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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

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

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            J.S. von Dacre

            Writer at Lifehack

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            Last Updated on October 22, 2019

            How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

            How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

            When someone says, “I can’t do it” . . . I say to myself, “What do you mean you can’t do it?” Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story.

            With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.

            Can’t is a terrible word and it has to be taken out of your vocabulary.

            By saying you can’t do something, you’re already doubting yourself, submitting to defeat, and you’re making that barrier around your life tighter.

            So today, right now, we are going to remove this word for good.

            From now on there is nothing we can’t do.

            “Attitude is Tattoo”

            Your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and how, your facial expression, emotions, body language, and potentially the end result. How you approach an opportunity, and the result of it, is solely based on you — not your boss or your co-worker or friend.

            If you enter a business meeting with a sour attitude, that negative energy can spread like wildfire. People can also feel it — maybe even taste it. This is not an impression you want to leave.

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            Now imagine you enter a business meeting with a positive attitude, that whatever happens in here is going to be your result, in your control, not someone else’s. Of course, we can’t always win, but even if the outcome is negative, your attitude and perception can turn it into a positive. The question is: can you do it?

            Of course you can, because there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

            It’s much better to be known for your positive attitude — your poise, your energy, the reason why things go so well because you are able to maintain such character. A negative attitude is easy. It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to be mad, and it’s even easier to do nothing to change it.

            When I say your “attitude is tattoo”, it sounds permanent. Tattoos can be removed, but that’s not the point. Your attitude is like a tattoo because you wear it. People can see it and sometimes, they will judge you on it. If you maintain a negative attitude, then it is permanent until you change it.

            Change your attitude and I guarantee the results change as well.

            Believe You Can Do It

            Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything?

            It’s our lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. The one thing we have to purge from ourselves is fear — fear of bad results, fear of change, fear of denial, fear of loss, the fear that makes us worry and lose sleep. Worrying is the same as going outside with an umbrella, waiting for rain to hit it. Stop worrying and move on.

            Confidence is fragile: It builds up slowly, but can shatter like glass. Project your confidence and energy into believing in yourself. This is a very important and groundbreaking step — one that is usually the hardest to take. Start telling yourself you can do something, anything, and you will do it the best to your ability. Remove doubt, remove fear, and stick with positive energy.

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            Embrace Failure

            Do not fear failure. Do not run away from it. Face it, learn from it, grow, and take action. Just remember: You will never know success if you have never failed.

            Your confidence will bolster after embracing these facts. You will be immune to demoralizing results, and instead you will find ways to fix it, improve upon it, and make it better than before. You will learn to never say “can’t,” and will realize how many more opportunities you can create by removing that one word.

            Don’t let one simple and ugly word plague your confidence. You’re better and stronger than that.

            Start Making the Change

            But to actually start the process of change is very challenging.

            Why is that?

            Fear? Time? Don’t know how — or where — to start?

            It’s hard because what we’re doing is unlearning what we know. We are used to doing things a certain way, and chances are we’ve been doing them for years.

            So here are some ways that I avoid using the word “can’t”, and actually take the steps to put forth the change that I wish to see. I hope you can incorporate these methods into your life.

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            Write down What You Want to Change

            Write it on post-its, notecards, whatever makes you comfortable — something you will always see. I usually write mine on post-its and put them all over the wall behind my monitor so I always see them.

            Tell a Friend and Talk About It

            Discussing your goals, what you want to change, is very effective when you say it out loud and tell another person other than yourself. It’s almost like saying, hey, I bet I can do it — watch me.

            When you fulfill that goal and tell your friend, it feels rewarding and will motivate you to do it again in a different aspect. Who knows? Maybe your friend adopts the same mindset as you.

            Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word

            Sometimes,I can’t control myself in public when I’m with friends, so I have to be careful with the words I use so I don’t embarrass or insult anyone.

            Treat the word “can’t” as the worst word you can possibly use. Stop yourself from saying it, mid-sentence if you must, and turn your whole perspective around — you can do it, you will do it, and nothing is impossible!

            Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

            You think this change will be overnight? No way. This is a practice. Something you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life from now until forever.

            As I said earlier, you are unlearning what you know. You know how easy it is to say you can’t do something, so by unlearning this easy practice, you’re self-disciplining yourself to live without boundaries.

            Practice this everyday, a little at a time, and before you know it, the word can’t will not be part of your language.

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            Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty

            When I catch myself saying I can’t do something or I don’t know something, looking up information on that action or subject, doing research, educating yourself, relieves that uncertainty.

            Sometimes, we think we can’t do something because the whole idea of it seems too large. We skip the small steps in our head and only focus on the end.

            Before you say you can’t do something, rewind and slow down a little bit. Focus on what the first step is, then the next. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it you will have done something you previously thought you couldn’t do.

            Final Thoughts

            You know what you must do. The first step is right now. Once you begin this habit, and really start noticing some change, you’ll realize the door to opportunity is everywhere.

            The funny thing is: Those doors have always been there. The evil word that we no longer use put a veil over our eyes because that’s how powerful that word is.

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            Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

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