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Role of Body Language In Communication

Published On: 7th September 2022 | Updated On: 10th September 2022

Communication goes beyond just words and thoughts you exchange with each other. It also includes body language and facial expressions. You must be wondering how. People often claim that they can tell how someone feels by simply looking at them; in fact, that's true. We can easily figure out a person's feelings by watching their body language. Body language is a collection of conscious or unconscious physical cues that reveal how another person feels or thinks. Using this technique helps you determine if the listener is interested in your conversation or not.

Non-verbal communication or body language reveals critical details about a situation, such as how someone is feeling, how they process information, and how to approach an individual or group of people. Therefore, you can benefit a lot from mastering the art of non-verbal communication at any step of your life.

Body language plays an integral role in having effective communication in our personal and professional lives. In this article, we will be exploring a variety of bodily cues that are commonly observed in people.

Facial expressions

The face is the primary source of emotions. Facial expressions speak volumes about how other people are feeling or thinking. A raised brow indicates surprise, a scowl indicates anger, and a frown indicates sadness. Despite most bodily cues being culturally specific, there is one thing that connects all human beings universally, 7 universal facial expressions. No matter how hard one tries, the look on one's face will convey any underlying emotions, including joy, excitement, confusion, fear, and wrath. 

Researchers have found that some parts of our faces are better at expressing our emotional state. For instance, the eyes frequently convey surprise, despair, or even happiness. A smile conveys friendship or cooperation. The brows and forehead can indicate wrath. The lower region of the face conveys delight or surprise.

Body posture

The way you stand, walk, sit, and hold your head says a lot about who you are as a person. There are two types of postures—open posture and closed posture—which reflect the person's level of confidence.

A closed posture may indicate discomfort or disinterest, while an open posture may seem more welcoming. It is more likely for someone to be attentive to what you are saying when their hands and legs are apart, and their body is relaxed rather than when they are in a slouched position, arms folded and legs crossed. Instead of adopting a stiff or stooped posture, it is preferable to assume a flexible, upright stance.

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The speaker's mental state can be inferred from some unconscious gestures. Fidgeting, shifting of the legs, etc., are frequent indicators of anger, fear, and other negative emotions. Many unconsciously adopted motions include twisting the shirt button or cufflinks, rubbing the necktie, scratching the cheek or nose, and stroking the chin. They could turn into mannerisms if they are overdone. In oral communication, one must avoid the practice of excessive gesturing.

When we consider the hand gestures, how someone shakes hands with another person reveals a lot about how important that person is to them. Additionally, hand gestures can strengthen or weaken a relationship. If you don’t do it right, awful things can happen. Knowing the appropriate hand motions is crucial for sending the right message.

Eye contact

People say “eyes are the window to your soul”, since they are capable of revealing a great deal about what a person is feeling or thinking. 

During a conversation with your colleague or boss, you should maintain effective eye contact. Keeping eye contact doesn’t mean that you have to persistently stare at a person. It is regarded as an intimidation technique that will eventually make the other person feel uneasy. It is therefore necessary to keep effective eye contact to demonstrate that you are listening. 

Frequent eye contact could indicate either interest or boredom, or it could even reveal betrayal and dishonesty. The downward glance is a symbol of modesty, whereas rolling eyes are a sign of exhaustion.


We need to maintain a certain distance when talking to someone. Imagine the scenario where your colleague moves closer or further away from you in the middle of a serious conversation, how would you feel then? It goes without saying that you will get flustered, and it will leave an unpleasant impression on you about that colleague. Maintaining a comfortable distance with someone is therefore crucial.

The typical range of personal space required for a casual chat is between 18 inches and four feet. Additionally, when speaking to a crowd the personal distance should be approximately 10 to 12 feet,

Head nod

Most people will nod their heads while listening to show that they are paying attention to the conversation. It is a conscious body language signal used to convey understanding. This does not imply that you should constantly shake your head. However, appropriate head shakes and nods would boost the quality of communication.

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