Body Language and non-verbal communication

January 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

Body Language can portray up to half of what you are communicating. This is high amount, so it is important to make sure you use your body to show what you are trying to get across. Your body can be used as a tool. It can either be helpful or harmful. I found some basic translations of everyday body positions at this website

Some of the examples of body language and what it portrayed included:

  • When you stand tall and erected, you portray confidence.
  • If you stand with your hands on your hips, it comes across as being aggressive.
  • Sitting with your legs crossed while tapping your foot is a sign of boredom.
  • If you sit with your legs open you come across as being relaxed.
  • If you have your arms crossed in front of your chest you look defensive.
  • If you have your shoulders hunched with your hands in your pockets while you walk you look rejected.
  • When you have your head resting on your hand it is a sign of boredom.
  • If your hands are behind your head when you are sitting, it comes across as a sign of superiority.
  • Rubbing your hands shows anticipation.
  • An open palm portrays openness and sincerity.
  • If you wrinkle your nose and have your eyes closed, you come across as thinking negatively about something.
  • Tapping or drumming your fingers is a sign of impatience.
  • Constantly touching or playing with your hair shows a lack of self-confidence or insecurity.
  • You show signs of interest when you tilt your head to the side.
  • It looks like you are trying to make a decision when you stroke the bottom of your chin.
  • Biting your nails shows a sign of  nervousness and insecurity.
  • You come across as indecisive when you pull or tug at your ear.

These examples provided helpful insight. If you are speaking with someone such as an employer, a boss, or an elder you want to make sure you act respectful towards them. Although you might be speaking to them with respect if you are doing something as simple as tapping your foot you are portraying boredom. Your body language can completely off set the attitude you are trying to convey. This is an example of why it is important to be conscious not only how you are talking, but also what the rest of your body is doing.

Body Language is a form of non-verbal communication. Help Guide helps show the importance of non-verbal communication. I thought the authors described it well when they said “The way you listen, look, move, and react tell the other person whether or not you care and how well you’re listening. The nonverbal signals you send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.” This shows how much of an effect non-verbal communication can have on a relationship or situation. Some of the main ways you show non verbals are by:

  • facial expressions
  • body movements and postures
  • gestures
  • eye contact
  • touch
  • space
  • and voice

I hope that this provided you with some tips about both body language and non-verbal communication and how to use it for your benefit in the future.



  1. ashleyprisfunrenfroe said,

    as soon as i read the tip about tilting your head my mind went immediately to this video they are definitely showing interest with their head tilts!!!

  2. Comments « Public Relations and Me… said,

    […] February 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM (Blog Comments, PRCA 3711) Jacqueline Henry […]

  3. laur22 said,

    It was really interesting to see all of the different actions that we do everyday and what they portray to others. I roll my eyes a lot, but I do not intend for that to be seen as rude and snobby. It is a habit I will need to fix when going on job interviews. I do tilt my head to the side all the time, and this may sound corny, but it definitely is because I am listening to what people have to say. I rub my hands a lot also, but I had no idea this means you are anticipating something. It really is interesting that the little things we do can have such a big impact on how others see us. Hopefully I can be on my best behavior when I need to be.

  4. My Blog Comments- 3711 « Lauren's PR Blog for Beginners said,

    […] “Body language and Non Verbal Communication” by Jacqueline […]

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