Oh, the mind that’s simple. Too simple. Communicating crossed arms and eye rolls at each turn, denying that they ever said what they said.
Lest we forget, long before English existed, people communicated. In fact, long before the spoken language of any sort existed, people communicated. Through grunts, noises, expressions, and um, use of the body.
So considering spoken and coherent language has only been around for a relatively short time, it’s fair to say body language was a great way to communicate before words got in the way.
And there’s hardly arguing with body language if one takes the time to understand it. When a person makes a fist at you, you’d better watch out. When somebody says something with words, maybe you were listening or maybe not. Perhaps their tone wasn’t of the right nature to make it threatening. But a fist, combined with an angry face, forget it.
Yet, it’s funny when called on a bad attitude. “I never said that.” Oh, you said it. Either you’re completely lying through your teeth (big surprise, judging by your body language again) or you have no idea the messages you are really communicating.
So which one is more dangerous? Completely lying about the messages we send? Or could it be having no awareness of the messages we send? Both seem dangerous, and that’s for certain.
Old numbers that are commonplace are somewhere in the realm of the following: Our messages are conveyed 10% through the words we use, 20% through the tone of voice we use them, and 70% by what we’re doing while we convey our message.
Some have debunked these numbers and say they’re a bit off. The consensus, however, is that the words are the least important part of how we say what we are saying, much of the time. And it makes sense considering the amount of time that we’ve used each form of language.
Think about a newborn, born with the ability to communicate with simple facial expressions. Many of our movements and gestures are instinctual. While words seem more important because we speak them consciously (or so we’d like to think), there is no arguing with instinct.