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Your Body May Actually Speak Louder Than Your Powerful Words

Your Body May Actually Speak Louder Than Your Powerful Words

Most people know “the look” that seems to be universal with mothers. As a child, when you were out and getting up to no good, all you needed was that long stare from your mom to stop you dead in your tracks. You knew immediately that you would be grounded for about twenty years when you got back home – and no words even needed to be uttered! That was the power of nonverbal communication.[1]

Whether you realize it or not, something similar occurs in everyday life. And by learning more about it, you will be able to create better interactions around you.

Nonverbal communication actually helps you to express yourself better.

The world was shocked when Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was proven – after he had vehemently denied it! Yet, many telltale signs that he was lying were there, such as touching his nose more than three times what is normal. This is because when a person lies, blood pressure rises due to stress, which in turn causes the nerves around the nose to tingle or feel itchy.[2]

“Micro-expressions” are minute facial expressions that are different from other facial expressions, and are almost impossible to fake.[3] Understanding nonverbal communications will enable you to not only interact and communicate with others better, but also improve your ability to express yourself.

There are different types of nonverbal communication, and some can be easily forgotten.

Studies into nonverbal communication started with the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872. Since then, experts have noted that a significant part of our dialogues or interactions are, in fact, not reliant on words:

1. Hand movements convey a lot of information.

A hand placed on the cheek or stroking of the chin indicates the person is in deep thought. Nail biting or fidgeting with hair suggests nervousness or insecurity.

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    2. Facial expressions can be interpreted differently.

    This accounts for a big percentage of nonverbal communication.

    Consider how many different kinds of smiles you may have seen; various smiles can translate happiness, nostalgia, annoyance, or even sadness.

    A lowered head with the face looking downward could mean the person is either hiding something, or simply shy.

      3. Posture can suggest a person’s attitude.

      The way a person holds themselves when standing or sitting illustrates many things.

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      Arms crossed at the chest may indicate a sense of defensiveness. Having ankles crossed while sitting or standing would suggest nervousness.

        4. Eye contact says a lot about what a person is thinking.

        It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. There are so many things the eyes give away – even the inability to make eye contact says a lot.

        People tend to look upward and to the right when they are not being honest, and they look upward to the left when they are remembering something. (This can be the opposite for people who are left-handed.)

          5. Digital expressions and emojis can make text emotional.

          Social media has given birth to a new form of nonverbal communication. This new wave ranges from the emoticons that people use, to the deliberate posting of status updates or photos to create a reaction.

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          People are able to be clear about how they feel without words by one simple click of a button to show either a smiling face or a sad face.

            To interact with others better, try these small communication techniques.

            To begin with, if you start by being more aware of nonverbal signs around you, it will immediately start improving your interactions.

            There are also many small things you can do to communicate better without even saying a word.

            Be mindful about your small gestures.

            Take into account how your own body language comes across.

            For instance, when you meet someone for the first time, do you smile? If so, what does your smile say? A firm handshake with eye contact and a solid smile would help you to come across more confident.

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            Be aware of any body language inconsistencies.

            Whether on yourself or the other person, do the words match what the body says?

            Consider the different meanings when you say “I’m doing great” with a big grin, or when you say it with a loud sigh. Saying it with a warm smile would indicate sincerity and that you genuinely feel “great.” If it is accompanied with a loud sigh or a sense of dejection, it would mean the opposite.

            Don’t misunderstand stress with dishonesty.

            How many times have you known people who read too much into texts or phone calls, simply because the person on the other end was having a stressful day, and so they came across as angry?

            It is easy to misread others or be misunderstood when stressed, so be aware of this when you are having a difficult day. The next time you receive a text or email when you feel particularly stressed, perhaps it is best to delay your response until you are calmer.

            Pay attention to others’ reactions.

            Greater attention to nonverbal communication in others will enable you to interact with others in a more successful way.

            For example, if you are with someone whose hands are clasped in front of them, it may indicate they feel vulnerable or not as comfortable. Then consider what you can do to make them feel more relaxed.

            Practice these small techniques every day and every time when you’re talking with others and you’ll be a lot better at communicating with your body languages too.

            Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            J.S. von Dacre

            Writer at Lifehack

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            Last Updated on August 20, 2018

            60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

            60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

            Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It’s important to take time out and remember all of the things to be thankful for that many of us take for granted.

              Here you’ll find 60 very solid things to be thankful for in your everyday life. These are great reminders for you to treasure everything you have.

              1. Good Health

              Even if you’re health isn’t great, it could be worse and you likely still have some working parts to be thankful for.

              2. Money in the Bank

              Having just a few coins makes you richer than most people on Earth.

              3. Good Friends

              Often, it’s the quality of friendships, not the quantity.

              4. Freedom of Religion

              Being able to worship whomever and however you want is something many people don’t ever experience.

