Reading body language helps communication

Last week, I talked about the significance of microexpressions and how they can reveal the true emotions people try to hide. Today, I would like to briefly explore the importance of body language. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that consists of body positioning, body motion, and eye movement. Similar to microexpressions, body language expressions are usually subconscious and involuntary movements. Body language can reveal a person’s state of mind, even if it is not intended.

One common signal that we encounter daily is the crossing of the arms. Crossing our arms usually means that we are in a state of defense. The arms serve as a barrier between the torso and any outside intruders. This could mean a lack of trust in another person, or else an internal unease about a particular situation. As logic would hold, the tighter the cross, the more reserved the person. However, crossing your arms could also be a relaxing position. The action of crossing your arms is best defined given the atmosphere or situation.

When engaging in conversation with someone new, people tend to keep their distance. The brain is an organ that has evolved and advanced over thousands of years. One of its primary functions is to keep us from harm. If we don’t know a person or if we are uncomfortable around someone, the brain shifts into high alert, making sure that the person does not pose a threat. Studies show that a more gradual progression of friendship leads to healthier relationships.

It is impossible to control every muscle in our bodies, so our bodies occasionally slip some cues pertaining to our emotional states. Now, during more intimate settings—a date, for example—recognizing the body cues of the other person can set the difference between sweet success and epic failure. One of the most obvious signals is the licking and pursing of the lips. This action shows interest and intimate physical attraction especially in females. Additionally, parts of our bodies that we find attractive could be exposed, pushed forward, showcased or, in other words, made more apparent. This tactic is usually used by men.

As simple as these actions seem to be, the more aware we are of the messages that our bodies subconsciously convey, the better we become at communicating effectively. As members of an academic society, communication is one of the keys to positive representation and effective expression. Some researchers believe that body language makes up 93 percent of human communication. Whether it’s for a job interview, date, other social-networking function, body language plays a very important role in the success of successful communicators.