Reliable, Trustworthy Reporting, Capturing The Heartbeat Of Our Community

-Isms: Views on life in rural America

A person may not always verbalize how they feel. Trust me, their actions will always show you the truth.

For example, I can tell when Courtney becomes frustrated with me when I voice my opinion and we don’t necessarily see eye to eye. She’s mastered the art of the eye roll, those long, thick lashes fluttering as she defends her way of thinking.

Wonder where she learned that behavior? (Looking to my left, checking to my right, searching in the mirror to see if I’m the culprit.)

Did I just roll my eyes? Possibly.

“Psychology Today” reports that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone of voice (Scott Schindler, I’m directing that one to you), and 7% is the spoken word.

Remember when Momma told you words and actions matter? She was correct.

While communications experts offer their interpretations of what movements mean - trust me, most movement does have an associated connotation - some body movements are due to necessity.

Someone who sways while speaking may be nervous. I used to drill precise movement into my speech team. Each gesture, each step had a scripted purpose. Swaying wasn’t part of the equation.

Do I sway? Heck yes. Not because I’m nervous or lack confidence. If I stand still too long, my knee locks. Ahh, the perks of getting old.

With an increase in digital communication, body language may be expressed via emoji. The problem: the recipient doesn’t see the slump of the shoulder or the puffed-out chest of the person speaking. The recipient doesn’t hear the tone associated with words, whether they cut to the bone or drip with honey. The recipient doesn’t hear the pacing, the pause for thought, the carefulness of word selection.

I pay a lot of attention to the nuances of non-verbal communication because I studied and taught it for a long time. And, it does provide valuable clues about another’s thoughts and actions.

I’m curious what you, the reader, thinks. Do you maintain eye contact? Does a weak handshake change your view of someone? Do you notice if someone stands straight or speaks with their hands or mirrors how you act and react?

Wouldn’t it be a better world if people would say what they mean, mean what they say and show what true meaning through non-verbal cues? It would definitely eliminate a lot of misunderstandings.


Reader Comments(0)