Body Language

At times our words can hide our real feelings—may be due to lying, or due tense, frightened and embarrassed feelings. At such times, truth emerges in non-verbal forms– involving change in postures, gestures, twitches and facial expressions. All these are now denoted by the very popular term “Body Language”. It is a part of Para language.

Body language included several subtle movements like winking, moving eye brows and other facial expressions. A person crossing his arms across his chest may show his opposition to an idea, or keep aloof by putting a barrier between him and the world.

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One of the most important means of non verbal communication is the eye contact. Intense eye contacts have measurable physiological effects, such as increased pulse rate and changes in the complexion and color of the face. A person blushes with excitement or shame, grows pale in fear and turns red when angry. These body languages are understood universally.

At the place of work, intense eye contact may mean superiority or hostility. Looking away is a signal of submission, weakness and evasion. Clenched fist shows the effort made to hold one’s temper and biting nails is an anxiety syndrome.

An averted gaze shows disloyalty or falsehood. Head turned to one side with unfocused gaze means boredom. Deceit and withholding of vital information is accompanied by touching ones face during conversation.

Much of the body language is culture oriented. In some cultures youngsters and subordinates are forbidden to look into the eyes of older people and those in authority. In these cases an averted glance need not signify false hood or deceit. It may be due to the respect being shown.

The study of non verbal communication is much older than we tend imagine. Today the people are aware of the significances of their gestures and postures and use them wisely to create the impression they want to create.

Visalakshi Ramani