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  1. #11

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    I control and use mine significantly and I pay very close attention to it when with others, it's always on. It's not all I rely on though, so I can navigate with someone when it isn't or can't be used, but it is much more challening. I also can not comfortably solely rely on it.

    I extract data in social situation from as many angles as I possibly can to build an accurate picture. Words, logic, tones, body language, contexts, external factors (environment). Lots said, but lots unsaid. It's all useful, but they rely on one another to be useful.
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  2. #12
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    I've read and been told, trained even, to expect that it is incredibly important, especially in situations of aggression or violence or crisis, its 70% of the communication but perhaps that's just at that point of intensity, which may be different to the normal interaction or the interaction in the situation being discussed in the OP.

    I am inclined to disfavour inexplicit communication sometimes, no one wants to be condescended to but on the one hand people are not mind readers and on the other vagaries are easily exploited by people who are inclined to do so, that's not entirely to do with non-verbals though.

    There are very skilled manipulators, who I have seen use non-verbals and body language to full effect, mirroring, presence etc. some for good and some for bad, I think that Zarathustra or Uber went through a phase of being very interested in the pick up artist books (PUA for short) and I remember their posting on the forum referencing their suspicion that they'd encountered people in bars who were using the PUA tactics in their interaction with them and others and while I'm wary of that sort of thing, its a little like when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, but they may have been right.

  3. #13
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    It's worth noting that some people don't pick up on nonverbal communication as well as others. Nonverbal learning disorder comes to mind. Low empathy may also obstruct someone's ability to internalize the communication they receive.

    I'm not sure if an exact percentage can easily be measured, but I think nonverbal communication plays a significant role in interpersonal dynamics for most people. We evolved from animals that had to use nonverbal communication over verbal communication. For instance, many mammals have whites around their pupils in part because the contrast helps them know where members of their species are looking. Even species that predate mammals naturally express dominance or submissiveness through body language, suggesting their positions in their social hierarchies. Furthermore, human beings constantly give off nonverbal signals whether they want to or not. Blushing, sweating, eye dilation, posture, and facial expressions tend to factor in. Sometimes cues surface on the unconscious level. For instance, people release pheromones that increase responsiveness from members of the opposite sex.

    In my own life, I notice that people who heavily pick up on nonverbal cues have leverage in their live interactions with others. I'm not particularly good at it, but when I decide to tune into that wavelength, it improves my ability to understand others. It ups my game when I'm playing cards as well.
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  4. #14
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    As much as 55% of what we say is communicated through body language and facial expressions UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian asserts in his book, "Silent Messages." Dr. Mehrabians 7-38-55% rule.
    7% spoken word, 38% voice, tone, 55% body language.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floki View Post
    It's worth noting that some people don't pick up on nonverbal communication as well as others. Nonverbal learning disorder comes to mind. Low empathy may also obstruct someone's ability to internalize the communication they receive.

    I'm not sure if an exact percentage can easily be measured, but I think nonverbal communication plays a significant role in interpersonal dynamics for most people. We evolved from animals that had to use nonverbal communication over verbal communication. For instance, many mammals have whites around their pupils in part because the contrast helps them know where members of their species are looking. Even species that predate mammals naturally express dominance or submissiveness through body language, suggesting their positions in their social hierarchies. Furthermore, human beings constantly give off nonverbal signals whether they want to or not. Blushing, sweating, eye dilation, posture, and facial expressions tend to factor in. Sometimes cues surface on the unconscious level. For instance, people release pheromones that increase responsiveness from members of the opposite sex.

    In my own life, I notice that people who heavily pick up on nonverbal cues have leverage in their live interactions with others. I'm not particularly good at it, but when I decide to tune into that wavelength, it improves my ability to understand others. It ups my game when I'm playing cards as well.
    Floki wrote (all numbered quotations are Floki followed by my response), (1) "... worth noting...people don't pick up on nonverbal communication as well as others."

