In the Social Perception section during the last lap around the Transcendence Spiral, you learned that most of the signals people give out during an interaction are unconscious signals. That while people may have a good idea what words they’re saying, they don’t always know exactly how they’re saying it, and the non verbal parts of a conversation may make up the majority of the communication.
People are good at paying attention to and remembering their words, their intentions. They’re good at manipulating the conscious signals which they are sending to each other. They can deceive, manipulate and hide their true intentions.
Yet their deception, manipulation and true intention are often given away by their inability to consciously control, or even notice, every aspect of their total communication. They forget parts of their body language, their tone, the subtle signals of their mood. In short, they are not aware of all the signals they are giving out.
The same is, of course, true of you. As you sit reading these words you’re no doubt fidgeting, letting your attention (and thus the direction of your eyes) fade in and out. You’re being distracted by memory and the things around you. You’re likely also unintentionally signalling these things to those around you. Even if there is nobody around you!
Increasing Your Awareness Of Your Social Signalling
Obviously becoming more aware of the unconscious signals you’re constantly sending to others can only increase your self awareness, self understanding and facilitate better communication with others.
Assuming you have been practising our meditations, learning to increase your transcendence skills, you will have already become more aware of your social signalling than you were before you started (though you may not yet be aware of your increased abilities).
From the begining of this loop around the spiral, and for each meditation during this lap, you have been improving your body awareness. Learning to be more conscious of the set of your shoulders, your gait, the way you walk and move and slide. You’ve been improving the feedback from your muscles, increasing your proprioception and your kinaesthetic sense. All this is valuable information when trying to increase your awareness of the signals you’re sending. Before you were as keenly aware of the position of your arms, feet, shoulders, neck and head, it’s hardly surprising you were unaware of the signals those positions were sending to the people you came into contact with.
The study of Social Perception mentioned at the beginning of this article, and during our last lap, will have helped you to become aware of the types of movement and expression which others are using which unconsciously signal their intent, emotions and states of mind. The tells they use, the patterns of movement which are used for these signals. They are, of course, exactly the same patterns and movement which you are using to show those same intentions. Otherwise communication couldn’t work. Combining these two improvements — being more aware of your own body, and the meanings of a body’s movement — already means you’ve improved your awareness of your own social signalling no end.
When learning to pay more attention to your own self awareness, you’ll have learned to notice more easily the internal states which these unconscious signals are communicating. This increased awareness of the current state of your being will automatically have been included in the intuitions you’re constantly building about yourself, the way you behave, what those behaviours mean.
Finally, simply reading about the connections mentioned in this article, considering them and recognising them, will have helped to bridge the gap between those skills so that in future you’ll notice yourself learning to understand your own social signalling more thoroughly.
However, you will want to spend some time deliberately focusing on nothing but improving your awareness of your social signalling
This month’s meditation
In this month’s meditation you’ll use pre-visualisation techniques (that is, imagining a future event) to influence your behaviour during that event.
You’ll spend time focusing your brain on the same social signals you’ve previously, in the last lap, tried to focus on from other people. You’ll ponder what those signals mean, and in doing so learn to recognise them when they happen in your life. Thus, you’re awareness will increase, your consciousness be raised and your transcendence be more complete.