The Importance of Body Language?

There are many reasons you may want to know more about body language. Maybe you want to know if your new boss likes you. Or you could be scrutinizing a premarital relationship in your life.

In addition to learning more about others, body language gives us the tools we need to communicate effectively with those around us. Facial expression, nonverbal communication, and body language play a large role in how we share our feelings and how we interpret others’ feelings.

What is Body Language?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, body language is the gestures, movements, and mannerisms by which a person or animal communicates with others.

Body language is a form of communication that can be interpreted through facial expressions and bodily movements. For instance, someone may scrunch their nose at the sight of something that looks gross. This conveys that they are experiencing disgust.

Body language can communicate almost all basic emotions. You can read someone’s emotions through their expressions and nonverbal gestures. Some emotions that you may be able to sense include the following: anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, confusion, desire, fear, and surprise

Why Is Body Language Important?

According to “Nonverbal Communication in Psychotherapy”, sixty to sixty-five percent of interpersonal communication is through nonverbal tactics.

If people use their body language more than verbal communication, we must become fluent in them both. With body language, you can understand a person’s true feelings. Likewise, others can understand how you feel. Body language also helps us determine trustful people from untrustworthy people.

Someone’s words may say one thing, but their body language and facial expressions say something different. For example, a person may ask you to open a door with a mischievous grin. This playful look may have you guessing if a prank or a surprise is waiting for you behind the door.

Examples of Body Language

A spouse that leans in while her husband is speaking signifies that she is paying attention and cares about what he says.

A young man nods as his manager gives him instructions for the day. This shows that he is listening and retaining the information.

An older woman sits in the doctor’s waiting room, tapping her fingers on her knee. This shows that she is either bored or impatient.

If you notice a small child chewing their lip and biting their nails, this could be a sign of nervousness or anxiety.

A CEO stands in front of his employees with his shoulders back, direct eye contact, and arms crossed over his chest. A person with their shoulders back and direct eye contact shows that they are confident and in control of the situation. Arms crossed over the chest often signifies that they are defensive or disagreeable.

How Can You Use Body Language?

By paying attention to the people around you, you can better understand their thoughts and feelings. This can be extremely valuable for teachers, jobs interviews, meetings, new relationships, etc.

Parents and teachers can use body language to decipher a child’s concerns and feelings. Others can use this new information to help them connect with their partner, boss, or spouse. All in all, using nonverbal communication allows you to build relationships with others.

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