    This is certainly true. For a person who has these traits they have some edge: interpersonal intelligence, intrpersonal intelligence and empathy. These are are useful tools to get into the other persons frame of referance. To be attuned to the persons entire body of language and communication, picking up clues and insight.

    (2) Nonverbal learning disorder comes to mind. Low empathy...obstruct...internalize... communication...receive."

    At the extreme range is autisms and aspergers syndrome.

    (3) "...exact percentage ...easily....measured...."

    Dr. Albert Mehrabians research broke down the figures to 7% spoken word, 38% voice and tone and 55% body language.

    (4) "...nonverbal communication plays a significant role in interpersonal dynamics....people."

    Also quite true. I would think that because many of our mannerisms are automatic and not under conscious control they have ways of slipping the mask that hides the face.

    (5) "....cues surface on the unconscious level." and "...instance, people release pheromones... increase responsiveness...members ...opposite sex." and "...people who heavily pick up on nonverbal cues have leverage in their live interactions with others." and "...wavelength, it improves my ability...understand..."

    We are continually communicating. Those who are more apt, open and receptive to these unconscious clues do posses an edge.
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  6. #16
    Mastermind Fieldmarshal Sacrophagus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    It is a matter of effectiveness. Ideally the other person would respect the mealy-mouthed "no", and if the speaker really meant something else and was then disappointed, oh, well - lesson learned for next time. If the weak "no" doesn't work, it needs to be repeated, and followed through not with more words, said in any tone of voice, but with action - leaving. I suppose that is the ultimate nonverbal communication: voting with your feet.

    Let us not forget that most INTJs, who have not yet fostered an interest in inter-relationship skills, will take everything literally.

    But let me reveal you something of a matter:
    The way the message is delivered matters more than the message itself. If one can understand and accept this, he's one step closer to comprehend the world and the people around him.

    I respect your inquisitive mind, and I understand the frustration you can experience when someone is uttering an answer, you act on it, and you later find out they meant something else. You simply can't understand why one would say something they don't mean, or why would someone say the same thing and be received differently, and that's okay.

    All of us are biased, and surely, it manifests in the way we prefer to process information. Even if it is in small degrees, no matter how critical we are, whether one wants to admit it or not, a part of our mind considers who delivered the message, how it was delivered, and the message in itself, and we can finally choose how we want to process it.

    Now, Coriolis, imagine we have two people, and we gave them the same comedy script.
    One of them is pretty low energy, very anxious, and the other one has a sparkly confident personality, he loves entertaining people, he's pretty comfortable in his skin, goofy, and walks on the stage as if it was his own. Who do you think will make the people laugh more?

    Aren't they the same jokes? The same words? It is the delivery that matters, that delivery which translates the state of mind into body language that our subconscious mind can pick up, and we ourselves mirror. In addendum, that is the very core of initial attraction.

    It all comes up to our preferences in interactions. Once you start considering the state of mind of the other people, you're going to make better choices. A sister of mine went through depression in the past, and used to make all kind of contradictory statements. If I followed her words, cunningly and eloquently delivered, she could've been dead, if her body language didn't betray her.

    Since it is a matter of efficiency, the aim here is to efficiently understand the other, and be understood as well.
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  7. #17
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrophagus View Post
    Let us not forget that most INTJs, who have not yet fostered an interest in inter-relationship skills, will take everything literally.

    But let me reveal you something of a matter:
    The way the message is delivered matters more than the message itself. If one can understand and accept this, he's one step closer to comprehend the world and the people around him.

    I respect your inquisitive mind, and I understand the frustration you can experience when someone is uttering an answer, you act on it, and you later find out they meant something else. You simply can't understand why one would say something they don't mean, or why would someone say the same thing and be received differently, and that's okay.

    All of us are biased, and surely, it manifests in the way we prefer to process information. Even if it is in small degrees, no matter how critical we are, whether one wants to admit it or not, a part of our mind considers who delivered the message, how it was delivered, and the message in itself, and we can finally choose how we want to process it.
    Surely interpersonal skills go well beyond the ability to assume someone means something other than what they actually said. In fact, I find taking a person at his/her word is a key element of respect. I also value honesty, being reliable/keeping commitments, helping out when I can, and keeping confidences. In this sense, actions do speak louder than words, but they are actions of real impact and significance, not simply whether I have my arms crossed while we are chatting.

