Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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.

            Advertising

            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

            [1] Very Well: Types of Nonverbal Communication
            [2] Entrepreneur: Are They Lying to You?
            [3] Psychology Today: Body Language vs. Micro-Expressions

            More by this author

            J.S. von Dacre

            Writer at Lifehack

            Alert: If You Always Avoid Things You Fear, You May Have This Issue 10 Best Romance Movies That Reflect the Harsh Reality of Relationships Things Parents Do Unconsciously That Make Their Kids Become Codependent If You’re Overly Dependent, Probably It Is Due to the Scars of Childhood 90% of People Confuse Codependency with Intense Love. Are You One of Them?

            Trending in Communication

            1 How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One 2 How to Have Happy Thoughts and Train Your Brain to Be Happy 3 20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful 4 How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You) 5 The Power of Self-Reflection: 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on June 13, 2019

            How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

            How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

            Think you have a boring life?

            The definition of boring is dull or not interesting. Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list of 20 things can definitely make any day more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

            Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaning) one!

            1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

            What would he or she want to do right now? Color? Paint? Run around outside? Play dress up? Eat with your hands? Play that instrument hiding in the back of your closet that you haven’t touched in years?

            Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play.

            2. Go Play with Kids

            Speaking of little kids, if you have your own or access to any (in a non-creepy way, like they’re your niece or your best friend’s kid, you get the idea) go play with them!

            They didn’t create an entire show called Kids Say The Darndest Things because kids aren’t hilarious. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

            Advertising

            3. Order a Hot Dog

            While you’re eating it, Google: “What’s in a hot dog?” You decide whether or not you want to finish it.

            4. For the Ladies: Wear Your Sexiest Lingerie Under Your Work Clothes

            Your “little secret” will leave you feeling anything but boring all day!

            5. Play Cell Phone Roulette

            You’ll need at least one buddy for this. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one and call the person.

            You could spark an incredible catch up session or be incredibly awkward. Neither are boring.

            6. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

            Give them to random people who probably don’t get thanked too often for doing what they do ever day.

            Ideas: police officers, librarians, servers, baristas, cab drivers, sanitation workers, teachers, people behind any check out counter, receptionists, your friends, the guy at the falafel stand, etc.

            7. Sign up for a Class in Something You’ve “Always Wanted to Do”, or Something That Makes You Really Uncomfortable

            Ideas: pole dancing, salsa lessons, improv, pottery, cooking, knitting (yup, there are classes for this, too!), karate, boxing, something techy like the workshops they run in Apple stores, get Rosetta Stone and learn that language you’ve always wanted to speak, etc.

            Advertising

            What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people!

            8. Interview Your Grandparents About Their Lives

            You can bet they’ve had some crazy experiences you probably never knew about.

            9. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

            Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage and just talk funny. And if you’re not, memorize a few of your favorite jokes and tell those!

            10. Do Something for Someone Else That You Wish Someone Would Do for You

            We all have a few ideas on this list. I promise you will feel amazing after and anything but bored.

            11. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

            It doesn’t have to be super complicated. If you need ideas, there’re plenty on Pinterest. Or you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

            12. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

            This will give you something to look forward to.

            Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is same fun and relaxing!

            Advertising

            13. People Watch

            Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.

            People are infinitely interesting.

            14. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

            Bonus points if it’s a random fruit or veggie.

            15. Dance

            You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

            If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public and get other people involved.

            16. Go to YOUTUBE and Search “Funny Pets” or “Funny Babies”

            This is also a great quickie ab workout as you will be laughing hysterically.

            17. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

            Check out the NY Times Best Sellers lists and grab a new book you can get lost in.

            Advertising

            18. Step Away from the Computer and Go Get Some Time with People You Care About in Real Life

            Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. You can even share this post with your friends and vote on which one you’d like to do together!

            19. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to Before

            OK, depending on your interests, this one might actually be boring. If you love learning, art or different cultures though, this one is for you!

            20. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

            This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

            Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then start taking your first step to make what you want happen.

            Now go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

            More About Living a Fulfilling Life

            Featured photo credit: Kev Costello via unsplash.com

            Read Next