Body Language

Body language is a form of communication without using words.  Body language includes the use of body posture, gestures, eye movements and facial expressions.  A lot of body language is actually subconscious.  This means that the person using body language is not fully aware that they are using it.  Some psychologists say that body language actually communicates more information than using words.

Being able to “read” body language means being able to understand what a person really thinks or feels through their body language.  Human beings seem to instinctively understand other people through their body language even when they speak a different verbal language.  It is likely that in human prehistory, body language was an important survival mechanism that helped us to display and distinguish between threats and safety.

Body language can communicate negative emotions.  For example, when a listener crosses their arms against their chest, it can mean disagreement with the speaker.  This can also be indicated when a listener leans away from the speaker.  A lack of eye contact can show a person is anxious or discomfort.  It can also mean disbelief.  When a listener is bored, they are more likely to tilt their head.

Positive feelings are often shown in body language through the use of facial expressions, eye contact, and posture.  Leaning forward usually shows that a person is interested in what the speaker is saying.  When a person looks in another person’s eyes and then down at their lips, it usually means they have romantic feelings for the speaker.  Standing or sitting straight with good posture shows that a listener is taking the person’s speech seriously.

Scientific studies have revealed that body language can even reveal when a person is being dishonest.  For example, when a person is lying, they tend to touch their face during the conversation.  They may also blink too much or not blink at all.  Body language can reveal a lot about people but it’s important to remember that everyone’s body language is a little different and trying to “read” too much information through body language can lead to miscommunication.