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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Discussion "Body Language"

On 25 August 2011 Vinnytsia English Club chose a topic of its discussion "Body Language/ Gestures". The participants of this activity discussed how important body language is in everyday interactions and for basic communications. Most of them explained how they used body language. The most interesting points in this discussion were about differences in appropriate body language at school or work as opposed to at home or with friends or differences between genders, age groups, or even those from other countries. 
The leader of this club-run meeting proposed some other questions for discussion: How do you interpret smiling? Are there people who smile too much or too little? How does this body language affect you in turn? How importnat is eye contact in daily interactions? Do you always make eye contact with those you are speaking to at a givem moment? What is the difference between making eye contact and staring? What is your opinion about shaking hands? Are there social rules ragarding when or with whom you can shake hands in a given situation?
The most entertaining was showing of various gestures and explanation of their practical usage in our usual life by a leader of this discussion Mila Hooten.
Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating. If you wish to communicate well, then it makes sense to understand how you can (and cannot) use your body to say what you mean. Body language comes in clusters of signals and postures, depending on the internal emotions and mental states.  Recognizing a whole cluster is thus far more reliable than trying to interpret individual elements. Remember that body language varies greatly with people and especially with international cultures (so be very careful when applying Western understanding to Eastern non-verbal language).

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