Folded arms, clenched fists and crossed legs can communicate our feelings more loudly than words: Learning to control the way our limbs convey meaning gives us greater control of our messages. What language is your body speaking?
Every day we perform a careful monologue with our bodies, communicating our inner thoughts in smiles, shrugs, slouches and glances. Our conscious minds are often not even aware of these somatic signals, meaning our physical movements can reveal our deepest beliefs: A wide stance and open arms can project certainty within calamity by allowing our innermost convictions to speak through us, while those who communicate with stiff or wooden bodies show a lack of belief in their own words.
We may try to speak outwardly with a sense of bravado, but a nervous fidget and downcast eyes can reveal the deep-seated fear within. Conversely, those who are fluent in the subtleties of body language stand outwith quiet confidence and possess a mastery of silent communication. Consciously or not, we express a level of emotional intelligence through the use of nonverbal signs.
Aside from learning how to listen to our own motions, replicating the gestures of those around us can also teach us empathy. Just as we parrot the vocal inflection and cadence of those we’re listening to, we momentarily share another’s joy when we mirror a smile, or experience another’s sadness through a furrowed brow or unexpected tears. By grasping the power of body language, we not only better convey our own feelings, but also gain the ability to more fully understand the meaning of the postures of those around us.
Even people who are naturally predisposed to closing themselves off through crossed arms and hunched shoulders can train their bodies toward the common language of confidence by maintaining eye contact, posturing an open stance and lending gestures of affirmation like nodding or extending an arm.
By learning the linguistic nuances that we communicate through movement, we can each find a dialect of our own and begin to speak our way toward tangible courage.
Assistant Styling Indigo Goss
Model Rochana at Premier
Hair Maki Tanaka
Makeup Joanna Banach at Untitled Artists