Between the lines

There are so many things we can learn about the people around us in a world where migration became normal. Also working atmosphere and holiday stays can be extremely enhanced by reading the behavior of your counterpart.

Gestures are one form of nonverbal communication in which visible body actions are used to communicate messages, either to replace speech or parallel with spoken words. Movement of the hands and head are mainly included. Gestures are culture-specific and can convey very different meanings in different social or cultural settings. That’s why it is so important to know the basics of gestures of cultures we live visit or even live with. A single emblematic gesture can have very different significance in different cultural contexts, ranging from complimentary to highly offensive.

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Cyber Me

Back in the 90ies when the internet started to conquer our private computers many people were afraid that people would pretend to be someone else and no one could keep control on that. There were no limits set to our imagination. We could transform into superheroes or talking dogs. Continue reading

Who is “WE”?

Following the book of the neuro-scientist Gerald Hüther Was wir sind und was wir sein könnten (What we are and what we could be) we should maybe start to think who We really are. The scientist wrote in 2011 rightly that in times of higher mobility and cultural interchange a different We-feeling exists than it prevailed in times of our great-grandparents. But a real signal of readiness for a new We isn’t perceptible. Why is this being the case? Continue reading

at first sight

From early childhood we are pointed to the fact that only our inner values count. To judge people by their appearance and physiognomy is regarded a superficial. This article is about these superficialities and, nevertheless, how they control our everyday lives.

There is no discussion that it is necessary to look at the character and behavior of a person but in a biological context our outer appearance plays also a certain role. When we look into the past – not our personal past but past life of our ancestors – we face a life of competition and struggle for resources. Also nowadays our lives are dominated by a competition about jobs and mates. Continue reading

The right balance

Here is the second part of the story of two refugees from Afghanistan who went through a lot of challenging situations and often came to a turning point in their young lives. Not only the migration to Austria but also their former lives in Afghanistan were not comparable to our childhood. As a child they could only forget about their daily life problems when they were doing sports. Later on, they found their passion and inner balance in sports and maybe get now the chance to become professional sportsman.

Nevertheless both know how important education is and so they made up for their school diploma in Austria. That’s where we met…


Abdullah was born in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan in 1995. Because of the bad safety situation he could not got to school. He loved to play football from early childhood on and played on the streets with his brothers. Continue reading

The angle of vision

Perception is a complex system to process sensory stimuli. A human being screens unconsciously and consciously those stimuli and merges the information subjectively to a useful overall impression.

That’s what we do in our daily life and also every day at work. If we already work in the same work area since years we know exactly which steps are coming next and which part we fulfill in the client interaction.

Often repeated situations leave a certain impression und lead to a certain behavior. Our senses collect information from the environment and influence the general impression of our job or our part in our working space – in general our self-perception.

Certainly in the psychology of everyday’s life not only the opinion of our selves respectively our behavior and confidence are important but also the impressions others have toward us – the so called external perception. Continue reading

Top 5 features to become the boss

… of 153 Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) at the Affenberg Landskron.

Within my photographic work with Japanese macaques at the Austrian Research Center for Primatology to compile a catalogue of the monkeys’ behavior, so many exiting things could be illustrated. Some of them are certainly not only interesting for students or school classes.

Here are the top 5 characteristics a high rank monkey has to show to keep his position. You will be surprised how familiar some – but hopefully not all points sound. Continue reading

Reading emotions

Since people are travelling thousands of kilometers within a few hours intercultural communication gets more important every day. Also the fact that people do not automatically live where they were born gives us the duty to read people’s intention more carefully than we used to do.

As long as we have the same goals (work) or interests (private) we have less communicational problems. We are more tolerant and lenient with wrong wordings or reduced talking speed from foreign people. The so called “foreigner talk” seems nice to us. We laugh about bad told jokes and don’t put every word on the scales.

But what if we don’t know each other or what if we don’t know if we are on the same side? Continue reading

Inner balance

The challenging part of our lives is when it comes to setbacks, stress situations or even strokes of fate and to get the best out of the given situation. For the physical health it is very important to exercise especially during hard times. It keeps us healthy and mentally adaptable. But most of all it is a great way to free our mind and to balance mental stress.

Nowadays we often hear about youngsters threatening each other or fighting or getting into trouble somehow. This problem mainly but not only concerns people without perspectives (unemployed, no working permission, etc.).

One reason for violence besides missing education, support or affection is that exclusion or rejection responds to the same brain areal as physical pain. This kind of “feeling attacked” can lead in worst case to the need of a physical reaction. Luckily sports give us the opportunity to alleviate this kind of “pain” and to free the mind for an approach to a non-physical solution for life’s problems. Continue reading