“Few realize how loud their expressions really are. Be kind with what you wordlessly say.”― Richelle E. Goodrich
Communication is more than the words we speak. Our body language and facial expressions can tell a story totally different from the words that we may be speaking. When working with clients in the counseling field and in mental health, it is very important to be sure that our facial expressions and body language match up with the words that we speak.
While working as a residential youth counselor, I was notorious for making different facial expressions without even realizing it. My boss told me that I needed to really work on that.
The face is capable of 1,000 different expressions, according to the Nonverbal Communication (n.d) lecture. Both my nonverbal interaction could facilitate or shut down the conversation. Every relationship has two messages; a message about the material and a message about the relationship. The material may express the right words, but there may not be an emotional dimension.
Metacommunication can be defined as communication which specifies how verbal knowledge should be interpreted; oral communication signals that also have meaning, which may or may not be compatible with or endorse verbal speaking. It may endorse or oppose verbal communication; an implied communication that is not articulated in words. In other words, “What I said isn’t what I meant”. Behaviors that can affect the meta-message to name a few are proximity and eye contact. A person can tell if you’re interested in the conversation based on eye contact.
If your eyes are wandering, they will know you’re not interested in the conversation.
Proximity is how close or far away a person is when you’re talking to them. One of the most comfortable distances for proximity is one arm’s length. Keys for me to remember when talking to someone would be to make sure I’m aware of what my body language is saying. Does what I’m saying watch my facial expressions? Being aware of my own nonverbal communication can make a conversation better not only for myself but for the other person I’m speaking with as well.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Nonverbal Communication- Adding the Meta to the Message. (n.d.). Lynchburg, VA.
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