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The silence of sound-importance of non-verbal communication in relationships


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Holding handsRakhi is a confident young woman. She is fairly good looking. Has a great sense of humor. But, when on her own despite her achievements she feels uncomfortable in her own skin. She has had many unsuccessful relationships. She has read dozens of self-help books and tried all the advice they’ve had to give. Discussed with friends and tried to solve the problem. Yet nothing seems to work.

Sajal has everything going great for him except the fact that he has absolutely no control on his temper. He went through an anger management programme and all was well for a while. Till after about a week Sajal just exploded with rage during a group discussion at the office.

Sharda has recently separated from her husband. She tried every advice that she either found in a book or was given by a friend but nothing seemed to work. Then she made up her mind that men were just not sensitive enough. But, even with her new found freedom she finds herself unhappy and irritable.

Apparently these are three stories of three different people who have three different kinds of problems. But, when you take a closer look you will find that the way all these three very different people tried to solve their three very different problems is very much the same. They read books, sought the advice from others and even went through a professional programme. All very effective solutions. Why then were they not able to solve their problems effectively? Well, the reason is because though the effect was addressed the root cause of the relationship problem was left unattended.

One common advice that is much written and talked about as an important tool for “relationship wellbeing” is communication. We all know that it is important for us to communicate our feelings and thoughts to each other. But, what is probably still not common knowledge is the fact that when we talk about communication too often we forget the importance of non-verbal communication. Research has found that non-verbal communication (a look, a gesture, a sigh, a gentle tap etc) is actually more powerful in building better relationship. Mainly because, though they are non-verbal they are not necessarily silent.

Here is one of the best definitions of why non-verbal communication is so effective. “it is emotionally-driven communication that answers the questions: “Are you listening?” and “Do you understand and care?” Answers to these questions are expressed in the way we talk, listen, look, move and react. These elements will produce a sense of interest, trust, excitement and desire for connection – or they will generate fear, confusion, distrust and disinterest.

Eye-contact, tone of voice, facial expressions, posture, touch, intensity, timing and pace are some of the most effective means of non-verbal communication.

Here are some reasons why you should hone up skill of non-verbal communication

It is an effective way of resolving conflicts. Manisha’s heart aches when she sees her husband struggling to cope with his state of unemployment. They both know that it is a temporary phase. However, Manisha does not always agree with the way he is going about looking for another job. But, what she does know is that speaking her mind or offering him advice or sympathy will all have negative results. So, she insists on taking a walk together everyday. And she makes it a point to hold his hand and occasionally when she sees that faraway, lost kind of look returning she gives his hand a squeeze. This reassures her partner that nothing has changed between them and he is able to face a new day with renewed vigour.

Nonverbal signals are probably the best way to communicate your interest and investment in your partner.

What often comes in the way of effective non-verbal communication is stress. Non-verbal signals send out when one is stressed are often misinterpreted. Since one is so pre-occupied with one’s own state of mind, he/she fails to receive the signals being sent out by his/her partner. Lastly, but not the least stress is contagious!

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Responses to The silence of sound-importance of non-verbal communication in relationships

  1. 1 honey

    i loved it..i agree to this article

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