You may have tried every trick in the book, but somehow you are not able to maintain strong relationships, either personal or professional. Where are you going wrong? This is probably because your body language does not complement your speech. This is a common problem faced by many.
You may speak with a lot of conviction, but your eyes or posture may speak otherwise. This is what we call nonverbal communication, and it is a set of hand eye movements, expressions, postures, and gestures.
An Overview of Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication, also known as body language, is an inevitable part of our personality. When we speak, we also give out several nonverbal signals that sometimes work to intensify what is already being said, or sometimes contradicts what we are saying.
This communication can be a give-away simply because it is hard to control this kind of communication. In several cases, you may communicate simply by means of nonverbal communication. As it is said "eyes speak more than words", is an example of nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal communication primarily comprises gestures, posture, touch, space, and facial expressions. As aforementioned, these may either complement or contradict what we say. Body language leaves a huge impact on relationships, both personal or professional. Many of these nonverbal signs are so subtle that we are not even aware of them.
There are several types of nonverbal communication that may be evaluated on the basis of certain examples.
When reading facial expressions, some of these examples may help you.
Posture and other Movements
Postures are included in nonverbal communication and explained with a few examples.
» Keeping the shoulders rigid again gives a sign that you may be unapproachable. Now, this affects the kind of people you attract towards you.
Gestures animate the conversations we have with others. We point, we wave, and use all sorts of gestures while we are talking.
Even touch plays an important role in nonverbal communication.
» Someone who holds your arms while talking is either trying to make a statement, or to portray that he/she is in control.
We all have a physical space around us. Sometimes we find people invading that personal space, which may portray any of the following.
This does not mean that someone maintaining a decent physical distance is trying to keep away from you. It only means that the person knows his/her place and respects your personal space, provided you don't share a very close relationship.
Understanding body language may take a while. To pick up nonverbal cues requires you to watch out for them intently, and learn how to complement the right cues with the spoken word, so you don't give the wrong message. Once you are able to do that, you will definitely minimize the chances of misconceptions and misunderstandings about others, and yourself.