Whether we like it or not, we all react to verbal and nonverbal messages, consciously, or unconsciously. But just because we’re unaware of it, it doesn’t mean others haven’t picked on it. Microexpressions flash across your face in less than half a second, but that’s enough time for an emotionally intelligent person to realize things are not what they seem. Additionally, your nonverbal communication can dramatically affect people’s perceptions of you – and consequently the results you seek to achieve. Knowing the true nature of whom you are dealing with, can impact and deliver the desired results of any human interaction.
Nonverbal language is the first language we learn. The mirror neurons in our brain have a particular task to record facial expressions, body language, and the actions of others. A six months old baby does not understand the concept of love intellectually but smiles back when her mother smiles at her, mirroring the mother’s facial expression. Later, that smile, facial expression, and the tone of voice of the mother when she says, “I love you” to her child will be associated with the concept of love.
Nonverbal language is not expressed or processed consciously, but subconsciously, instinctively and instantly. 78% of communication is non-verbal. The public perception of us is based on what is seen much faster than what has been said or heard. Studies show that it takes 13 milliseconds to form an opinion when seeing someone for the first time. Physical attraction is determined within 8.2 seconds. The average length of gaze to decide there is no connection between people is 4.5 seconds. 92% of the decision to establish communication or not is based on the first impression.