The Most Simple Body Language Rule That Will Change Your Life Forever

The Most Simple Body Language Rule That Will Change Your Life Forever

4 years ago, I read about a very simple body language rule in Janine Driver’s book You Say More Than You Think and immediately thought I had acquired a special super power. To test it, I jumped in my car and drove to the nearest supermarket. BOOM! I felt like I was the master of body language!! Everything she outlined I saw play out before my eyes. Little did I know, I had just developed a skill that I would go on to teach hundreds of clients, many of whom would later tell me the quick tip changed their lives.

 

The origin of the Belly Button Rule dates back to the 1930s and since then, numerous scientists and body language experts have honed the theory. Most notably, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, professor Emeritus of Psychology and UCLA has said “the belly button rule is the most important indicator of reading a person’s intention.”

 

Let me break down the rule plainly:

The belly button rule (also known as BBR) means the direction of our navel reflects our true interest.

 

Simple.

 

So now that you know the definition, let me give you a quick test. Look at the photo below and;

  1. Identify the person who has the least interest in their conversation?
  2. Identify the most popular person?

Group of businesspeople communicating

The answers are at the bottom of the page.

 

Congratulations! You’re on your way to becoming a BBR master!! Now that you know what the rule means AND how to spot it, here’s how to apply your new skill in popular situations:

 

At Work/Meeting

Say you’re sitting at a conference table with a small group of co-workers. Once the meeting gets started, check out where their belly buttons face during most of the meeting. If you have that one co-worker who appears to be engaged in the meeting but has a navel pointed at the door, they’re most likely not interested in the conversation.

 

Another great use of BBR at work is to see at what point the people you’re meeting with shift the direction of their belly button. Let’s say at one point in the meeting you voice your opinion about a new sales goal and a person who had previously been focusing on you (with their navel) suddenly points their belly button in a different direction. This shift could indicate a hidden emotion, a difference in opinion or a lack of interest. All great clues to note and use to your advantage.

 

On a Date

You’re seated across from a man you’re meeting for coffee for the first time. He’s saying all the right things, looks like the perfect gentleman (you could definitely sop him up with a biscuit), and he even keeps good eye contact with you. However, during parts of the date, his navel shifts away from your direction. This is not cause for a red alert but it is very telling. It shows that he may be uncomfortable and want out of that particular topic of conversation. Of course, when you see a prolonged navel pointing away from you, it means your date has mentally checked out the conversation and wants to go.

 

Meeting a Group Socially

Knowing BBR is very powerful if you’re approaching a group or a couple already engaged in conversation. Let’s say you’re going to join the group of people talking in the photo above we used for the quiz. If you’re interested in identifying and talking with the most popular person in the group, by simply adding up who has the most navels pointed at her/him, you’ll have a good indication. Or, let’s say you’re running on CP time, you’ve arrived to the cocktail party late, and you want to quickly get in the mix (and not stand by yourself). Therefore, you’ll want to find the easiest person to chat up and that person is most likely going to be the person with their navel pointed away from the person they’re talking with – this person is looking for an out and you could be their rescue.

 

Lastly, remember that BBR is not simply about having more awareness. I want you to use it to also create more influence in the conversations you have. For example, BBR is a skill President Bill Clinton has down to a science and he uses it to create stronger connections. Check out any video of him engaging a crowd and you’ll see exactly what I mean. When he walks up to someone, he points his… (insert jokes here if you must) navel directly at the person he’s talking or shaking hands with. So simple yet so effective! When these same people are later surveyed or asked about President Clinton, they mostly state how they felt like he gave them his undivided attention and really connected with them. What Clinton did is something the most adept politicians and public figures learn and it’s something I encourage you to learn, as well. The next time you engage with someone (and this is especially true for my fellow introverts because we’re often thought to be aloof), make sure to keep your navel focused on the person at all times. They will feel your focus and better receive the message you’re attempting to communicate.

 

That’s it.

 

Get out there and get your BBR on!

 

Answers from Photo Quiz Above:

  1. Identify the person who has the least interest in their conversation? Not interested in his conversation is the gentleman in the brown jacket (second from the right). This is clear because his belly button is not only pointed away from the person he’s in conversation with, it’s also directed away from anyone in the group. His interest is to get away from the person he’s with as fast as possible.
  2. Identify the most popular person? The person with the most interest is the young lady in the white shirt on the left side talking with the two gentleman. This is clear because both men have pointed their navels towards her direction (opposed to at each other or away from their conversation).

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life; in love and professionally. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring and coaching thousands of people.
33 comments
dujif
dujif

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7galvin
7galvin

@PaulCBrunson IF I EVER MEET OPRAH I WILL NOT B LOOKING 4 HER NAVEL BUTTON..HER EYES N FIST BUMP WILL B ENOUGH LOL.

7galvin
7galvin

@PaulCBrunson LET THAT BODY TYPE START READING A BOOK A DAY.THEY GONNA WEAR SOMETHING BLACK LOL.

JBlakeWhite
JBlakeWhite

@PaulCBrunson Lol, this is good!! I have a feeling I'm about to be super aware after reading the article. \U0001f440

Liz Ba
Liz Ba

I agree. The way you phrased it/qualified it makes more sense.

Amma Kyeiwaa
Amma Kyeiwaa

This is a good one. I'm going be on notice now.

tsheri007
tsheri007

@PaulCBrunson love it! I just sorted out so many inconclusive situations lol..I'm getting that book

Paul Carrick Brunson
Paul Carrick Brunson

Thanks for your comment. Please keep in mind body language rules are never absolute. However, when taken on average, can be used for powerful clues to help you strategize.

TSUGoldie
TSUGoldie

@PaulCBrunson read your piece on The issue I have with it is that a person could be engaged but it doesnt mean they're into you/convo.

TroisiemeP
TroisiemeP

@PaulCBrunson I remember when you spoke about this at Tech808 in D.C..I've been using it since then

Ermila Carlin
Ermila Carlin

I really enjoyed this article and the image used to promote the article extremely effective \U0001f609 Thank you Paul. So in,an,interview setting, I am to,adjust my entire body, not,just speak in the interviewers direction?

Liz Ba
Liz Ba

Can't say I agree with this. Some people are interested in the conversation and interested in the person they are talking to, but being shy, anxious, or self-conscious may affect their comfort level and body language. The Belly Button Rule may be one thing to observe about a person, but to make a truly accurate assessment and assign meaning to the direction that their belly button is pointing, you need more information about that person, cultural factors influencing body language, information on anxiety, how they might be feeling about things that have nothing to do with you, whether or not they have any physical pain like back pain, etc. that may affect how they sit or stand,and so on. The bottom line is that you can observe direction of a person's belly button, but I believe that you should be very careful about making hasty judgements based on these observations.

Beth'a-nee Collins
Beth'a-nee Collins

This is so funny that you have this post ...I was discussing the BBR. With a friend the other day.

Alex Merritt
Alex Merritt

I can read your body language - ahem your belly button language - great post.

Me
Me

Wow great info. Just the other night I was out. Talking to a gal but I wanted to catch my sister outside. Sure enough her navel was pointing right at me and my was towards the door....opps

Anne Marie
Anne Marie

Which way is my belly button pointing right this moment?... \U0001f61b\U0001f61b\U0001f61b Interesting tidbit of information

Annie T. Bellefleur
Annie T. Bellefleur

Now I'm going to be paying extra attention at peoples belly button's... LOL... Great read