Body Language

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 15, 2020
Social


Why is it important to communicate non-verbally along with verbal? Why do we need to understand the body language of others more than their words? Why do people with high grades and a strong portfolio still get rejected for jobs? The answer to all these questions is that “Actions speak louder than words”.

You speak, so do your gestures. It won’t be any wrong to say that your gestures speak more than you do. Yes, here we are talking about body language. Just like you speak a specific language to communicate your thoughts to the world, similarly, your body speaks your inner truths by communicating through your specific body language.

Communication is not only verbal or vocal, for communication to be effective and precise human beings use non-verbal communication along with their verbal speech articulation. This non-verbal communication that plays the role of a “cherry on top” is the body language you possess.

People around the world speak many different languages, some of these differ country wise whereas others speak an individual regional language, and no doubt people from different parts of the world do not thoroughly understand the spoken words of each other. But still, they communicate, they understand and perceive the idea of each other’s existence and form relations by communicating non-verbally through their body language.

In many, if not all instances the body language is an intrinsic phenomenon and occurs unintentionally or involuntarily, but so many times it could take an intentional or voluntary form that often falls into the category of false body language.

Components of body language

What we call body language is not just a single gesture or move or the blink of an eye, however, it is a combined set of all the minor and delicate indicators from almost all parts of your body. From a general point of view, the components that have to be taken into consideration while assessing or judging someone’s body language are the individual posture, proximity, eyes, mouth, hands, legs, breathing pattern; even the pause during verbal communication.

Face

The first thing that 90% of people notice while communicating is your eyes. You must have heard of the saying “eyes are a window to the soul”, which is a precise rule of thumb while assessing body language. If you see someone smiling with dead eyes you know it’s a fake smile. Blinking more than usual makes you look uncomfortable.

Second comes your mouth and lips, even the movement of your tongue while jumbling up words. Shaky lips being a valid indicator of fear of confusion whereas pursed lips showing disapproval.

The swallows and pauses you do during talking give an idea if you are comfortable or forced to survive the situation.

That frown on your forehead, and the eyebrow lift when you see someone, all speaks its own story.

Arms

Are you a hand talker? Funny right? There are people whose hands and arms are more vocal than their mouth, they are either more excited about what they see and express the depth of their words with their hand gestures

Who is not familiar with the common hand gestures like “thumbs up” for okay, a “V with index and middle finger” for victory, and an “OK sign” made with fingers. There are some other hands and arm positions significantly used as body language indicators.

It is said that a cross-armed posture with fisted hands is a sign of being reserved whereas on the contrary open palms with fingers properly aligned and relaxed shoulders show confidence or authority.

A slight shoulder shrug shows uncertainty about an idea and a hand up above the shoulders while talking indicates imposing your point on others.

Legs

Not just walking patterns but positioning your legs while sitting or still standing is an indicator that psychologists or an interviewer can use to know the hidden truth about someone’s personality.

If you enter the interview room with short steps and trembling legs confirms anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and stress that can have a negative first impression.

Sitting with crossed legs is considered rude and elicit withdrawal from the circumstances. Non crossed legs being more trust gaining and are identified as open-minded.

Tapping the floor with one of our feet happens when you are in a hurry.

Proximity

If you are comfortable standing close to someone it signifies trust while standing at a distance in professional settings is important to not encounter others’ personal space.

Breathing Pattern

Sighing frequently indicates boredom, and breathing fast also shows discomfort. So in situations where you come to know that a person is uncomfortable with you, it’s better to give the job some time.

Advantages of body language

“4 C’s” are integral to understand the importance of body language. Confirmation: your body movements give the surety for your words. Contradiction: At times your gestures may go against your speech. Covering: If you lag in words your body speaks for your ideas. Complementing: Gestures add-on the “cherry on top” to what you speak.

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