When our verbal communication is untruthful our non-verbal communication, gestures or body language may give us away as being a liar, or hiding something, at best.
Did you know gestures can be a wonderful way to help us communicate our feelings and what we are thinking? Gestures make our conversations more alive, animated and exciting. On the other hand, it is also important to know that gestures can be misleading if we don’t have body awareness.
Our gestures and movement should match the situation at hand. For instance, if you’re having a conversation with a friend, giving them the best news of your life and they respond by screaming and crying with an angry look on their face while telling you how happy they are for you thensomething is wrong with that picture. Her words, body language and actions don’t add up.
Facial expressions can be a dead giveaway, conveying exactly what a person may be thinking or feeling, which, in many situations, could be offensive to others. Some gestures and facial expressions are culturally specific, but there are some emotions that are expressed the same way, regardless of cultural differences.
These universal emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, embarrassment and disgust. It would be wise to study your own facial expressions so as not to offend others, or so that you can maintain the upper hand in certain situations.
The all time universal facial expression is a smile.
A true smile can reveal happiness and joy. The corners of your mouth will curve upward; your eyes will twinkle causing the outer corners to crinkle into crow’s feet. Divas… don’t worry. These crow’s feet are a good thing. This type of heartfelt smile is difficult to produce on demand. It is controlled by your emotions and is a true reflection of your mood level. However, with body awareness you can use your facial expressions to maintain the upper hand, dictating how you want others to perceive you.
In only a few situations would a smile be inappropriate.
In most situations, a smile can change the mood by putting others at ease and letting them know that you are friendly and enjoying their company. Don’t forget to make the appropriate eye contact. Too much eye contact is intimidating and not enough sends the message that you are insecure or have something to hide. In a typical conversation, the speaker makes eye contact about forty percent of the time and the listener generally makes eye contact about seventy percent of the time. Use your good judgment to adjust your eye contact for the situation at hand.
Here’s to telling it without talking.
Chloé Taylor Brown