The best thing to read on body language is people. Read someone’s body language and notice what other’s reactions are to it. Read people and how they behave.
The best book would depend on what exactly you want to learn from reading it.
- Some books will have greater emphasis on how to read others around you.
- Other books may have an emphasis on how you can use body language to express signs of leadership, attraction, social value, etc.
Here are recommendations on how to read others around you:
- What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People – By Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins
- The Definitive Book of Body Language: The Hidden Meaning Behind People's Gestures and Expressions – By Barbara Pease and Allan Pease
If you want to alter your own body language, you’re going to need persistence. It’s not something you do overnight.
I would recommend reading either of the above books to learn the causes and effect of the most common body language expressions. But just knowing them won’t help you much unless you put them into practice.
The best way to put behaviors into practice is by first watching others do it. For this, you should start watching movies related to whatever you want to improve. If you want to show signs of leadership or confidence, watch a business movie. If your goal has to do with relationships, watch a romantic movie. Etc. Pay attention to the character’s behaviors and their effect on the people around them to determine which behaviors you’d want to adopt.
The last would be to become aware of your own body language and how it makes you feel. Consciously changing your body language will feel uncomfortable. You’ll have to start changing your current behaviors towards new behaviors. Two ways this can be done is through classical conditioning, or through re-framing of your thoughts and beliefs.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and ask away. Else, good luck and don’t forget to enjoy life. – AndyPineiro.com