Gene Kelly, famous actor/dancer, produced an anthology film called “Invitation to Dance” in which there was no dialogue, only movement, to convey three distinct stories. Since the dawn of humanity people have used non-verbal communication to convey deep intimacy. Drawings on caves and hand gestures, facial expression and inarticulate sounds were used to tell stories, express feelings, and deepen relationships.
What is your favorite form of non-verbal communication? Many of us are not always conscious of the most effective ones we use. In former days parishioners used to tell me that if something surprising happened during Sunday services, they would know immediately, from the back bench, by the change of expression on my face. I especially enjoy expressing my deepest self through painting. You can view my art on my website: www.parisecoaching.com . There’s a dropdown menu at the top of the site.
Usually strong feelings are behind the non-verbal communicating we do. Our fear, anger, aggression, sadness, frustration, contentment, problem-solving, process of choosing, creating, all have “looks” and expressions unique to each of us. Sometimes “what you see is what you get.” We express with our bodies precisely what we are feeling and it is plain to all around us.
Much of the time, however, our non-verbal communicating is code for layers of feelings of which we are not readily conscious. Those addicted to substances or behaviors act out pre-consciously, not always knowing which feeling with which they are struggling or why they’re attempting to change their emotional channel. Our body language may say “anger” when we are actually frustrated or depressed. We may leave the house for a long walk but we may actually be mentally muddled. And how often we use love-making and sex to convey deeply-held tenderness and love?
Have you ever asked those around you what they pick up as your “go-to” non-verbal communication? What is really behind your default physical expressions of feelings? Is any of your non-verbal communicating actually destructive of yourself or others? How do you convey love without words, for in that you may find the key to transformation?
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