April 24, 2023

Have you ever noticed how football players can sense things when they’re not even looking at a person?

For example, they can anticipate a tackle that’s coming in from the side. They don’t need to look directly at the tackling player. They just seem to be able to sense that they’re coming and can adapt accordingly.

But if that tackle comes in from behind, they’re not able to adapt. That’s usually when the most serious injuries happen for a football player.

This ability to sense what’s happening around them isn’t some supernatural gift.

It’s simply the use of peripheral vision.

Raise the index fingers on both of your hands and hold them together. Now, slowly move them apart until you they’re behind you.

You’ll notice that you can still slightly see, and certainly, sense, where your fingers are when they’re at the side of your head.

That’s peripheral vision, and it’s something that you can leverage when you’re trying to read somebody’s body language.

When you’re talking to somebody, you’re usually looking into their eyes. Or, you’ve chosen a point, often above the eyebrows, to focus on.

It’s here where you can start to use your peripheral vision.

We call this “furthering your vision”.

While you’re focused on that one point, use peripheral vision to get a sense of what the other parts of your body do. You may notice a twitch in the hands. Maybe you’ll see their feet move towards or away from you.

You’re catching onto these things without focusing on them directly. In doing so, you’re getting a better sense of whether that person’s accepting or rejecting you.

As we’ve mentioned before, the idea is to put all of the gestures together to create the full picture.