Although people are generally not aware of Body Language, many send and receive non-verbal signals all the time. These signals may indicate what they are truly feeling. The technique of reading people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language to put people at ease is commonly used in interviews. It sets the person being interviewed at ease. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood. -Success Mantra for Career
-You may not be aware of what you are saying with your body, but others will get the message.
Body language refers to any kind of bodily movement or posture, including facial expression, which transmits a message to the observer. Every part of the human body, either to motion or stillness, conveys a meaning which depends upon the physical, social and cultural context of the action. The message may be deliberately intended, expressed in some sort of accepted code or they may be involuntary gestures of response, as when someone cries aloud in pain.
Uses of Body Language:
Body language is particularly important in group communication because it dominates the spoken words. It is a factor in human courtship as a subconscious or subtle method of communication between persons. Body language is also used in the field of selling, insurance companies, directly selling companies and international car showrooms. Body language is used to express feeling. At times one may find it difficult to express his/her feeling through words. Body language comes in handy there – for example if someone wants to express anger, more than the words, the body language speaks louder and clearer. Experts believe that more than the words, the people read the body language to form an impression. Body language is also useful in investigations. One may try to give false information but the body language will reveal if the words uttered are true or false.
Reasons to study body language:
Body language increases your attractiveness.
Body language reveals your emotions.
Body language reduces confusing words / messages.
Body language improves your communication skills.
Body language gives you better first impressions.
Parts of Body Language:
Eyes are so transparent; That through them, One sees the soul”.
You can send signals with individual parts of the body as well as together. Here are details of the contributions of each part of the body.
Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and fear are similar throughout the world.
Deliberate movements and signals are an important way to communicate meaning without words. Common gestures include waving, pointing and using fingers to indicate number. Other gestures are arbitrary and related to culture.
Paralinguistic refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. This includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness and pitch. Consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone of voice might convey disapproval and lack of interest.
4.Body language & Posture:
Posture and movement can also convey a great deal on information. Research on body language has grown significantly since the 1970’s. While these nonverbal behaviors can indicate feeling and attitudes, research suggests that body language is far more subtle and less definitive than previously believed.
People often refer to their need for "personal space”, which is also an important type of nonverbal communication. The amount of distance we need and the amount of space we perceive as belonging to us is influenced by a number of factors including social norms, situational factors, personality characteristics, and level of familiarity.
Looking, staring and blinking can also be important nonverbal behaviors. When people encounter people or things that they like, the rate of blinking increases and pupils dilate. Looking at another person can indicate a range of emotions, including hostility, interest, and attraction. Eye contact is an important aspect of social interaction, and it is something that many shy and socially anxious people have difficulty with. Often people with social anxiety describe looking at someone in the eyes as anxiety-provoking and uncomfortable.
Our choice of colour, clothing, hairstyles and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. Research on colour psychology has demonstrated that different colours can invoke different moods. Appearance can also alter physiological reactions, judgment and interpretations.
Tips to Improve Body Language:
1.Keep your arms and legs open.
2.Develop eye contact, but don’t stare.
3.Relax your shoulders.
4.Nod when they are talking.
5.Sit up straight.
6.Lean but not too much.
7.Smile and laugh.
8.Keep your head up.
9.Use your hands confidently.
10.Keep a positive attitude.
11.Always remember to greet others with a firm handshake.