Books, Pop Culture

Martin Brooks’ New “Body Language Decoder” Project

Martin Brooks’ new project (via a box or cards) is titled Body Language Decoder. The title has a nice ring to it. Sort of like a retro, eighties throwback – think The Terminator, The Running Man, or Total Recall – which along with the retro illustrative techniques (Brooks calls them ‘flashcards’) drives the point home in a fun and entertaining manner. The actual content of the cards themselves is somewhat sobering, as it’s all about you’re having an objective perspective with everyone you’re with. From the standpoint of being a professional or someone in a position of certain, mandated authority, a read like Body Language Decoder couldn’t be better.

The box of cards is something of a literary roadmap, describing top to bottom the significance of every mannerism, every batting of the eye, every single slight shifting of posture. All of these gestures have significance, all of them are unique in terms of implication. One particular movement might mean something different on an entirely chameleonic level from another, in the exact same sitting. The story one tells with their body language is a series or cards. Language and words are rendered subjective in terms of their ability to authentically communicate one’s character. While the pointing out of this is welcomed on a pragmatic level, on the other hand it’s not exactly going to make you take things at face value anymore.

After all, in a world like the one we live in today, the personal and professional are starting to blur boundary-wise. So application of what Body Language Decoder promotes into one’s conduct likely will mean, if you’re thoughtful and contentious, that you’re all in. And that means you might never see people the same way again. That’s a frightening concept for folks, if you think about it.


“The power dynamics in our families, friendships, relationships, and workplaces can be fascinating. Who makes the decisions? Who will take the lead? In situations where a hierarchy is ambiguous, or when one person wants to challenge a structure and establish themselves at its head, power players will often use a few recognizable body language signals to claim dominance,” Brooks writes under a passage titled Power Play. Naturally this leads into the next line of thought he promotes, writing: “Connection is fundamental to human life. We value confirmation of our connections with others, both in our personal and professional relationships. Does my boss value my opinion?

Does the person I met at the party remember me positively? Is our friendship still strong after a long time spent apart? These doubts are a result of not knowing how we are thought of by others and can have a negative impact on our confidence and interactions. If we are uncertain about how people feel about us, we are less likely to speak up in a meeting, set up a second date, or get together with friends. Being able to recognize the connection indicators in this category allows us to feel confident in the strength of our relationships and their reciprocity.”

It’s exhausting how intricate our relationship dynamics really are. But at the end of the day, I would say it’s worth taking the red pill Brooks’ card collection symbolizes. Better to understand the truth, then be a happy ignoramus – I suppose…

Troy Johnstone

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