Mental Health And Body Language
If you take away anything from this article, it’s that body language speaks louder than words. Especially during childhood and adolescence, words and expressions often have a much greater impact on communication than body language does. But reading body language can be mastered even at a young age, such as when girls attempt to show boys that they are not interested in them.
As one ages and matures, body language starts to become more obvious in everyday interactions. But believe it or not, many people don’t master reading body language because they don’t pay attention to it: it either doesn’t come naturally for them or they continue to make the same mistake of carelessly ignoring it.
Reading body language will divulge much more valuable and honest information about one’s character than the words coming out of their mouth. Why is that? Because body language is controlled by the unconscious mind, while words are specifically chosen in the moment.
No one deliberately controls their body language: “I’m going to cross my legs now in order to show someone that I have patience.” Body movements happen on an unconscious level and can be utilized to your advantage to learn more about someone’s character. Think of it like a cheat code: you can abstract information about how someone thinks and feels without even hearing them speak!
Except that it’s not a cheat code: it’s reality. Mental health also comes into play regarding body language. In behavioral health, this is called someone’s “affect”: how you perceive their body language in regards to their mood. One may state that their mood is “depressed” and their affect may by congruent: slouched position, sad face, maybe even tears.
Utilize body language to interpret your family members’ and friends’ mental health. If their posture and the way that they carry themselves is not mood-congruent, then you know that something is up with their mental health. An even more effective tool to add to your social toolbox is listening more than talking, while observing one’s body language!
If you can effectively listen and observe one’s body language without talking too much, you are setting yourself up nicely for understanding one’s character. Always remember that body language speaks louder than words. If you can master reading body language, you will increase your emotional intelligence and prosper in the realm of socialization.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)