Body Language In Communication

It's well established that body language in communication is extremely significant, though perhaps many people aren't consciously aware of it. Learning how to read body language can be of immense benefit to you and your relationships and is an interesting subject in its own right, telling us much about ourselves and others. Whether it's an art, a science or just a subject of some interest, an understanding of body language in communication could make the difference between success and failure in all kinds of relationships.


Some basic examples of confident, self assured body language are as follows. Clear, forthright but relaxed voice and speech. Purposeful, meaningful and "economical" hand and arm gesturing. An upright posture with shoulders back and a purposeful but basically unhurried walk. Full on eye contact without it becoming an intimidating stare, preferably accompanied by a genuine smile.


Body Language In Communication

Experts estimate that wordless signals - non verbal communication - account for something like 55-70% of all information that is absorbed by the subconscious of the person witnessing another person's body language, actual words less so. 


Understanding wordless communication is not only useful for deciphering what someone else is really thinking and feeling, you can of course also to some extent use it for your own purposes like when you need to appear confident but aren't necessarily actually feeling all that confident. Bear in mind though that it's counterproductive to rely on "faking" too much.


When interacting with others we are constantly sending out signals unconsciously. Gestures, posture, how you speak, (can sometimes be more important than what you actually say), how much eye contact you make and how you make it, all of these things alert the other person or people - usually subconsciously - to what you're really thinking and feeling.


It's not uncommon to see that what a person is actually saying is out of step with what their body language is saying. A basic example being A telling B that B should trust A while A's shifty eyes look anywhere but directly into B's eyes. Depending on circumstances, B might consciously want to believe A but B's subconscious will be trying to warn against it. 


Body Language Indicators

Posture. Think about how you'd feel differently about people who slouch along dispiritedly with their heads down compared to someone confidently striding along with their heads up and shoulders back.


Facial. The face is highly adaptable to feelings and expressions. A face can convey a thousand words  without vocally uttering a word. All people around the world use the same facial expressions to convey universal emotions like surprise, fear, amusement, anger, tenderness, revulsion and so on. 


Gesturing. Much if not all gesturing is done unconsciously. When you're talking animatedly about something you emphasize and re-emphasize certain things without thinking about it. This says a lot about you as well as what you're talking about.  


Eye Contact. Eye contact is of course the most readily obvious and familiar of body language signals. Your eyes can easily express everything from love to hate, though it can be very difficult - perhaps impossible - to effectively mimic genuine emotion through the eyes if the genuine emotion is not being felt. A skilled actor or liar might be able to superficially pass it off for a short time, but at the deeper subconscious level it wouldn't work. 


A kind of tight, or "closed" facial expression, hand wringing, legs tightly crossed and arms folded over the chest clearly indicates someone ill at ease with their surroundings or perhaps the person they're with, yet that same person is probably consciously unaware of the clear signals they're conveying, but not of course to someone who understands how to read body language in communication. Knowledge of how to interpret and - for the benefit of your own relationships - use body language effectively and without pretence can save a lot of misunderstanding and help ensure your success in all of your relationships. 

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