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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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Do you have information about body language and how it may

Resolved Question:

Do you have information about body language and how it may be improved?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today.

Body language is an important part of nonverbal communication, but not everyone is always consciously aware of its impact. Standing with your arms crossed (or even sitting with your legs crossed,) avoiding eye contact with others and not honoring personal space by standing too close to someone are all common ways that many people unintentionally send the wrong message - although there are many others. You might find this link helpful, as it discusses many of the common errors people make with body language - it also provides helpful tips you can use to improve nonverbal communication and become more aware of the effect of your body language on communication:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

There is also a very good book called "The Definitive Book of Body Language" by Barbara and Allan Pease (you can buy it on Amazon.com) that you might also find informative.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
You've given me a negative rating without replying to my initial message. I opted out so another expert could step in since you did not feel that my answer was helpful. However, if you would like to provide more information as to what you are specifically hoping to learn, I am more than happy to continue to help you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You are not answering my second response.
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
I'm not seeing your response aside from saying the answer was incomplete. Can you provide more information about what you are hoping to learn? What do you want to improve? In other words, why you are asking your question - is this due to relationship or family difficulties? Business purposes? It's a very broad topic, and in order to help you I would need more specific information. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am asking for imformation that could help two of my children relate to each other.

Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
How old are your children? What kinds of problems are they experiencing? How long have the problems been going on? There's much more to problems relating to each other than nonverbal communication and body language, of course. Your question is very broad, so if you can be more specific, I can provide a more detailed response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The children are 40 and 55. They each see the other as hostile and it is easy to see that body language is a part of the problem. I think an improvement in body language might be a beginning that will eventually lead to some postive results.

Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 2 years ago.
An improvement in body language may be helpful, but it sounds like there are some other problems that need to be addressed as well if you say they are hostile to each other. The first consideration is that they need to be willing to make changes in the way the communicate. There are, again, many factors involved in communication difficulties. Commonly, relationship problems like you are describing are caused by a lack of listening skills. Not taking time to fully listen to what the other person is saying, interrupting, and so forth. Reflective listening, such as paraphrasing what the other has just said (by saying things such as "If I hear correctly what you are saying...") and letting the other person know that the feelings that are being expressed are actually being heard can help. However, since you are specifically asking about body language, I will address my answer to this issue alone. Defensive postures (such as described above, sitting or standing in a defensive manner with arms or legs crossed, not making eye contact) can make the other person not feel heard. Hostility may not be intentional, but if they are unaware of the way the other person is perceiving them, then of course, communication can be very difficult. Body language is just that - the way you communicate with another person through nonverbal means. But of course, they need to be willing to work on this issue together, and they need to be willing to see the role they are each playing in their relationship difficulties. So you might encourage them to sit facing each other during conversations, make eye contact and sit with their legs and arms uncrossed, for example. Bodily orientation that involves turning away from each other or invading each others space can be interpreted as hostile. Supportive body language involves leaning in toward each other while maintaining appropriate personal space, nodding to indicate that what is being said is actually being heard, and maintaining a relaxed posture (instead of being stiff). Developing awareness of these issues can help improve nonverbal communication. There may be underlying issues that need to be discussed openly, however - and making changes to body language alone may not be the only solution that is needed. If there is a long-standing hostility due to unresolved issues, then improving body language may only be one part of the solution. Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling
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