected with a genetically engineered virus based on the one person who has natural immunity to some dissease they've encountered, which also makes them all look the same.
sursamajor
May. 26th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
I've seen this happen! People really do pick up the mannerisms of other people they're drawn to. And obviously most of us have some of our parents' mannerisms. Aren't our so-called 'own' personalities tailored by a constant barrage of cultural influences anyway?
owlfish
May. 26th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
Absolutely.

Even more importantly, we all mimic to a certain degree anyone that we listen to - body movements tend to sync up (as I learned from ozarque - you can tell when people aren't really listening to you - they never move when you do, never coordinate body language at all. And when I say coordinate, doesn't mean they do the same thing at the same time, but tend to move in some way when you move.). Perhaps with charismatic people, the effect is more pronounced?
moon_custafer
May. 26th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
Or people with accents - you have to be careful you don't start echoing them, or they might think you're making fun of them.
sursamajor
May. 26th, 2005 09:36 pm (UTC)
That is so true! When I called my sister (in New York) after a week in New Orleans, she laughed at me because I had picked up the accent something terrible. I didn't even realize I was doing it.
lazyknight
May. 27th, 2005 08:43 am (UTC)
As soon as I first found out about that, I started noticing myself matching bodylanguage with other people. Every now and then, just 'cos I tend to be rather contrary, I'll deliberately stop myself echoing body language...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )