We speak verbally with our family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers daily, but this only makes up a small portion of what we say. According to research, the vast majority of the information we share with others through our interactions is expressed nonverbally or instinctively and naturally.
We communicate and understand one another primarily through nonverbal cues, including our body language, facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and voice tones.
What fundamentals of nonverbal communication are there? What do our faces, posture, and hands tell about us? These body language facts can assist you in deciphering nonverbal cues that people use to communicate.
You can develop the skill of understanding body language. Learning more about body language helps express confidence or spot lies. You'll understand more of what people are saying to you and become aware of the picture you're giving off.
Using physical attributes, you can better interpret someone's emotional condition. You'll be able to decipher nonverbal cues and comprehend what they're trying to communicate without using words. Is this individual stressed? Am I attracted to me romantically? Do they have me believing a lie?
So, if someone is lying to you, pay attention to their body language! It's possible that the phrase "I'm not upset at you" was said.
However, that person's closed-off manner and frowning expression might conceal something. People frequently disregard verbal communication in favor of nonverbal cues.
You'd be wise to develop your understanding of body language in connection to relationships. You'll better understand who is interested in you if you're looking for love. No matter whether their arms are crossed or they have alluring eyes with swollen eyes, you can discover someone to spend time with.
Additionally, if you are already in a relationship, learning to distinguish emotional states like anger, sadness, and happiness will help you communicate with and be honest with your spouse.
Knowing the basics of body language can also advance your professional success. In a professional setting, you want to project the most assured and convincing body language you can. Being compelling and trustworthy is a crucial sales tactic.
When giving a presentation, it's crucial to project confidence and composure. You can present your best self if you know how others perceive you through your body language.
According to studies by Harvard Business School researcher Amy Cuddy, even adopting assertive and self-assured postures might have hormonal effects that increase your aggressiveness and confidence. Nonverbal communication may have a more significant influence than we know.
Five methods used as body language to Communicate without words
There are numerous methods to use nonverbal communication, also known as body language, just like verbal and written communication. They all fit into one of the five categories given below.
Let's begin at the very top! What can you infer about a person's inner state from their hair? People might guess from the fact that their hair is neat and well-styled and that they are meticulous individuals who value appearances.
Your hairstyle, no matter what it is, sends signals to others around you. A smooth, precisely wound bun demonstrates your control and attention to detail. Or maybe your unruly locks signal you're an iconoclast who doesn't care about appearances, like Einstein, or you're stressed out and too preoccupied to care about your hair, like a new parent who hasn't had enough sleep.
Human faces are incredibly expressive. Humans can say a lot with their mouths and eyes, from harsh frown lines to broad, dazzling smiles. Indicating that this is an innate genetic manner of expression and not a habit learned by modeling after visual examples, even those born blind exhibit facial expressions that correspond to emotions.
One psychological study, for instance, looked at the reactions of seeing and blind sportspeople to victories and defeats. Regardless of vision, all athletes displayed the same smiles of joy and grimaces of loss.
For example, wide-eyed stares are an indication of anger. The brows have a propensity to droop, especially around the center. Your mouth may flatten out, and your nostrils may flare. Teeth may be clinched, the jaw may be forward, and the chin may protrude in an awkward position.
In contrast, enjoyment involves a smile that can be either open or closed. When it's happiness, glittering open eyes will develop crow's feet wrinkles on the side. You hold your face level.
The slightest movements near the mouth and eyes can convey many of your thoughts and emotions. The muscles around your lips might cause the corners of your mouth to turn up as you grin. Those who can effectively interpret the feelings of others tend to focus primarily on the mouth, which may communicate our moods more clearly than the eyes.
Your eyes will also crinkle and respond if you are smiling genuinely. The eyes don't smile with the mouth when you're just being courteous or trying to hide your emotions. According to studies, this is because entirely distinct areas of the brain are in charge of these many expressions.
People make eye contact to convey their interest in your talk and you. They are paying attention based on this activity. Too much eye contact can appear intimidating. You feel "stared down."
Therefore, the majority of human communication that is lively and cordial comprises a combination of eye contact and a shift in attention to other facial features, such as the mouth. One of two things can be inferred from a complete lack of eye contact: dishonesty or a definite lack of interest.
Additionally, when people are anxious or excited, they tend to blink more. A stressful circumstance, such as public speaking or committing a lie, might make someone nervous. Given this knowledge, some people can consciously resist blinking temptation, like a card player attempting to keep a poker face when dealt excellent hands.
When people remember facts or makeup stories, they frequently look things up. Recalling facts and experiences causes most people, but not all, to look to the left. Conversely, making stuff up causes the gaze to go to the right and upward. Try it out on a partner.
You can tell which is their side of remembrance and which is their side of fabrication by asking them to recall a fact and watching which way their eyes move.
The Upper Body
Additionally, messages are positioned by holding your head up and your neck. You can exude pride and confidence by "holding your head high." You can slant your head to the side to convey confusion.
Regarding body language, your arms and hands are some of the most significant indicators. Crossing your arms over your body indicates that you are suppressing your feelings because you feel defensive or want the conversation to finish. Alternatively, if you are avoiding eye contact and turning your head, you come across as unreliable.
Hand and arm movements, in contrast to our most primitive facial expressions, can signify completely various things in various cultures. It's a brave gesture to put your hands on your hips because it shows that you are in charge and prepared to act. Finger fumbling is an indication of impatience and sometimes even frustration.
The thumbs-up sign, which has one meaning in one society, has an entirely other connotation in another—research what your hands might be expressing without recognizing it before visiting or doing business in different cultures. The hands are only one component of your upper body, of course. Additionally, the torse itself communicates.
Confidence is demonstrated by maintaining an erect torso posture with your shoulders back and your body straight. Slumping and slumping are signs of weakness; they suggest that you require assistance or may not be feeling very confident.
Consider how an enthusiastic and open person might convey that with a physically open stance. Someone with secrets or hurt feelings will isolate himself by slouching over and crossing his arms.
The Lower Body
Sitting with your legs crossed denotes a degree of emotional self-control or closure. Anxiety manifests as a jiggling of the legs. Spreading your legs widely conveys a laid-back, possibly too laid-back, attitude. The rest of the body can also report messages, even if the face and hands reveal much about a person's personality and attitude.
You come out as nervous because of this tendency. The same thing happens when you tap your toes; it indicates you are bored, impatient, or overflowing with anxiety. Even while seated, keeping your feet moving—for example, under the table—is a symptom of either anxiousness or deceit.