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I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, February 19, 2018

"The eyes have it"- body language

Feb. 14, 2017 "The eyes have it": Today I found this article by Pat St. Germain in the Edmonton Journal:

Worried your Valentine is just not that into you?

Their eyes may hold a clue, but you’d be wise to look farther down. No, not there.

Keep going. “Where we point our feet is actually a pretty profound indicator of whether we want to be with the person we’re with, or whether we’d rather be somewhere else,” says Geoff D’Eon, writer and director of one-hour documentary Body Language Decoded, airing Thursday on CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things.

The significance of our lowest extremities came as a surprise to D’Eon during the making of the documentary, but experts including former FBI agent Joe Navarro told him feet are more accurate indicators of someone’s emotional state than their face. Anyone can put on a fake smile, but your feet don’t hold with social convention.

“It’s a function of the limbic brain, the part of the brain that keeps us safe, and so Joe Navarro says that he starts at the feet,” D’Eon says.

“When he goes to a social gathering, he says, ‘That’s where I look: I begin at the feet and then I work my way up.’

“Most people look at the face because it’s the most obvious place to start and then look at other parts of the body for indicators of intent, but he starts at the feet.”

In the documentary, Navarro points to photos of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as an example of an unhappy couple whose body language speaks volumes about the state of their union.

“They don’t face each other, they’re most often photographed with them shoulder to shoulder,” D’Eon says.

“And (Navarro) uses that aphorism, ‘Belly away, don’t want you to stay,’ and he says it’s surprisingly accurate. And so when he’s watching people in a social situation, a couple for instance, he’s looking at where they position their feet, and ideally if it’s a functional couple and things are going well, their feet will be close together. Sometimes their legs will even be intertwined under the table.”

One couple whose body language is ripe for scrutiny these days is Donald and Melania Trump.

“Just watching his arrival at the White House on inauguration day — just watching him get out of the limousine while Melania got out of the left-hand passenger door and he got out of the right-hand passenger door and he walked straight up the steps. He didn’t wait for Melania, he didn’t go around to take her by the hand and walk up the steps with her. He went up on his own as if she wasn’t there.”

Contrast that with the arrival of Barack and Michelle Obama eight years ago. He not only waited for her at the bottom of the steps, she preceded him as they walked up to greet former president George W. Bush and Laura Bush.

“That’s a fascinating contrast in styles and it’s tremendously illustrative of Trump as an alpha male. He is the centre of attention, and she (Melania) is an accessory. She is ancillary to the main event, which is him, and he displays that over and over again.”

Los Angeles-based body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass says that, love him or loathe him, Trump “is a great communicator,” who comes off as genuine to his base. You many not appreciate what he does with his hands, but he doesn’t use any of the rehearsed gestures we’ve become so used to seeing politicians make.

D’Eon says Glass had predicted that Trump would not only win the Republican nomination, but that he would be elected president.

“At which point my head figuratively exploded and I went, ‘Wow, I’m just not buying this for a second.’ Well, she was right. Lillian Glass was the first person who pointed out to me that he is in fact a very effective communicator.”

Whether Trump is a truthful communicator is another matter, best judged by what he says and not how he says it. D’Eon says the Pinocchio effect — an involuntary action people make that gives away a lie — is a myth.

“People often think there are easy ways to tell if someone is lying or not, such as if they look up to the left, or if they look down to the right, or if they scratch their nose.

“In and of themselves these individual actions don’t mean anything.

“Most of us have about a 50/50 chance of determining whether someone is telling us the truth or whether someone is lying to us. We might as well flip a coin,” he says.

“So while there’s no one Pinocchio effect, if you know what you’re doing and you know what you’re looking for you, can put together these individual signs and you can make a much more educated guess as to whether someone’s trying to deceive you or not.

