Body Signals Reveal True Feelings and Thoughts.
In both formal and casual communication, a lot of emphases is placed on words or what people say. However, nonverbal communication is equally or perhaps even more important.
Body language says a lot, and many times, what it says has more impact than the words that are actually spoken aloud.
For instance, a person might say “I am happy to welcome you into my home.” But, if their arms are crossed over their chest, their body is in a rigid stance, and their face is unsmiling, then an opposite message to his words will come across. The person they speak to will see and feel this, and will react accordingly.
Recognizing the power of nonverbal or body language, psychologists have long been studying a field of science called kinesics. This delves into body language as a significant factor in communication, and in extension, in human relationships.
For example, for managers and leaders, understanding body language is very important. Nonverbal gestures and cues help them evaluate their employees and assess the reactions or thoughts of people in the boardroom.
From the job interview process up to the time when an employee resigns his job or gets fired, his body language is observed and “listened to.” Outside the work environment, nonverbal language is equally important. Every member of a family, parents and children, lovers, spouses, neighbours, friends, enemies—communicate through nonverbal means. And although silent, nonverbal messages are often loud, clear and unmistakable.
The teenager who storms out and bangs a door, the lovers who exchange tender looks and the mother who worriedly waits for a daughter to come home—these people do not have to say even one word to communicate their exact feelings.
Therefore, the first basic principle of body language is this:-
Body signals reveal true feelings and thoughts.
Most people, under normal circumstances, are not consciously aware of their body language. As such, they do not often use body language to lie or cover up the truth.
This means that compared to words, body language tends to be a more accurate reflection of what they truly feel or think. In cases when what a person says is different from what his body language says, trust the nonverbal message more than the actual words.
How to read body language correctly is a skill that is developed through experience, practice, and careful observation. Being observant is especially important to learn how to correctly interpret nonverbal language.
One should know that it is not just the facial expressions, the body stance, or the movements of the limbs that comprise body language.
Here are other elements of nonverbal communication:-
⦁ The distance or space between the people communicating (also called proxemics)
⦁ The breathing or respiration of the person, and other signs if present or noticeable: perspiration, blushing, pulse rate
⦁ The quality of his voice (pitch, pace, volume, intonation, pauses and others)
⦁ How a person holds or touches certain things such as a pen, cigarette, bag or his glasses
Being observant means noticing all these, in addition to the facial expressions, of course, and the movements of the body. Through studying body language, one can further learn intricate varieties and details to these general expressions that convey different meanings.