Body Language is communication of personal feelings, emotions, attitudes and thoughts through body movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, walking styles, positions & distance – either consciously or involuntarily.
It is an outward reflection of a person’s emotional condition. Average person speaks for about 10 to 11 minutes in a day, average sentence being 2.5 seconds long, but one can make and recognize about 250,000 facial expressions! While we communicate the words we speak account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for whooping 55%.
Related reading: Reasons why Indian men do not communicate their feelings
Body language plays a very important role in personal, professional and social life of an individual. A 2011 University of California, Berkeley, study found that people determine within seconds if someone is trustworthy, kind or compassionate based on how often he or she makes eye contact, smiles, nods while listening, and displays an open or welcoming body posture. Hence, it would be acceptable to say that effective use of body language is extremely important in making a best first impression. Education, experience and soft skills can aid in performance when you get a chance to perform. But getting a chance to perform largely depends on the kind of first impression you leave on people.
When it comes to relationships the state of a relationship can easily be determined by the body language of individuals while they communicate with each other when they love, hug, kiss, fight etc. So, paying importance to silent messages, body language signals and learning to interpret them paves way for a successful relationship. It is also important to understand what messages you are sending through your body language and make them non-misleading and effective at the same time.
There’s a famous quote “The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
So how does one’s body language can affect or make a difference towards healthy relationship and interactions in life?
– Studies have found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest and with more than the frequently recognized actions of winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. It is a form of nonverbal communication and has a large influence on social behavior. Making proper eye contact lets the other person know that you are showing interest in being around them and also shows you are listening instead of hearing.
– Human touch including handshake, a pat on shoulder, holding hands, pat on the back are all powerful ways of communicating. The handshake is evolved as a gesture to say hello, good-bye or to seal an agreement, so it always needs to be warm, friendly and positive. An uncomfortable handshake is never a pleasant experience for anyone (and might be remembered negatively for a long time).
– We have less awareness of the movement and communication facilitated and done across by some of our body parts like face, hands and arms, and least of legs and feet. This is why legs and feet are a good source to get information as chances of faking is very less.
– Open body posture is crucial in any communication because it tells the other person that he/she is welcomed into that conversation. Don’t cross your legs and arms while in a conversation as it communicates defensiveness and insecurity.
– Leaning forward slightly and nodding your head is a very effective way of showing interest in the conversation.
And finally, Smile….The Most Effective Body Language. You are not completely dressed until you wear a smile.
“A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks” – Charles Gordy
This article was written by Sumathi Priya, and first appeared on OoWomaniya.
Sumathi Priya – An Image Consultant. She loves to talk about the subject of women, their body image, self confidence matters and training them with lessons on grooming and etiquettes.