“We all recognize an angry face, but not all of us would be able to pick up the clues necessarily of somebody targeting us with their eyes. When people are happy to see us, when people aren’t a threat to us, they smile openly and their eyes widen. But if you’re in a situation where somebody’s head tilts down and they narrow their eyebrows with their head tilted down, that’s called targeting,” he says.

An ability to read body language is an asset in a dating situation, too.

“In a conversation, if your potential mate is leaning in, leaning across the table, or if you’re standing, if they’re leaning in towards you, that’s a signal. And what you want to look out for in that situation is do they reciprocate, do they lean back toward you? Is their behaviour synchronous?

“Because if you lean in to someone and they back away, well, you know, you’re wasting your time. But if you lean in and they lean in that’s a really good sign.”

D’Eon says making the documentary has made him slightly more analytical in his day-to-day life.

“But sometimes an itchy nose is just an itchy nose, and if someone points their feet away from him, he understands they may not be looking for an escape route, but simply seeking a more comfortable position.

“It’s just another thing in a tool kit that helps me in interpersonal relationships.

“I think that if we all became more informed on the subject of body language and if we were all better at reading each other we would have fewer misunderstandings in our lives — we would understand our partners better, possibly.”

"Love is in the air": Today I found this article by Joanne Richard in the Edmonton Journal

Skip the flowers and go for a couple’s chocolate massage.

According to a new Valentine survey by Splender, an online shopping site, experiencing something together gets top V-Day billing from both genders, with chocolate coming in next.

Put the two together and let the sparks fly. My favourite gift was a night at Ste. Anne’s Spa resort in Haldimand Hills. The Romance package delivered two love potions — an exciting experience and chocolate! Besides the chocolate-covered strawberries in your room, the warm Chocolate Swedish massage was to die for.

Relationships need to be massaged, nurtured and re-energized. Valentine’s is perfect refocusing, so be sure to wrap up the unexpected, something that’ll send dopamine levels up and fuel bonding — like axe throwing lessons!

Bad Axe Throwing is, yes, about learning to throw an axe properly. The Canadian company is promoting a unique Valentine’s Day gift idea — whether you’re paired up or single, ignite some happy hormones — host a Singles’ Valentine’s Day party. “We’ve even had people bring in pictures of their exes to stick to the targets!” says Melanie St-Amour, of

No hatchet job this Valentine’s Day. For the most part, romance rules and love is in the air — actually 70% of Canadian singles believe that Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday, reports

Forgetting or just not bothering to celebrate the holiday at all leaves an indelible mark on the relationship — and not a good one. It’s a barometer of what’s to come, says relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil.

“We’re a society that loves to fall in love and to be in love, and celebrating Feb. 14 with your sweetie, accompanied by an appropriate token of affection, is a must.” No need for anything big. The more romantic you are, the more endorphins go up and this creates a connection.
It’s the rituals and romantic gestures that create memories and bonds, adds Eaker Weil, of

Talk is cheap — now show you care.

"Women spend more on gifts": This was also on the same page as the above article:

Canadian women are spending over double the amount on Valentine’s Day than men are, according to a new survey by

Women are shelling out $235, while men are spending $116.

The average Canadian plans to spend $162 come Feb. 14, inclusive of gifts, meals and the overall experience, up from $119 in 2016.

The substantial spending difference between the genders reflects men not buying high-priced items — only 4% of men are opting for jewelry this year and a mere 5% of men have plans to purchase tickets to a show/event.

Instead, men are opting for flowers, 27%, and chocolate, 22% other than married couples ($148 vs. $134).

Canadians are thrifty and don’t see any harm in using a coupon on a date or a gift for Valentine.

Men tend to wait until the last minute to make plans for Valenine’s Day and purchase a gift.

Roses are always a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. Statistics Canada reports 5.9 million rose stems were produced in Canada, and 12.3 million dozen roses and rosebuds were imported in 2014.

The top three ways for couples to spend Feb. 14: Dinner at a restaurant (21%); a home-cooked meal (20%); and a romantic night home (17%).


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