Inclusion and Exclusion Techniques

Both the open triangular position and the closed position are used to include or exclude another person from the conversation. Figure 142 shows the triangular formation taken by the first two to show acceptance of the third.

When a third person wishes to join two others who are standing in a closed formation, he may be invited to join the conversation only when the other two orient their torsos towards a mutual third point to form the triangle. If the third person is not accepted, the others will hold the closed formation position and turn only their heads towards him or her as a sign of recognition of the third person's presence but the direction of their torsos shows that he is not invited to remain (Figure 143).

Body Language Three Persons
Figure 142 Open triangular position figTiallingcteceptohce

Often a conversation among three people may begin in the open triangular formation but eventually two may take the closed formation position to exclude the third person (Figure 143). This group formation is a clear signal to the third person that he should leave the group to avoid embarrassment.

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