But not all your body language will be about projecting your "ideal" message . Unlike animals, humans spend a vast amount of time trying to suppress their negative signals . This suppression of thoughts and feelings is known as "body language masking " When animals mask they tend to do so for personal survival Apes tend to mask pain and illness because in the wild any sign of weakness could lead to them being attacked However, while most animals signal their other thoughts and emotions freely and honestly, inhibited humans prefer to throw a modesty blanket around any spontaneous or instinctive displays Like prudish Victorians covering up chair and table legs, humans go to great lengths to avoid flaunting any naked, raw emotion, unless it's during a football game, when all bets are off
This emotional queasiness has made us all prolific verbal and nonverbal liars We tell people we're fine when we're really feeling like crap; we play it cool when we're drooling with lust or love; we blink back the tears at a funeral; we feign indifference when told we've been turned down for promotion or missed out on that top award; and we act out denial when our partners ask if they're losing their hair or turning into a fat-ass Our entire lives have become a silent struggle between our animal, instinctive side and the strategic, social, human side of our nature By masking our true feelings we feel somehow superior and more evolved
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