Body Talk: Louder Than Words
By Justin Lavelle
If a picture paints a thousand words, then your body language creates a million messages. Are you guilty of having a “resting bitch face”, or do people consider you to be warm and welcoming? No matter how incorrect their assessment is, your body language and how you use it is the reason people often perceive you as they do. Read along to find out how you can change the way others relate to you.
Body language clarifies miscommunications. Every cell phone user has experienced some sort of miscommunication through text messaging. Perhaps it was a short, one-word response to a greeting or question that resulted in a friend or loved one calling you out on your lack of enthusiasm. Or you cracked an innocent joke that the recipient may have found offensive. You meant well with your text, but somehow, the recipient took it the wrong way. Why does this occur via text messaging or when communicating behind any electronic screen? Without body language, tone of voice, and the full clarification of an in-person conversation, behind-the-screen conversations come off harsher and with less emotion than usually intended. A large part of communication is visual. Take away the visual and people are left to decipher words that, more often than not, have double meanings.
Body language sometimes speaks louder than words. It can help clarify words. When a person fidgets with his or her hands and bites his or her lip, you identify that person as nervous. Lax shoulders and a smile are indications a person feels comfortable. Crossed arms, stiff tone, and a wide gap of space between two conversing individuals points to defensiveness. People can tell a lot about how others feel and whether or not they are approachable based on their posture, tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures. Combining body language with words that are being spoken, gives us a fuller picture of the conversation and the intended message.
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