A strained face with tense eyebrows, squinted eyes full of confusion and tight lips are sure signs of a repulsive food-sample. The poor pupil who consumed such a terrible snack did not have to think through each of the previous stated reactions. The limbic system is what causes these reactions. Joe Navarro, FBI Counterintelligence Agent said “Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by what is known as the “limbic system” of the brain. It doesn’t have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel.” A persons’ reaction is an immediate response to their environment. Body language reveals the truth in ones’ thoughts and emotions.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. wrote, based on S. Bonaccios’ findings, on body language and stated 5 major functions of nonverbal communication.
- Displaying personal attributes in your nonverbal behavior.
- Showing who’s the boss.
- Encouraging people to follow your lead.
- Promoting harmony.
- Displaying emotion
Personal attributes consist of personality, intentions, and attitudes. These make up who a person actually is and can influence how different people get a long (or don’t get along). Showing who’s boss portrays negative body language. A “Power Stance,” as Whitbourne refers to it, is intimidating and will cause others’ to feel of less value. The opposite of “boss” body language is her 3rd function of encouragement. One encourages others through personality and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm emanating from one individual will cause others to follow them as an example and in turn leads to better harmony. Body language is easily read and easily delivered. Emotions are not bad; they are what make people human-like
“If language was given to men to conceal their thoughts, then gesture’s purpose was to disclose them.” -John Napier