March 6, 2011
Verbal communication is open to manipulation. Non-verbal communication is not.
“Body language is your primary mod of communication, primary in the evolutionary history of the human species, and primary in your life.” The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Body Language. Body language is more basic than the spoken work.
Animals are great at reading body language. I’m not exactly a calm person and when I pick up one of our rabbits, I need to chill before I do it. Our female responds well to my husband because he’s naturally a steadier person.
A few weeks after my father died, I was still kind of bumping into walls. I thought I was fine, but my dog was glued to my side. He knew I wasn’t right when I refused to admit it.
The human body is able to function well on autopilot. Think back to this morning. Do you really remember brushing your teeth? You know you did, but do you REALLY know you did?
Body language is part of that autopilot, other wise it would be stilted.
Non-verbal communication encompasses all parts of your body.
Your eyes are the primary way you receive body language cues and usually the primary way you send it. You invite someone to communicate by making eye contact. I know this because EVERYONE talks to me at the grocery store. I make eye contact without really meaning to.
If they eye contact is longer than a second, the two people begin to make a connection. Immediacy behaviors, like prolonged eye contact, singal availability. Eye contact is powerful that way.
Besides the obvious body language there are also more subtle versions. Your pupils dilate because of lack of light, but also for things you find attractive.
The reverse is also true. Our pupils constrict when we see something we don’t like. We react to that on an unconscious level.
Eye contact controls interaction. If you don’t make eye contact, you don’t send out an invite for someone to interact with you. One symptom of Asperger’s is not making eye contact. It isn’t because they don’t want to interact, they just don’t think about it. They don’t need you to make eye contact for them to interact with you.
Excerpt from: Layering: Not Just for Cakes being offer at www.writersonlineclasses.com in May.
Chris Redding’s latest is Incendiary, out in print in March, already available in all electronic formats. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital.
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