To paraphrase my mother, “It’s not what you say, but what you do,” has a great deal of truth to it.
As I referenced in my last post, sign language is a way for the hearing impaired to communicate. Their hands give them a voice. They talk with their hands – we all do – even without learning ASL (American Sign Language).
We are constantly reading the body language of others, even when we are not aware of it.
Pay attention to the positions and movements of people around you. Specifically, their hand positions and fingers.
Translating Gestures into Words
Scientific studies show that the part of the human brain that comprehends words is the same part of our brain that comprehends gestures.
Gestures are also called movement clusters because it is more than a body position. We use gestures when we speak, typically hand gestures. They enhance meaning or can be used by themselves.
Pointing the finger: This is an aggressive movement. When a wink is added, however, it is a positive confirmation of an individual.
The finger moves side to side: This motion acts as a warning to stop something.
The finger moves up and down: This acts as a reprimand or places emphasis on what is said.
Thumbs up: Thumbs up is a sign of approval.
Thumbs down: This is a sign of disapproval.
Touch index finger to thumb: The sign indicates OK.
Watch Their Hands
We all communicate with our hands. We can even communicate deception without knowing what we are doing. Several movements can indicate someone is hiding something.
Palms down: Showing your palms is a sign of sincerity. Keeping the palms down signals that someone is hiding something.
Self-touching: Self-touching may be a calming action but be alert when someone touches their face. Hands at the nose and mouth are often seen as an attempt to hide the spoken lie.
Hidden hands: Hand gestures are a natural part of communication. Many people will suddenly hide their hands when telling lies. Lack of hand movement may also indicate lying.
Actively reading body language will provide valuable insight and improve communication.
Words from the Wise
Dale Carnegie: There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.