Body Language

Nonverbal communications through postures, gestures, facial expressions, and others

The body says what words cannot.  Martha Graham

Silence is talk too.   African Proverb

I speak two languages, Body and English. Mae West   

     All of us communicate through our body language. Experts claim we actually communicate more through body gestures and voice tone than the words we speak. Being able to read and understand body language is a very desirable communications skill.   

    Whether we are aware or not, people are constantly communicating to us and we are listening to them through body language. Much of our communication is nonverbal and instinctive. We are always sending and receiving unconscious nonverbal messages. We sometimes nonverbally speak things when we should not. Professional poker players look for “tells” in their opponents. Tells are nonverbal clues. Unconsciously a player can be broadcasting to others that he has either a good or bad hand.  This can be disastrous. Nonverbally people may even be telling us the opposite of what they want us to hear or see.   

    Body language experts are used as consultants to observe jurors and witnesses, as well as negotiators, politicians and government leaders. Those who can understand the meanings and nuances of non-verbal communications can have distinct advantages. We may be sending nonverbal messages of weakness and vulnerability to others when we should be communicating strength and confidence. We should never purposely lie to or mislead others, but we should not reveal vulnerabilities to those who would take advantage of us. It is desirable for us to be aware of our nonverbal messages; voice inflection and tone, gestures, posture, facial expressions, even how we walk; what we are really saying. If we act like we are listening to someone but our eyes are wandering around, chances are great that the speaker is aware that we are not really listening.  

   Those that know us best are usually experts at knowing what is really going on inside us. They can tell that our words may be saying one thing, but nonverbally we are saying something different. Equally, we are most likely adept at reading the body language of our loved ones and friends over and above the words that they are speaking.  Much of this happens subconsciously. This is nonverbal communication or body language.

    Be aware of the science of body language. It is considered a great trait to be a good listener. Your ability to be a good listener will be enhanced by listening to body language as well. Equally, it is important to be aware of all the non-verbal messages that you are sending to others.

Challenge:   Commit to putting more effort into really understanding what others are saying to you. Use all of your senses instead of just your ears. The more you practice and apply the better you will become. Equally, be aware that you are expressing yourself through much more than the words you speak. Be aware of the messages you send. Use the mirror, seek feedback from others. Protect your vulnerabilities.

Wisdom: Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, eight (80%) of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words. Deborah Bull

Spiritual: (NIV)

A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1

A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness.   Ecclesiastes 2:26

The more we can care for and love others the more we will want to become better at listening. The more we have God in our lives the more will have sympathy and empathy as real emotions that guide us to really care and listen. As we become more spiritually secure the more we will shift our focus from ourselves to others. If we open ourselves up to God’s love, we will find ourselves with increased desire to reach and love others. 

Prayer:  Help me to use this day wisely and in ways that please and glorify you. 

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