Body Language

One of the most important part of language, but least discussed, is body
language. Body language is the key to seeing one’s personality before they
ever say a word. Movement and expression involve a person’s feeling and
emotion into his/her statement whether they mean to or not. In anger, fear,
sadness or happiness, body language is used in every condition, perhaps even
more than spoken words.

Facial expressions are a perfect example of body language. Every morning when
I drive to college I get stuck in morning traffic. It is frustrating for
everyone; no matter if you are a passive person or an aggressive person. If a
red light stops you and you only have ten minutes to get to work the situation
can make you a bit livid. As I look at the people around me, I can see their
faces burning with fury as they as they hit the steering wheel. Others have
looks of desperation, as if to tell me that this single light could be the one
to get them fired for being late. The rest of the faces are calm and collective.
These faces tell me that they have accepted the light and do not care.

Then it happens! Miles down the road, the traffic light far behind us, a car
cuts one of the pacifist faces off. The car slows down to turn down the upcoming
road. The pacifist’s body language does a complete metamorphoses. He
immediately grinds his teeth together. His hands grip the wheel so tightly his
fingers turn pale white. Even though I cannot hear his words, I know he is
cursing by the violent motion of his fist in the air. He proceeds to shake his
fist only now his middle finger is raised. This is the boldest and most direct
form of body language called “Shooting the Bird”. Hostility and anger are
sometimes expressed more vividly using body language.

However, not all body language is used in anger. A form of body language that
is not used in anger is the wink. The winks can be casual blink or a sexy
twinkle of the eye. It can, at times, be very hard to distinguish the
difference. Like words, body language can be interpreted many ways. If a member
of the opposite sex winks at you, it can be difficult to determine whether it
was just a friendly gesture or something more. While I was at work a similar
event happened to me.

I work at Medical Center East Hospital in the Emergency Room. It is a fast
paced atmosphere filled with screaming patients, running nurses and doctors
barking orders left and right. Most of the time we are so busy we barely say two
words to each other. We rely on our body language to express ourselves everyday.
Whether it is a roll of the eyes at an annoying patient or gritting our teeth
because we are so swamped with patients. So, when a fellow employee winked at me
I thought nothing of it. I winked back at her and went back to my normal
routine. We continued to do this every time we saw each other. An exchange of
winks that neither of us thought of doing anyone harm. Yet, the next day I
returned to work she told me that the rest of the staff thought there was
something going on between us. I told her that we should give them something to
talk about. She agreed.

We not only winked at each other, but blew kisses as well. The entire day we
laughed together at the naivety our fellow employees. None of them had asked us
whether or not anything was going on between us. The let our casual winks lead
them to believe that it was true. We also congratulated each other on the
success of our charade. Now was the part we both knew would be the funniest. We
called everyone to the desk and told them the truth. Even the doctors got a kick
out of it. Since we were all friends, we laughed about it and went back to work.
However the situation could have gone astray.

Body language can get you into trouble in certain situations. For instance,
playing poker with friends can be quite tricky if you cannot control your facial
expressions. Not thinking about your body language when you go out with your
girlfriend is another. Especially when a nice looking girl walks by and you
happen to have an approving look on your face. Yet, body language can have a
peaceful