What is Body Language?

Body language is the process of using facial expressions, gestures, gaze, tone of voice and postures in order to send and receive wordless messages.

Body language is a powerful communicator. A large percentage of what we deliver is derived from our speech tones, our gestures, movements, mannerisms, expressions and idiosyncrasies. It is without doubt the stronger communicator, with so much emphasis being placed on how statements and stories are delivered rather than relying on actual words to get our statements across.

The concept of body language is such a broad statement as it covers almost everything in the realms of Kinesics, from negative clusters such as arm folding, leg folding and contemptuous facial movements, to more positive head nods, oculesics (eye behaviour), tactilics (touching), proxemics (personal space), physiognomony (interpretation of character & temperament based on features of the face), micro expressions (43 muscles of the face that combine to make over 10,000 facial expressions, 7 of which are considered universal), paralinguistics (speed, tone, volume, pitch of voice), mirroring gestures and sign language. We use all of the above daily, often without us even being consciously aware that we are doing so.

From this, we can work out whether a person is being honest, is lying, or is feeling happy, sad, fearful, surprised, angry, disgusted or is full of contempt for something. The more we know about someone’s movements, the more we understand the person’s inner feelings.”

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