Here is a list of body language communication and vocabulary. There are many examples of how body language is a form of communication. Body language is used in every country and culture through the world.
Why is body language important to understand?
- Body language is used to assess people’s characters. It is one of the first ways we assess a stranger’s character.
- Body language is used to communicate directly with someone when language is not possible.
- Body language is commonly used and assessed at work and interviews.
- Body language is an essential part of friendships and relationships.
- Body language can lead to great misunderstanding between different cultures.
List of body language
- Avoiding eye contact = shy, worried, lying
- Crinkling nose – disgust
- Deadpan face (without any expression) = emotionless or hiding feelings.
- Direct eye contact = confidence
- Eye staring into the distance = dreamy, not concentrating
- Pressing lips together (tight lipped) = annoyed, angry
- Raised eye brows = doubtful, disbelieving
- Smiling = friendly
- Arms behind back, shoulders back = confidence
- Arms crossed = defensive or insecure but sometimes it means being angry
- Bowing (bending at the waist) = greeting someone new (in some countries)
- Biting nails = nervous
- Blushing (going red in the cheeks) or stammering (speaking with hesitations and repeated letters) = embarrassment
- Eye rubbing = tired or disbelieving
- Hands covering gaping mouth – scared
- Putting arms up with palms facing forward = submission
- Scratching one’head = confused
- Shaking the head = negative, no
- Shrugging shoulders (moving shoulders up and down) = don’t know, doubt, confused
- Stroking one’s chin = thinking deeply
- Nodding head = agreement, yes,
- Firm handshake = strong and decisive/ limp handshake = weak
International Problems with Body Language
Nodding head = In some countries, it means “yes” but in other countries it means “no”. Likewise, a shaking head means “no” in some countries but “yes” in others.
Silence = In the West, this can be negative and be a problems between people. However, in other countries, such as China or Japan, it can be a sign of agreement or femininity.
Personal space = In countries, such as England, people should stand a respectful distance from each other but in other countries, such as Spain, people touch each other when talking. In Japan, the person space is often bigger between people than in England. Respectful space between people changes depending on countries.
Eye contact – In the West, this is a sign of confidence and is important when listening actively to someone. On the other hand, there are countries where this might be a sign of aggression and confrontation.