Body language is a kind of non verbal communication, where thoughts, intentions, or feelings are expressed by physical behaviors, such as facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space. Body language exists in both animals and humans, but this article focuses on interpretations of human body language. It is also known as kinesics.
The important elements of body language are:
Body postures: Emotions can also be detected through body postures. Research has shown that body postures are more accurately recognised when an emotion is compared with a different or neutral emotion
Personal appearance: Appearance can alter physiological reactions, judgments and interpretations.as it is rightly said that the first impression is the last impression.
Facial expression: Facial expression is integral when expressing emotions through the body. Combinations of eyes, eyebrow, lips, nose, and cheek movements help form different moods of an individual (e.g. happy, sad, depressed, angry, etc.)
Sitting or standing postures also indicate one’s emotions. for eg: A person sitting till the back of his/her chair, leans forward with his/her head nodding along with the discussion implies that he/she is open.
Gestures: Gestures are movements made with body parts (e.g. hands, arms, fingers, head, legs) and they may be voluntary or involuntary. Arm gestures can be interpreted in several ways. In a discussion, when one stands or sits with folded arms, this is normally not a welcoming gesture
It serves three main purpose
- To give and receive feedback
- To show confidence and honesty
- To communicate relation between people.
Other types of physical movements
Covering one’s mouth suggests suppression of feeling and perhaps uncertainty. This could also mean that he/she is thinking hard and may be unsure of what to say next.