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How body language helps you communicate

learn body language

Since discovering my hearing loss, I’ve noticed how I am more aware of body language and how it helps me communicate. 

Body Language is a great form of communication because it is universal and doesn’t rely on verbal communication. It can also help you gain insight into what another person is thinking, before they even open their mouth to speak.

As someone with hearing loss, I’ve been able to communicate better by understanding how to read body language. Here are a few examples of common body language expressions and what they may mean: 

Understanding Body Language

We can learn a lot about human communication and interaction by paying careful attention to the body language of those we come in contact with. 

A large percentage of communication is taken up with body posture and movements, intonation and pitch and facial expressions. For example, we tend to know a genuine smile from someone’s eyes, and not just their mouth and teeth area.

How people use different parts of their body can often project a common thought or feeling. 

Feet

If a person is talking to you and you notice their feet are pointing away from you, the person may be anxious to leave the conversation. We point our feet toward our destination, without realizing it.

Watch children eating food. When they’re eager to get back to play, you often not only see foot pointing, but leg turning too.

Ears 

learn body languageDuring a conversation the other person begins gently tugging on their earlobe, this may be a sign they would like to speak.

It’s a good visual clue that you should give them a say, as perhaps you are talking over them, without realizing it.

Face

If you are saying something and you notice that your listener has their hand with the palm touching their face; this could have two meaning, depending on the weight the hand is carrying.

If the hand is unsupported and is just resting lightly on their cheek, the person may be fascinated with what you’re saying. If however, you can see that their head is resting on their palm they could be bored.

Head

If a person says one thing, and their head nods or shakes in a contrary direction, it could betrays their own lack of belief in whatever it is they have just stated. While it may not be a lie, it is certainly something they may feel uncomfortable standing behind.

Do you pay attention to body language as a hard-of-hearing person? What modes of communication do you find work best for you? Let us know in the comments!

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PR Hilton
Phonak hEARo, Phil is an author, journalist and therapist, living on the beautiful North Yorkshire coast with his wife Raine and their three children. Phil was diagnosed in 2016 with mild to moderate Sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and tinnitus. He uses Phonak silver digital hearing aids with automatic volume controls.

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