Scientific Portal on Body Language, Kinesics, and Nonverbal Communication#

“The expression of emotions in man and animals”

We have been continuously facing various environmental, social, and psychological challenges since millions of years and this will continue until we become extinct. Despite of modernity and inventions, we live almost same way the other creatures do. Yet many people would out-rightly deny that humans are advanced creatures.

Common Human and Ape ancestry
Though we share most of our characteristics with other creatures, it might be quite hard for most of us to regard ourselves as an 'animal race'. Though scientific and technological advancements separate humans from other of creatures, this accomplishment has been done in very tiniest part of entire history of evolution. Believe it or not but we're very young species according to earth's history.

Sir Charles Darwin - the founder of “Theory of Evolution” was once criticized through a cartoon in which he was depicted as an ape, holding a mirror in front of another ape’s face seating next to him. In 19th century, contemporary society and scientific community couldn’t accept his conclusion drawn that apes (higher primates) and we share common ancestry. Debates still continue both supporting and opposing Darwinism.

However, very few of us might know that same genius laid foundation stones of modern research of body language and nonverbal communication. His book “The expression of emotions in man and animals” is one of the preliminary writings that covers valuable conclusions drawn after closely observing humans and animals communicating nonverbally. He also succeeded in finding similarities between human and animal expressions. Later, most other scientists and researchers re-studied and re-introduced same conclusions in one or another way.

Modern methodologies and technologies have being trying to find out behavioral origin inside our brain. Eventually, this quest has brought revolution in this field of science. It's Darwin's greatest gift for all of us which is shedding light on human behavior, emotions and their expressions.

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"Nonverbal" is alien way of communication?

This age is indeed an age of revolution in human communication. We’re regularly being introduced to newer technologies, channels and gadgets. Positively, many superficial factors are being rectified by latest neuro-psychological research by anticipating future challenges. Along with all these things, we’re hearing new buzz word “Body Language” and this dialect is gaining considerable amount of attention from homes to corporate offices worldwide. Some experts are couching us to help shaping effective, smart and friendly ways which could benefit us personally, professionally,  socially and nevertheless romantically. So does it mean that body language is an entirely new dialect itself?

Several research projects over body language and nonverbal communication began in 19th century and their common conclusions were both startling and enlightening for all of us. Body Language, Kinesics and Nonverbal Communication is being used by us from millions of years and it remained evolving along with us while facing new psycho-sociological challenges. Literally, we communicate almost 24 hours a day through body language (nonverbally) and throughout our entire life span. We have bodies and we talk through it. That's it!

Our ancestors developed, adopted and used it as a common communication platform for very need of survival and socialization before any verbal language evolved. Even after verbal languages or dialects coming into existence, body language is still effective but most of us are not aware of it. In modern era, we use body language to support verbal communication but almost unconsciously. Since words are unnecessarily often emphasized, we are becoming more and more ignorant about nonverbal communication and thus ultimately inviting misunderstandings, miseries, mishaps and turmoil everywhere.
Are we becoming social dummies?
Our personal, professional and social relationships are at risk due to not expressing ourselves and interpreting each other accurately as our ancestors did. Though some languages are endangered due to not fulfilling some contemporary demands - standards and aversive to change, body language is unchallenged and it exists globally. It’s at the core of our feelings and urge to express so doubting about it is like underestimating struggle of survival and social development of our own race.

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Survival of Communicator

Human race successfully survived not only because of intelligence and skills to adapt different environments but also effective interpersonal and social communication. In fact, larger brain evolved to develop better understanding about each other. Effective and harmonious social communication is not only about exchanging data with clarity and accuracy but also building mutual trust and confidence.

Nonverbal communication is universal.
In this modern age, we mostly communicate with help of words and numbers. However words share only few percents of personal insight if they are not judged nonverbally. Literal meaning of words can be acknowledged but motivations or intentions behind them may not be exactly understood if we don’t pay attention to pronunciation and facial expressions of person that utters them.

As like other creatures, we evolved to communicate primarily through bodily expressions because they are definite and apparent. A calm and cheerful person relaxing in a reclined chair gives away a pleasant and non-threatening message whereas out-crying infant expresses helplessness and an urge of immediate attention by others. Hence, no special training or experience is required for interpreting basic emotional expressions.

Communication is vast area and nonverbal domain makes it more broader than our imagination. What makes us as a superior race on this planet is our social and emotional reciprocation with each other which doesn't happen with words and numbers. What lies in our future is completely unpredictable but one this is certain that nature would support survival of better communicator.

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