How Body Language Can Help You Communicate
One way that many people augment their social awareness when experiencing hearing loss is paying closer attention to non-verbal forms of communication, more commonly known as “body language.”
What do we mean by “body language”?
To engage in society and gain information from others, most people typically rely on verbal language to get the job done—in other words, we speak to one another. That isn’t, however the only way we communicate. We also let other people know information through the way we use our face, hands, posture, and other gestures and body positions. Some of these significant acts are pretty standard. Smiling, for instance, is a pretty common non-verbal way of communicating that whoever is smiling is enjoying whatever just happened.
Although smiling is a pretty widely accepted form of non-verbal communication, there are many others. If you’ve known someone for a very long time, you’ve probably become sensitive to even minor changes in their behaviour and can interpret them pretty accurately. Your husband or wife may stoop a little more in their posture when they’re anxious, or have a habit of moving their hands a certain way when they’re excited. These are all forms of non-verbal communication that can help us understand one another.
How can I use body language to help me communicate?
If you’re losing your hearing and verbal communication has become less useful to you, you’ll have to develop new techniques for getting information from other people. Obviously, body language won’t be of much use if you’re trying to give directions to the post office. It can, however, greatly help you navigate subtle, emotional social situations. Here are just a few tips for developing your body-language reading skills:
- Be mindful of other people’s body language. Reading body language is often something we do unconsciously. By forcing yourself to pay attention to this form of communication you’ll be able to read other people better.
- Let people know that you need to see them clearly when you speak. Other people often don’t realize how often they cover their mouths or otherwise make it hard to see their movements. Let people know that you need to see them clearly to effectively communicate.
- Stick to well-lit social settings. You can’t read people’s body language if you’re in a dimly lit room.