Hearing Link

Non-verbal communication

When you interact with others your words make up only 30-35% of your communication, and when you converse with another person you are letting them know things about yourself in ways you would never imagine – without even saying a word!

Understanding what is going on between people often depends on interpreting non-verbal communication. Next time you are sitting at a table look at the people around you. Sitting with your arms folded on the table and leaning forward can denote a display of interest or a need to be more comfortable.

When you have a hearing loss, however slight, non-verbal communication can often provide you with a range of clues about what is going on. Many people say they do not lipread, they face read. Lipreading is helpful but face reading is a more appropriate term because clues are gained from observing the whole face.

Interpreting body language

If a person is anxious you may notice:

  • Not looking at you
  • Throat clearing
  • Fidgeting
  • Hands covering mouth
  • Index finger pulling collar from neck

If a person is interested you may notice:

  • Leaning forward
  • Tilting head
  • Hand to face gestures
  • Smiling
  • Moistening lips

If a person is evaluating you, you may notice:

  • Stroking chin
  • Head tilted
  • Pacing
  • Hand to bridge of nose
  • Holding glasses’ earpiece to mouth

Lips are not just for reading:

  • Trembling lips – unhappy
  • Biting a lip – pensive
  • Compressed lips – anger, sadness or annoyance
  • Pouting lips – sadness or uncertainty
  • Smiling, parted lips – happiness

If you want to find out more about this sort of thing there are lots of excellent and interesting books you could read.  Here are two:

  • Watching the English by Kate Fox.
  • People Watching: the Desmond Morris guide to body language by Desmond Morris.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This