Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Paralanguage...

Couple of days back, my friend was shifting his house and I went there to help him out…At least for moral support if not anything else…;)
As I stood there I could descry a girl in the neighborhood, almost the same age as mine. Somehow I felt I had seen her somewhere…The face cut was not too clear and I did not give it a second thought and carried on with my work…

Later in the afternoon, the girl and her mother came over with some juice for us. Apparently my friend knew them. As soon as I saw her I realized why she looked familiar…She had been a friend during my school days…She was staying very close to my place and we used to play together…I had been to their house couple of times…The last time I had talked to her was nearly eight years back…We started chatting, catching up on all those years…It was kind of weird talking to her, she made it a point never to see my face directly. While I was talking to her looking at her face, she was talking to my foot..:) She successfully, completely avoided eye contact. Talking to her mother was easier…

I don’t understand what gets to people. Why can’t they make eye contact? They sometimes do everything but stop short of looking at your eyes…
Maybe they are afraid that the eye may convey their true feelings, maybe because the eye could reveal much more than what they desire. Maybe its some kind of guilt feeling…Maybe the past experiences has led them to be uncomfortable with the other person…Whatever the reason, it’s really awkward to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t look into your eyes…

It’s not just the eye contact, but also the body language that tells whether the other person is comfortable having a conversation with you. Sometimes it might so happen that he/she might not want to come near you at all. In a group the person might avoid you by making sure that he/she is never beside you or always occupying the seat which is never next to you or always making sure that there is someone in between.
You should take it as a sign when the person walks ahead or behind, but never with you.

Recently I had read an article which suggested that only
7% of info you transmit is in the language you use.
38% How you speak - quality of voice, accent, voice projection, emphasis, expression, pace, volume, pitch etc. and
55% Body language - posture, position, eye contact, facial expression, head and body movements, gestures, touch etc.

That clearly shows where your priority should lie while speaking to someone, because your body can impart eight times as much information…A picture can speak a thousand words, but your eyes can convey everything without even attempting to speak.

Right body language can help you achieve a lot. I use it at office too…It really helps if you walk upright, talk confidently, be jaunty and gregarious while in the company of others and converse as if you know what you are doing. Your image adds a lot of value to what you say. People always respect those who carry themselves as if they know what they are doing because they like to be with confident people even though they might envy them for it. It always helps if you have an affable smile, look confident and seem approachable. The relationships will be better if we show some interest in the other person. Always have genuine interest while listening to the other person, if you are not interested then don’t even talk. If interest shown is genuine, then half the problems get solved.

So next time make sure that your body language is right and always talk what you believe, otherwise your body or your eyes will be giving totally different vibes/views and people know which to believe…

4 comments:

Rajesh said...

Dilip, you could quit your job and write a best selling self help book, you know ;-)

dilip said...

@Rajesh: I will take that as a compliment...:)

Ashwini said...

your 7%-55% ratio may work in offices, doesn't seem to work with professors! with them, only destiny works...

Sagar said...

Whoa....its June already Dilip. I was hoping you will have a June update at least by now, if not a second one for May. You make interesting read.