Non verbal communication and body language are sometimes used as synonyms but they’re not. Language doesn’t mean communication as body language is not the same as nonverbal communication. Don’t look for your nonverbal language because it follows you like a shadow! It is what you are and what you do or do not whether you move or not.
Your body language tells a rich story about yourself. Because it has its own language you recognize a close relative on his or her approach in the fog from distance, even in a crowd. Non-verbal communication is linked to the interaction: the exchange within the communication. Gestures are important because they punctuate, strengthen, qualify or even contradict what we say with words.
For specialists, tone, timbre, intonation, volume is also called ‘non verbal communication’. Paul Watzlawick once said: “You can not avoid to communicate”, to make clear that whatever we do and whether we like it or not, we constantly send messages out… Unless you place yourself in the role of a dreamer unaware someone’s looking at you. You have non verbal language but not non verbal communication, an important detail.
Gestures: communication based on the nonverbal.
Gestures are linked to the relationship. Have you ever noticed that when you’re alone and you think, you hardy make gestures? You make gestures in a situation of communication. The human body does nothing for nothing and every time it spends energy it is for a reason: restoring balance between thought and words.
Unconsciously, a listener takes into account the actions of a speaker who’s actions give color and depth to his speech. If you tell your partner “the sky is blue”, your facial expression and the nature of your action will enable him to understand what you mean, even if it is raining. Your action is associated with the expression of your face expressing the message. With gestures people tune in on each other both emotionally and cognitive.
Gerard Stokkink teaches bodily communication at E.L.N.