Body language and eye contact are pretty big factors we sometimes unknowingly use to determine quite a bit about people. It's almost as if our subconscious picks up on the other person's non-verbal signals. We may not even think about them at the time, but instead, hours after the conversation is over.
Have you ever met someone for the first time who spoke to you in a polite manner and appeared to be a pleasant individual, but something deep in your gut told you otherwise?
Maybe it was because they didn't hold your gaze during the conversation and continually looked down or away, or perhaps it was the subtle crossing of their arms in front of their body, a possible sign they were closed off to what you had to say from the beginning.
Non-verbal cues; they're an important part of our communication - almost as important as speech itself.
We send non-verbal messages every time we interact with others. We already know the familiar facial cues, such as a smile, a frown, an amused cocked eyebrow. But what about the body? What does a person's body language tell us?
How close does someone stand while carrying on a conversation with you?
It's likely to depend on your relationship to the individual. The farther away one stands generally means they are only an acquaintance. (Anywhere from 4-12 feet away) The closer one stands could indicate good friends or family. (1.5 - 4 feet away)
Then, you have the close talkers...they're usually the people with whom you share intimate relationships.
(But then again, sometimes they're not! Who's not a Seinfeld fan??)
Posture is also another big player in non-verbal communication.
Are your shoulders back when you talk to people, or are they slumped forward? Do you keep your chin tilted down or slightly lifted? Are your hands relaxed, or do you find yourself fiddling around with something? If you're standing, which way are your toes pointed?
The signals we reveal to others are often too numerous to mention, and someone who isn't giving their full attention may never pick up on some of the more subtle signs.
And that leads to something very sad.
As suckish as some people are at not being able to pick up on these types of non-verbal signals, it's only getting worse, and will continued to get worse.
In this day and age, texting and social media make up a large percentage of social interaction. Will we ultimately lose the fine art of non-verbal communication and gain a world of individuals who are socially numb?
The absence of these silent signals can easily explain the dilemma of miscommunication via email, texting, or on social media.
The SHOUTY capitals and exclamation points only serve as a pitiful attempt at real emotion!!!!!
When you type a message to someone, you are personally very clear about how you intend for the message to come across. But it isn't always relayed to the recipient in the same 'feel' as how you meant it. It can end up being a huge disaster over the tiniest of innuendos you never realized you made in the first place.
It wasn't what your message meant to you - but what it meant to the reader.
It's all about how it will be perceived, and you can never predict how someone else will react.