              5. Your Parents

              Even if they’re dysfunctional, they gave you life.

              6. Weekends

              There’s something magical about weekends.

              7.Having a Partner

              Being in a romantic relationship can teach you so much about the world and yourself.

              8. Pets

              Pets offer one of the best examples of unconditional love.

              9. Learning from Mistakes

              If we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t learn much so it is one of those things we should be thankful for.

              10. Opportunity to Get an Education

              The opportunity to attend school is something many people don’t have.

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              11. Having a Home

              Whether you live in an apartment, a mansion, or a tent, having a place to call home is something to be thankful for.

              12. An Ability to Read

              If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be thankful for.

              13. Breathing Fresh Air

              Being able to step outside to breathe in fresh air is a good reminder how many little things we should be thankful for.

              14. A Bed to Sleep

              A bed is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted, until you don’t have one.

              15. Laughter

              Without laughter, the world would be a sad place.

              16. Safety and Security

              Being able to wake up without immense fear frees us up to really live life.

              17. Cars

              Without cars, it would take a lot longer to get our activities done.

              18. Sunshine

              The sun’s warmth can brighten any day.

              19. Time

              Although we often don’t think there’s enough of it, time is something we shouldn’t take for granted.

              20. Clean Water

              Many people on earth lack access to clean water.

              21. Cell Phones

              Cell phones make talking to loved ones easy.

              22. Love

              The world sure would be a different place if we lacked the ability to love.

              23. Books

              Books provide an opportunity to enter another world all from the comfort of your own home.

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              24. Kindness of Strangers

              Never take the kindness of a stranger for granted.

              25. Campfires

              The simplicity of a campfire creates lifelong memories.

              26. Pain

              Without pain, it would be difficulty to appreciate life’s joys.

              27. Art

              The world would be less beautiful if art didn’t exist.

              28. Holidays

              Any reason to celebrate is something we should be thankful for.

              29. Freedom of Speech

              Being able to express your thoughts and feelings freely should never be taken for granted.

              30. Rainbows

              The beauty of a rainbow is unmatched.

              31. Tears

              Sometimes when there are no words to say, tears express how we feel for us.

              32. Waking up Today

              Simply waking up today means you have things to be thankful for.

              33. Indoor Plumbing

              Indoor plumbing not only provides convenience, it spares us from disease.

              34. Wisdom that Comes with Age

              Thankfully, we grow smarter over time.

              35. Mountains

              Mountains provide us with beauty and recreation.

              36. Eyesight

              Being able to see allows us to view the world’s beauty.

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              37. Grocery Stores

              Grocery stores mean we don’t have to spend all of our time getting our own food.

              38. Sunsets

              Sunsets are a reminder that we should enjoy the simple things in life.

              39. Entertainment

              Entertainment gives us a way to relax and enjoy life.

              40. Your Mind

              Being able to think, remember, and solve problems sure makes life easier.

              41. Employment

              Even if you don’t like your job, being employed means someone thought you were special enough to hire.

              42. Diversity

              The world would be a boring place without diversity.

              43. Moon and Stars

              The moon and stars encourage us to dream.

              44. Electricity

              Electricity makes most of our chores efficient.

              45. Air Conditioning

              Staying cool on a hot day is something people wouldn’t have dreamed about in past centuries.

              46. Hearing

              Being able to hear your loved one’s voice is something that not everyone gets to do.

              47. Children

              Watching children laugh, grow, and dream can keep things in perspective.

              48. Ability to Learn

              The ability to learn new things means we have endless potential.

              49. People Willing to Teach

              Whether it’s your grandmother teaching you to knit or your plumber showing you how to prevent future problems, be grateful that others are willing to use their time and talents to teach you something new.

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              50. Oceans

              The sea creatures in the ocean almost seem too mystical to be real.

              51. Modern Medicine

              Without advances in modern medicine, many of us wouldn’t be alive.

              52. Music

              Music brings out new emotions.

              53. Entrepreneurs

              Some of life’s best inventions resulted from an entrepreneur who was willing to take a risk.

              54. Warm Clothing

              On a cold day, there’s nothing more important than warm clothing.

              55. Freedom to Vote

              Being able to have a say in the laws should never be taken for granted.

              56. An Internet Connection

              It’s hard to believe how easy it is to take the internet for granted, seeing how none of us had just a couple of decades ago.

              57. Challenges

              Without challenges in life, we wouldn’t be the people we are now.

              58. Hiking Trails

              Hiking trails give us the chance to enjoy mother’s nature beauty.

              59. Vaccines

              Many of us wouldn’t be alive without today’s vaccinations.

              60. Armed Forces

              Our lives would likely be very different if we didn’t have protection from the armed forces.

              Realizing all the things you should be thankful for is the first step, practicing gratitude is what you should start doing:

              6 Ways To Implement More Gratitude In Your Life

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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