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Silent Messages — Part 1

Rochel Gellman

You know another language! Only you’re not speaking it. Nonverbal communication, often referred to as “body language,” is a vital form of communication — a natural, unconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions in any given moment, and clues us in to the feelings and intentions of those around us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

swirl designTry having a conversation with a sibling or friend using the following lines. Character A should speak her lines using appropriate expressions. Character B should not speak at all, expressing her lines only with gestures and facial expressions.

A: Have you seen my book? I can’t remember where I put it.

B: Which one?

A: The adventure novel. The one you borrowed.

B: Is this it?

A: No. It’s not the one you borrowed.

B: I did not borrow any other book!

A: Whatever; maybe it’s under the chair. Can you look?

B: Okay — just give me a minute.

A: How long are you going to be?

B: Hey, why so impatient? I hate when you get bossy.

A: Forget it. I’ll find it myself.

B: Wait — I found it!

You were most likely able to understand what character B was “saying,” although she did not speak at all. You were able to figure out what your partner meant to say by using your understanding of “nonverbal communication.” This means that your partner was able to express her intentions in a conversation without communicating verbally — that is, without speaking. 

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