Human Body Language Explained
In recent years, body language is a much talked about issue. It is a subject that intrigues many and some consider it an important life skill for success. There are ample numbers of books authored on this subject, which acquaint the readers with the signs of body language that come handy in professional and personal relationships.
The dictionary defines the term body language as ‘the gestures, postures and facial expressions by which a person manifests various physical, mental or emotional states and communicates non-verbally with others.’
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication. Without our realization, each one of us communicates a great deal with our expressions and postures. It is said that body language accounts to 55 percent of a person’s communication. Apart from body language, the tone of our voice also carries immense value. The body language and the tone of the voice together account for 93 percent of human communication. Surprisingly, actual words are only accredited 7 percent of communication value. Therefore, one must remember that what you say matters but what matters more is the way one says it!
Body language can be broadly divided into two categories; open and closed body language. Open body language as the name suggests casts an impression of transparency, acceptance and friendliness. Open body language tends to attract people. There are plenty of signs of an open body language. Maintaining eye contact throughout a conversation is an important sign of openness. It is scientifically proven that a long gaze releases hormones that unknowingly attract others towards you. Keeping the palms open with hands on the sides and avoiding folding of arms and clenching of fists shows willingness to accept. On the contrary, touching the face, neck or ears shows insecurity and anxiety. Standing tall, facing the torso towards the person in conversation, keeping the legs apart or uncrossed and removing barriers like chairs or glasses from between are indications of confidence and keen interest. An open minded person smiles easily but not all the time. A permanent smile could denote a cover up, whereas an easy smile represents comfort.
A closed body language illustrates a reserved, distant and unwelcoming attitude. It makes people lose interest and drives them away. The signs of a closed body language are almost the contrary of those marking an open body language. People demonstrating closed body language do not make eye contact while conversing, angle their body away from people, cross their legs and point their feet away, try to put barriers in between others and themselves and frown or smile all the time. All these actions define apprehension and uneasiness.
When understood clearly, body language is a rather simple or uncomplicated issue. In any social gathering, it is often noticed that a large percentage of people display a closed body language. However, there are some who seem to be charismatic to the beholders. A discerning eye will reveal to you that actually it is their open body language that is catching the attention of others. Such people are often described as ‘having something special’ or ‘having a presence’.
We could make a positive change in our personality as well by adopting an open body language. A conscious attempt towards this will very soon show results in the form of a better communication with others. People will find you more approachable and trustworthy and personally one feels equipped to handle all situations in a relaxed manner. Since body language divulges a lot about one’s character, therefore we should endeavor to use it to our advantage.
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