    I do consider who is making the comment, as it impacts accuracy: does the person have the expertise or background to know what they are talking about? A criticism of my work from the boss will thus carry more weight than one from my neighbor who has no idea what I do at work. Beyond that, however, it becomes a guessing game I prefer not to play, as it is far too easy to guess wrong. There is, of course, ambiguity even in our spoken and written words, but I find I can come much closer to my real meaning that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrophagus View Post
    Now, Coriolis, imagine we have two people, and we gave them the same comedy script.
    One of them is pretty low energy, very anxious, and the other one has a sparkly confident personality, he loves entertaining people, he's pretty comfortable in his skin, goofy, and walks on the stage as if it was his own. Who do you think will make the people laugh more?

    Aren't they the same jokes? The same words? It is the delivery that matters, that delivery which translates the state of mind into body language that our subconscious mind can pick up, and we ourselves mirror. In addendum, that is the very core of initial attraction.

    It all comes up to our preferences in interactions. Once you start considering the state of mind of the other people, you're going to make better choices. A sister of mine went through depression in the past, and used to make all kind of contradictory statements. If I followed her words, cunningly and eloquently delivered, she could've been dead, if her body language didn't betray her.
    Comparing our everyday interactions to a comedy routine is like comparing a shopping list to a poem. Going through the day analyzing everything for subtext the way we had to analyze poems in school would be incredibly frustrating and tiring -- and inefficient. I have no objection to considering someone else's state of mind, but to consider it I have to know it with reasonable accuracy. The only way I can do that is through direct verbal explanation or confirmation. Otherwise I am just grasping at straws.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

  8. #18
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    Do you think that you can hypnotise people with body language?

    That would be an awesome martial arts skill.
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  9. #19
    I'm too sad for pants. Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureInProgress View Post
    Paul Ekman might help. He is a prominent researcher in micro-expressions and deception.
    He's definitely one of the names that come to mind. I don't know if this is from his work or not - but one clear indication that someone is being dishonest is if they shake their head (which usually means "no") while making an affirmative statement. The theory behind it is that cognitive dissonance is such an uncomfortable feeling that part of the body belies what's being spoken without the person being conscious of the beliel [new word] happening. Actors do this *a lot* without realizing it, and it's a pet peeve of mine. It should be in Acting 101. It disrupts suspension of disbelief.

    Acting actually raises an interesting question about the topic at hand: if nonverbal communication isn't crucial to the message being communicated, then what's the difference between a good actor and a bad one? Surely it isn't just the script.
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  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Surely interpersonal skills go well beyond the ability to assume someone means something other than what they actually said. In fact, I find taking a person at his/her word is a key element of respect. I also value honesty, being reliable/keeping commitments, helping out when I can, and keeping confidences. In this sense, actions do speak louder than words, but they are actions of real impact and significance, not simply whether I have my arms crossed while we are chatting.

    I do consider who is making the comment, as it impacts accuracy: does the person have the expertise or background to know what they are talking about? A criticism of my work from the boss will thus carry more weight than one from my neighbor who has no idea what I do at work. Beyond that, however, it becomes a guessing game I prefer not to play, as it is far too easy to guess wrong. There is, of course, ambiguity even in our spoken and written words, but I find I can come much closer to my real meaning that way.


    Comparing our everyday interactions to a comedy routine is like comparing a shopping list to a poem. Going through the day analyzing everything for subtext the way we had to analyze poems in school would be incredibly frustrating and tiring -- and inefficient. I have no objection to considering someone else's state of mind, but to consider it I have to know it with reasonable accuracy. The only way I can do that is through direct verbal explanation or confirmation. Otherwise I am just grasping at straws.
    It's not a conscious effort. It's unconscious evaluation for most people. Talk is also very cheap.
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