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Observing Non-Verbal behavior to understand Emotions - Socialigence

Have you ever wondered why most people find the company of animals or kids so pleasant and relaxing? Well! It is because, with them, ‘What you see is what you get’. On the other hand, ever...

Have you ever wondered why most people find the company of animals or kids so pleasant and relaxing? Well! It is because, with them, ‘What you see is what you get’. On the other hand, every other interaction in civilized world, with socially-groomed grown-ups, is so multilayered. You have to constantly play the guessing-game for intents and motives – “Does he really mean what he says”? “Does she really feel how she emotes”? “Does he really believe in how he acts”? …


Yes! Genuineness became the biggest victim of civilization. As humans started living in groups, they learnt the art of diplomacy – the ability to ‘not displease anyone’ and still derive the most desired outcome from a situation. But then, what began as an effective tool for dealing with the complex system of community-living also took an alternate form of a slightly distorted concept – manipulation.


Arrival of language only complicated the matters further. The social apparatus was already teaching humans to regulate their emotions and expressions. And then words came and added to this whole scheme an entirely new dimension. Well! The most interesting thing about words is that they are notional in nature. They need not be rooted in sincere settings of our animal-reality. Thus they could also be used at will for not only hiding a socially-inapt expression but also for making up such representations that suit one’s ulterior motives.


So, while humans were on their way to become the master-manipulators of the animal-world, this whole training for becoming social-beings was further widening the gap between the deliberate ‘thoughts’ and the instinctive ‘emotions’.


You heard it right. Beneath our intelligent educated selves, the real shapers of our lives – day in day out –are our emotions. They call the shots in most of the situations. That’s why most of the people react on the basis of their emotions and even those who don’t, find emotions playing an intervening part in their choices. Yes! These instinctive emotions reveal our real selves.


And, the fact is that “Words express thoughts…and…Body expresses emotions”. So, it is important to observe nonverbal behavior as that is what helps you develop an understanding into someone’s emotional realities.


So, if you can get a clue of someone’s emotional state through observing his nonverbal behavior then you can have a better prediction of the choices he can make and thus can be more prepared with the most apt response on your part. For instance, if you can spot early stage of anger in someone then you may do something to offset a potentially unfavorable outcome for yourself. On the other hand, if you can read discomfort of someone who is not expressing it then you may extend a helping hand.


Thus, be it personal, social or professional domainArticle Search, observing nonverbal behavior can have a far-reaching impact.

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Sandeep Atre, PhD is the Founder-Director of Socialigence. He is also one of the Founder-Directors of CH EdgeMakers – a leading ‘Coaching and Training’ group of Central India. In his career of close to one and a half decade, he has trained thousands of students, and professionals of more than fifty corporate & institutional clients.

He has authored two books “Understanding Emotions Logically – A layman’s guide to the foundations of Social Intelligence” and “Observing Nonverbal Behavior – An exhaustive guide to the essential skill of Social Intelligence” and has also been a noted blogger for last many years.

He has also featured at various prestigious platforms as a ‘Management Speaker’ and ‘Motivational Orator’ and has also served on various advisory and editorial boards. He has earned repute for his value-additive innovation and holistic methodology in his domain.

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