I recently took out a book titled "What Every Body Is Telling You - A Guide For Speed Reading People". It's a terrible book. Written by an "ex"-FBI agent, it's supposed to help you understand body language, but instead it just makes you question the caliber of the people in the FBI.
But it sparked a conversation that went EXACTLY like this:
Carol: So, what makes that book only for speed readers? I opened it up and it looks like a normal book to me.
Carol: The book says it's for speed-reading people. Why's it only for speed readers?
Me: What? Nonononono... it's not FOR speed-reading people, well it is, but, it's to help you speed READ people. Like READ their body language.
Carol: Oh... Don't look at me like that. You can see where the misunderstanding could come from. Anyways, is it good? Have you learned anything so far?
Me: Nah. It's fairly obvious stuff. It has some interesting stuff where it links body language with innate physiological responses though. Like that whole thing about crossing arms being a fairly hostile gesture. It's supposed to be a protective thing when you're in an uncomfortable situation, you protect your major organs, blah, blah, blah.
Carol: I always thought that was crap. I cross my arms all the time. I cross my arms because it's comfortable. What else am I going to do with my arms?
Me: But what makes it comfortable? Maybe it's comfortable because subconsciously you've moved to protect yourself? And that display of protection is kind of a passive-aggressive thing?
Carol: Are you calling me passive-aggressive?
Me: No, sweetheart. You're very clearly aggressive-aggressive. Let's not get it twisted.
The English language, ladies and gentlemen. A minefield of misunderstanding.