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  • Writer's pictureSofia Quadra

The Science Behind Body Language

How do we communicate non verbally?

When saying or hearing the word “communication”, I bet that the first thing that comes to your mind is the use of words. But, communication is much more complex than just a set of words. Did you know that the first impression you give to an interviewer starts before actually saying a word? We as humans use nonverbal communication when transmitting daily messages to others through the use of eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and postures.

Nonverbal cues are often done instinctively rather than consciously (HelpGuide). Even though we might not be consciously aware of it, we are constantly sending and receiving voiceless signals when interacting with people. More surprisingly, these messages don't stop when we stop interacting verbally. We still use this type of communication even when being in complete silence. Isn't that amazing?

Using eye contact as a form of communication.

Your gestures, postures, facial expressions, how much eye contact you make, and your tone of voice can all work separately or collectively to send powerful messages to the other person you are with at the moment. These may put people at ease, build trust, and draw others towards you. On the other hand, these cues may also offend, confuse, or undermine what you are trying to convey (HelpGuide).

Furthermore, the two forms of communication can sometimes be counterintuitive. What comes out of our mouth and what we communicate nonverbally can sometimes be two totally different things (HelpGuide). I will give you a simple example. Let's say that you say “yes” with your voice but you shake your head. Your listener will be confused and he or she might think you are being dishonest. When your listener has to choose whether to believe the verbal or nonverbal message, he or she is more likely to choose the nonverbal message due to the fact that body language is a natural, unconscious language that projects your true feelings and intentions (HelpGuide). Interesting fact, right?

As you read this article, your facial expression demonstrated whether you liked it or not. Now that we are more aware of this type of language, let's try using it for good and avoid confusions that the receiver might go through

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