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November 19, 2011

Reading Body Language - Congruence

In last article, we came to know about clustering which is the first thing to collect while reading body language. Moreover, a cluster is a door step for interpretation of a nonverbal message more accurately.

If any words are involved in a cluster then it has to be analyzed or scrutinized further to check if it conveys a true and consistant message along with the body language or not. Why exactly the verification of authenticity of the message is required in the first place at all?

By most, our brain maintains proper coordination or synchrony among facial expression, posture, movement, words and tone of voice. If they remain more synchronized with each other, a message gets across more effectively, precisely and correctly. Bodily clues and moves supporting, synchronizing and reflecting what words are conveying is an truthful massage. It is called as CONGRUENCE or compatibility.

What if someone wants to distract or lie to others with a false message? Our deliberate cleverness comes into play for the same. In practical life, we find ourselves in very awkward situations in which passing exact and true message may not be in our best interest. They are a number of reasons for same but all of them cannot be discussed in this article.

There are two persons saying, "I'm open to and confident about the new challenges!". One person has crossed arms over chest with false smile on face while the other has opened arms wide and seems ready to embrace. Who would you believe to be ready for challenges?

Who's open and confident? Person to standing at left or Right?

Anxiety, fear, guilt or distress of being damned, embarrassed and punished by others while saying what others are expecting to hear from an individual starts leaking out through the lack of bodily control and movement coordination. Ultimately we try to cover up it by verbal crafting but mind doesn't let us to deny the truth.

Movements of various parts of our body become less compatible with each other and/or get completely out of synchrony. Thus a whole cluster appears to be non-congruent and incompatible with the spoken or uttered words.

Always remember that actions clearly convey whereas words merely (try to) convince. That's the very reason why it's said that Actions speak louder than words.

Related Articles:
1) Body Language Brain 2) Basic Emotional Expressions 3) Clusters 4) Proxemics 5) Context 6) Micro Expressions 7) Para Language 8) Postures 9) Facial Expressions 10) Hand Gestures 11) Challenges 12) Interpretation 13) Baseline 14) Perceptual Bias 15) Basic Bodily Clues 16) Is Human Communication 93% Nonverbal?

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