What is body language and why is it important?

Understanding one’s body language is an important part of self-awareness. Self-awareness will not only be helpful when you go to court, but it will help you in the workplace as well as other social situations. People need to become aware of how they come across to others. Understanding body language will make a difference in our social skills.

Many people are unaware of the non-verbal signals they are sending via body language, whether through posture, facial expressions or folded arms. When we are in a discussion, especially one that stirs our emotions, our minds get focused on trying to say the right words, not realizing that our body language is sometimes saying something different. This disconnect between our words and body language can often make people uncomfortable. The other person may not even hear your words at all, instead responding only to what your body is saying.

Many potential conflicts can be avoided by this simple matter of self-awareness. If you sense escalating tension is occurring and you don’t know why, try to step back and see if you can identify what you’re doing to make the other person uneasy.

Sometimes you say the right things, such as “I hear you,” but your body language is saying, “I couldn’t care less.” As a result, the person will feel demeaned even if you said nothing wrong. This is just one example of the ways body language can interfere with good dialogue.

In the same way, when you go into a courtroom situation or meet with mediators, make sure your body language demonstrates attentiveness instead of disrespect. This will go a long way to helping your outcomes both now and in the future.

Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation to discuss child custody, parenting time and grandparent’s rights.

Jessica Sterle