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Reading Body Language - Context

Like Cluster, Context makes a nonverbal message more clear to understand. CONTEXT is an environment, background or situation according to which it should be interpreted. Without context, reading body language would drastically mislead us.

Let's see how an environment can give different meaning to an expression or action.

There are two different persons taking out their frustration following sequence of events – one person is standing in audience gallery watching a football match whereas another person is a senior police officer standing inside the police station with his colleagues. Both of them are in completely different environment to express their feelings and emotions in reaction to something. Context plays very crucial role in understanding what they want to convey actually.

Both of them suddenly yelled and smashed fist on palm. Smashing a fist on palm is taking out frustration over (unexpected) failure or shortfall – we punch on palm because we cannot punch anybody else for consequences.

A young football fan smashed his fist after watching an ace player misses the goal post during last few minutes of second half. He took out frustration because of expecting that his favorite team shouldn’t loose any opportunity to win over its opponent.

On the other hand, a police officer listens that a criminal who was arrested after a year long pursuit succeeded to escape from prison a few minutes ago. He smashed his fist on palm, yelling “Damn it!”. He took out frustration because all efforts he and his team took to arrest the criminal were meaningless.

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