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The Power of Non-Verbal Communication

(Body Language)
Tonya Reiman
Amor Kok
Counselor Exceptional Childrens Services
August 7
, 2009
Communicating Effectively in Difficult Situations
An eye can threaten like a loaded and leveled
gun, it can insult like hissing or kicking, or in
its altered mood, by beams of kindness, it can
make the heart dance with joy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nonverbal signals are the most honest and
reliable sources of communication.

When we understand other peoples thoughts
we know how other people really feel.

Language of the Face
Its a fact that women respond to stress by nurturing and
seeking social support. This is called tend and befriend
cycle. The hormone oxytocin, important for breastfeeding
and childbirth, is responsible for this.
Men respond to stress with a more confrontational fight
or flight response.
It is important to bear this in mind when communicating
with men and women as well as boys and girls. This is
why women are much better at reading social cues.
By age 8 most American girls are able to read nonverbal
actions more accurately than boys. This advantage
carries through to adulthood.

Neurological Aspects of Body Language
Cultural Aspects of Body Language
Cultural expressions are dictated by what are
called display rules. These are specific
expectations every group has about body
language behavior.
In the United States nodding your head up and
down means yes. This is a nonverbal cue for
In Bulgaria shaking your head from side to side
means yes and up and down means no.

Five Truths of Body Language
1) Body language is always constant. Our body
language always communicates. We are all
being read every time we set foot in public.
2) Body language is always determined by
context. The social rules, the cultural
implications, the groups expectations plays a
huge role in what will work for you.
3) Body language can never be judged based on
one single signal.
Five Truths of Body Language
4) Body language reveals the discrepancies
between what a person says and what a person
truly believes. When a person is truthful their
body language is in congruence with their
spoken word.
5) Body language mastery allows you to tune into
micro expressions. These are brief flashes or
gestures that betray inner feelings.

Seven Universal Emotions
1) Sadness
Raised inner eyelids
Horizontal lines across the forehead
Eyelid droop
Mouth pulled downwards
Raised lower eyelids
2) Surprise
Eyebrows curve and rise up
Upper eyelids go up
Mouth opens ~ lips apart
Whites of eyes seen above and below the iris
Seven Universal Emotions
3) Fear
Eyebrows are raised and drawn together
Upper eyelids rise up
Lips are parted, pulled down and tense
4) Anger
Brows are furrowed
Brows get lower
Gaze becomes intense
Lower eyelids tense
Nostrils flare
Lower lips bulge

Seven Universal Emotions
5) Disgust
Forehead usually relaxed
Eyebrows are lowered
Wrinkle on the upper nose
Tense lower lid
Pursed lips

6) Contempt
Wrinkles on the nose
One lip often raised in a sneer
Hips sometimes pushed forward
Tight mouth with slightly raised corners

Seven Universal Emotions
7) Happiness
Relaxed forehead
Crows feet
Lines under eyes
Mouth corners turned up
Hips slightly parted
Top teeth showing

Cheat Sheet to Hidden Thoughts
YES Gestures
Open palms
Forward lean
Enhanced eye contact
Head nodding
NO Gestures
Folded arms
Hand holding up the chin
Feet and trunk pointed in different directions
Hands on the knees
Hand over the mouth
Increased fidgeting
Constant eye movement
Shaking head
Eye squinting

Cheat Sheet to Hidden Thoughts
MAYBE Gestures
Taking a sip of a drink
Biting the frame of eyeglasses
Cleaning eyeglasses
Scratching head
Chin stroking

Cheat Sheet to Hidden Thoughts
Keep your Body Language in Check!
Other Body Signals
Hand near ear can denote anxiety or an unwillingness to
listen further.
Hand on chin shows the listener is attentive to what is
being said.
Backward lean can communicate laziness or apathy.
A forward lean could make the other person feel
Crossed arms can make a person appear defensive.
Exposing your palms makes a person seem more
Palms down is an authoritative gesture.
Keep your Body Language in Check!
Other Body Signals
The stop sign tells others not to interrupt.
Arms and hands towards your chest says the person is
taking responsibility.
Distance between a persons palms tells you how they
feel about the magnitude of the event they are
Make a point by touching your thumb and forefinger. Try
not to point.
Double barrel shooting out two hands up. You can
build or destroy rapport.
The steeple is a powerful authoritative gesture.

Signs Youve Overstepped your Bounds
What to Watch for
A threatening stare, then a turn to avoid your gaze.
Increased blinking.
Leaning away.
Decreased smiling.
Sudden halt to conversation.
Stiffening or sitting up straight.
Turning feet and torso away from you.
Crossed arms.
Finger or toe tapping.
Piling things up between you.
Refusal to share anymore personal details.
Verbal hostility.

Signs Youve Overstepped your Bounds
What to Watch for
Understated message underneath our words
I usually enjoy a day at the beach.
I usually enjoy a day at the beach.
I usually enjoy a day at the beach.
I usually enjoy a day at the beach.