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FREE online courses on Body Language - Let Your Body Do the Talking - Gestures speak volumes

‘‘Learning is acquired by reading books, but much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various editions of them.''

                                                                                                                    Lord    Chesterfield

In our ever-changing highly pressured lifestyles, perhaps the only constant is lack of time. With it being at such a premium, lengthy interactions are passé. Body language with its gestures and facial expressions comes to our rescue.

Gestures are like words in a language, giving meaning to our actions. Often people are able to speak more through them than words. Lack of correct expression dilutes the intensity of the spoken words.

In eloquent speaking, it is the manner that wins not words. The furrows of the forehead, positioning of the eyebrows, exaggerated opening of the eyes, flaring of the nostrils speak volumes.

We express a myriad of attitudes by not just one gesture, but a series of related ones, called gesture clusters.  They are groups of nonverbal communications associated with different attitudes. The gestures that comprise a cluster can occur at the same time, as locking arms and ankles and making a fist, or occur one after the other.

Understanding the congruence of gestures in harmony with one another is very important. A prior body movement (incongruent), which in turn might be further repudiated by a subsequent gesture might contradict a static gesture lasting several seconds. The so-called nervous laugh is a good example of incongruity. Not only are there nervous arm and leg movements, the entire body shifts as though trying to escape from an unpleasant situation. This gesture cluster seldom results from a humorous statement. It indicates that the laughter is unsure of himself or even somewhat frightened by a situation. 

By mentally matching congruent gestures that form clusters we can understand the attitudes expressed and discover some meaning.


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