Body Language- Speaking volumes in Silence
Body language or “Kinesics” is one of the most important features of modern day communication process. It is not a language as we understand language to be and it cannot be learned. It comes as an involuntary action in the form of mental and physical response or reactions. The components of body language includes communication which is non-verbal in the form of changes in the postures of the body, gestures both facial and hands, eye movements and facial expressions. The subconscious mind is able to apprehend body language without having to train for it or learn it; today any expression of feeling can be interpreted by the body language that the person uses for expression.
Interpretation of Body language:
The expressions and gestures that body language comprises of is very visible today than ever before and in the professional environment interpreting body language has become common. The interpretation of body language is well put to use during interviews when the body language of the candidate reflects nervous or anxiety. The interpretation of the body language of a person can be sensed by the individuals simple and trivial acts like:
- Playing with little objects on the table
- Fidgeting with the pen or pencil the candidate holds
- Fidgeting with the edges of the dress
- Shivering fingers
- Fast speech / hesitant speech / stammering / stumbling over words
All these are pointers to the fact that the person is nervous. Similarly over-confidence, aggression, anger, agitation, irritation all can be sensed by the body language of the person.
Interpretation of Positive Body Language:
Body language that is positive also is very easily recognizable and can be understood by anyone who is observant and vigilant. A conversation with someone who looks at you in the eye and has direct eye contact has a very clear thinking and understanding. Though there are different perceptions to this aspect with people voicing their opinions that a person makes direct eye contact as there is lack of trust and hence by keeping a direct eye contact nothing is missed out. Therefore, a direct eye contact can mean a lack of trust or a complete confidence in oneself and the interpretation would depend on how it is perceived.
One of the best aspects of body language is that there is a constant interaction between two or more people while in verbal language it is an interaction between the speaker and the listener which takes place only when the speaker speaks. Today the importance of body language has increased as more and more people have come to understand the meaning of the others body and have been able to interpret it rightly. Body language is also referred to as non-vocal or non verbal communications and hence there is no voice or sound involved.
The need to understand body language becomes important when we meet people for the first time. The gestures, the interest in the faces, the language used and the overall response of the body to our talk or suggestions tell us very clearly what a person might be thinking of or whether the person is interested in furthering a conversation with us. The body language of the person is an indication for us to stop or go further.
The interpretation of body language goes both ways so beware when you are trying to gauge a person’s character or nature through his or her body language as it is possible that the other person is judging you through your body language and perceiving your character and nature. Interpreting body language goes both ways. Therefore, it would be nice if you didn’t engage in understanding the body language of people in public. It is likely to seem rude and indecent.
( Educationist with more than 15 years expeience in India and Abroad. Presently He is serving the cause of education in Tanzania. You can send your responses to him at firstname.lastname@example.org)