Our five sense organs aid us in connecting with others around us and with the exterior world and in the absence of even one of them, our life almost comes to a halt. Our eyes enable us in seeing the beautiful world around us, our ears make us hear noises or sounds around us, with the help of which we are able to respond accordingly, our nose enables us to smell pleasant as well as unpleasant things around us, our skin makes us respond to the climatic conditions or to touch and lastly, our tongue enables us to get the taste of numerous foods. Even the absence of one of the five sense organs make us completely paralyzed and cut off from the beautiful world. This said, apart from these five sense organs, we human beings and other living creatures on the earth, also make the use of the other parts of our bodies in the process of communicating with others. This directly or indirectly goes a long way in making the other individual respond accordingly. It is not the five sense organs, but these other signals also that go a long way in making us form relationships with others. Even though, it has been argued that the accuracy of our responses is based on these non-verbal signals, they can nonetheless never be ignored because of the role they have to play in making or marring relations. Hence, it is nevertheless a best idea to try one’s best to be aware of how to read body language, since that ensures a lot of success in both one’s personal life and professional life, because to a great extent they are a part of our communication in our everyday lives, as has been noted by experts.
It is extremely essential to figure out how to read body language for the simple reason that more or less it has been discovered by all the researches conducted in the field that they account for almost fifty to seventy percent of the daily process of our communication. But then one point to bear in mind is that no doubt, we must be aware of how to read body language; however, everything is based on the context as well as the way you look at things from a broader perspective rather than one single action. Here, let us consider a few of the aspects to take into consideration at the time of trying to read the body language of other people. In fact, it all depends right from our body movements to our facial expressions in conveying a lot of information even without uttering a single word from our lips.
- The importance of facial expressions: Even though at times we say something, it is actually conveyed in a reverse form by our facial expressions, which make others get the actual message we want to say. They at the same time, also give others an insight into what we are thinking at that particular point of time, even though we say something else. Such important are facial expressions in the process of communication that they give a correct picture or representation of our inner feelings at that point of time. Some of the most common emotions or feelings that are expressed in the form of facial expressions are anger, confusion, contempt, desire, disgust, excitement, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise and so on. The facial expressions to convey certain emotions or feelings as anger, fear, happiness, joy, sadness, surprise and the like form an important part of communication.
- The importance of the eyes in communication: Eyes are often called as the “windows to the soul” because of the fact that they make sure that others are getting an exact picture of what the person is feeling or thinking about at that particular point of time. A few of the most common aspects regarding the movements of the eyes we generally come across in the process of communicating with others is if the pupils of the eyes of the individual are dilated, if he or she is averting the gaze, the extent to which he or she is blinking, whether he or she is making a direct eye contact with the audience and so on. It is of vital importance to pay due attention to the eyes in particular, in the process of discovering how to read body language. Of all the eye movements these aspects are especially necessary when it comes to discovering how to read body language.
- Blinking: Blinking is something which is quite common in the process of communicating, but attention should be paid as to whether the person is blinking too little or too much than natural. If an individual blinks too little, it means that he or she is forcibly trying his or her best to control eye movements.
- Eye gaze: When a person is directly looking into the eyes of the speaker, it means that he or she is interested in the conversation, however, looking into the eyes of the speaker for too long a duration becomes threatening to the other individual, making him/her feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, if the person is constantly breaking his or her eye contact from you, it means that he or she is disinterested in the conversation, or is uncomfortable for some reason or the other.
- Pupil size: Even though, it is a known fact that it is the level of the lights around us that control the dilation of the pupils of the eyes, it is also equally correct that our emotions also bring about changes in the size of the pupils of the eyes, thus giving an indication to the speaker.
- The importance of the mouth in communication: The mouth plays another essential role in our communication with others, with its expressions or movements. Smile, which is one of the biggest body language signals can be used to mean a variety of emotions or feelings including a genuine glee or happiness, or a false show of joy, or to express cynicism or sarcasm. We generally cover up our mouth with an attempt to show respect to the other individual if we are coughing or yawning, but at times, it is to cover up a frown of disapproval. Of all the aspects of expressions shown with the aid of the mouth, the following are the most common:
- Biting lips: Mostly people bite their lips as a sign of anxiousness, stress or worry.
- Covering one’s mouth: People mostly cover their lips in an attempt to conceal their emotions or feelings or a smirk.
- Pursed shape of lips: Pursed shape of the lips mean that the person does not like the point of view or thing, or does not trust what has been said by the speaker to him or her.
- Lips turned down or up: Even the turning down or up of the mouth can mean a lot of things as regards the emotions or feelings. If the lips are slightly turned down, it means that the individual does not either approve of the thing or the view point or is feeling sad. On the other hand, lips turned up means that the person is feeling happy or optimistic.
- The importance of gestures in communication: Gestures are another very important signals in the process of discovering how to read body language. Some of the most common and easy-to-understand gestures in communication are pointing at something or the other, using one’s fingers to make the other individual understand the number he or she wants to convey about, waving and the like. Different gestures have completely different meaning in different places of the world like, a peace sign has a different meaning in the United States of America than it has in some other country of the world. A few of the gestures that have the supposed meaning are explained as follows:
- A clenched fist generally indicates a feeling of anger or solidarity with the other person.
- A thumbs down or a thumbs up in most of the places around the world are indications of either approval or disapproval.
- The gesture of “okay” which is shown by making the index finger and the thumb touch each other in a circle, while at the same time, extending the remaining three fingers mostly means everything is fine. However, in a few countries of Europe, this sign indicates that the other individual to whom it has been shown is good for nothing. Again, in some South American countries, this indicates a vulgar gesture.
A thorough knowledge of all the body language gestures or signals is absolutely necessary if we are aiming to know how to read body language, since as it has been mentioned before, a little know-how can lead to damaging circumstances, if one tends to misinterpret their meaning.