Saturday, November 26, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 361:
Another Bonding Adjunct During Laughter

Although many people are unaware of it, a primary role of laughter is a means of bonding more than it is a result of humor. This is a fundamental staple of Psychology 101. I pointed out in a post a few days ago (Negotiation Body Language Secret # 501: Bonding and Rapport Facilitators - The Laughing Lean) that women will often lean towards each other as the laughter maximizes and peaks. This nonverbal promotes bonding and builds rapport even further. In the above image, Herman Cain is leaning a bit towards Mitt Romney during a break at a recent Republican debate in Orlando, Florida. Sometimes when women or lovers do this, their heads will even touch - although such head touching is rare among straight men.

The shoulder or arm touch is a similar bonding adjunct. This nonverbal is seen commonly with both sexes. Discretion must be exercised though, so as to avoid evoking patronizing feelings. In some contexts this body language will back fire - and you may rapidly "Un-bond".