I'm pretty good at figuring out how a person is doing mentally by watching their body language. I can see subtle shifts in breathing and physical strains in muscles that include tightening jawlines and clinching of fists. The eyes are a tell tale sign that something is up as well. A person who is undergoing emotional stress will often have widened eye cavities giving them that quazi psychotic look we've all seen in popular thriller movies. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of this genre.
Early in the morning one of my duties for school is to welcome students into the building. I am there as a spreader of happiness, to make the beginning of the day a glorious one, and to keep a watchful eye for potential, "Evil Doers."
You can tell when some no good is on the mind of a teen. Teenagers have an instinctual paranoia that exudes from them like sap oozing out of a maple tree in the fall. When they are pondering the possibility of being Bad, they tend to go through some fairly expressive paranoid body language. If you're above a certain age you know what I'm talking about possibly from watching the activities of your own children. I find all of this quite entertaining.
In today's world we grown up types have even a greater responsibility of picking up on body language as it comes into our senses. We must determine if what we are sensing is just normal comings and goings, or if we feel the possibility of some of that Badness. Being prepared is at least half the battle in warding of potential things that could happen, heaven forbid.
I won't go into any examples of Bad things happening in different locations, we have all been made very aware of the things that can and do happen to ill minds when left to operate. Training, practice and awareness are the strongest tools that I can suggest to ward off these possibilities. Professionally we that work in the public setting are required to study, and re-study these scenarios in order to keep the training fresh in our minds. This keeps us better prepared. And in turn we share our awareness with the children under our wings.
If we could all take lessons in reading and engaging in another's body languages, we might all have better tools to ward off the possibility of an exchange with potential evil doers.
Peace and Balance,