Have you ever noticed the way that other people hold their hands, or the way they sit when they talk to you?  Are you aware of how you are sitting or reacting to people when they want to discuss a topic with you?  The answer to these questions lies in what we call “body language” and “non-verbal” communication.

Body language is a powerful tool that is a non-verbal form of communication.  There are two basic forms of communication, verbal and non-verbal.  Verbal is what you say. Non-verbal is essentially how you act and those things that accompany your body posture and position. It’s been said that nearly 90% of what we communicate is nonverbal and that only 10% is actually verbal!  That’s incredible.

Because body language and non-verbal communication is so frequently used (and it so powerful), this post is dedicated to sharing a few tips for how to achieve positive and open body language since those we usually talk with the most (both verbally and nonverbally) are those we care about and want to communicate with in a loving and positive way.

One of the best ways to achieve good body language is to remain “open”.  This means that when you are talking to another person, do a quick head to toe body check on yourself.  Are your arms crossed?  Are your legs crossed?  What is “closed” off as opposed to “open”?  Try to keep your body open since that likely will send a positive and warm impression.

Another tip is to maintain good eye contact.  This is important since it not only demonstrates that you are listening, but it helps provide sincerity.  In your eyes and in your facial expression, you have the ability to convey a sense of joy, sorrow or whatever the person talking might be trying to communicate.

Next on our tips is your use of gestures.  Sometimes it’s helpful to use your hands or to gesture as you are relating to what a person is trying to say to help convey that you understand what they are talking about or to even encourage them to continue with their story. The gestures don’t need to be extreme, just subtle enough to let the person know you are listening.

Lastly is your tone. Have you heard the saying “it’s not what you say but HOW you say it?” well, that is what we mean by tone.  You can convey a sense of compassion and consideration simply by using a calm and caring tone.

We hope that these tips will help next time you have a conversation with a friend, family member or someone that you meet for the first time.  By having open, warm, and caring non-verbal communication style, you can help the person you are talking with feel great about the fact that you are listening to them and that you care about what they have to say!  That’s a gift that we all like to receive, isn’t it?

**Please note: This content should not be taken as an official diagnosis. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the topics discussed, please contact Joyce Kay Hamilton to schedule an appointment by visiting or calling 214-823-2861.