Body language: suppress feelings and body?

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Text comes from: Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014) from Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published by Linde Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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We have learned to develop and refine our language. We have learned to hide behind beautiful words. But we have forgotten how to integrate our body naturally into our communication.


Here writes for you:


Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka cerwinkaDr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG.


From the author:




Here writes for you:


Gabriele Schranz SchranzGabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich.


Deliberately suppress feelings?

On the one hand, we suppress certain movements; on the other hand, we consciously promote muscle movements, the effect of which seems to us to be positive - a typical example is the smile - always and everywhere.

What we overlook: Our speech is guided by our speech center in the brain, which is located in the right hemisphere. This brain part is, in simple terms, responsible for all logical-analytic contexts.

Body language from the belly

In contrast to this, body language arises, so to speak, from the gut, as a stimulus-reaction language without a logical structure. It can therefore not be influenced by grammar rules and spelling reforms.

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Everyone has their own and diverse expressive possibilities, which we often try to change. Instead of cultivating these with the most international of all languages, we try to suppress, alter and manipulate them.

Use body language more successfully?

Many participants in rhetoric seminars want to learn how to use their body language more successfully. Typical “loser signals” should disappear and the superior language of the winners should replace them. The competition is tough and every advantage is right.

Not only top managers and politicians have recognized this trend - no life situation is spared by "tips on the right body language".

The body can only be manipulated to a limited extent

Sometimes, however, the shot goes backwards. Despite all the great efforts, the body plays a trick on us. It can only be manipulated to a limited extent. Feelings can not be completely suppressed, even if they do not fit into the image. They come to the surface exactly when they are least likely to penetrate the outside.

We always compare this in our seminars with a huge water ball, which can be kept under the water surface even with effort. Woe, if he gets us out and comes out uncontrollably!

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Training can help

Admittedly, with some training, some parts of our body can be "mastered" quite well. Especially our face, it is also very close to the “control center brain”! It gets a little more difficult the further away from the “command point” body language takes place.

Especially our legs, we often have not quite under control. For political discussions on television, the tables are therefore usually even covered down. The picture more convincing sovereignty should not be clouded!

The legs in the handle?

A look at the feet and legs of the persons involved is very informative:

  • If the spokesman is not quite so serious with the desired pension reform - the restless rocking back and forth of the legs suggests this.
  • Or he fears massive resistance, because he suddenly raises his toe aggressively in the direction of conversation opponents?

What does it matter to analyze body language?

The recognition and use of such contradictions in the course of the conversation is the content of many trainings. Any possible movement of a potential opponent is analyzed, dissected and examined for inconsistency. Thus, attempts are made to expose every lie so small.

We forget, however, that only the overall picture of all the utterances of the other person's body makes a conclusion possible. The more heated a conversation, a discussion or a negotiation, the more difficult we are in the conscious translation of body language. It is just a language of the subconscious mind and is beyond our conscious access.

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All attempts to manipulate our non-verbal expression create a certain image for the recipient of our message: “There is someone who wants to hide something. He tries with his hands and feet to dupe me! ”

If perfection makes you suspicious

This realization is not conscious, it is subconsciously processed as information and forms the foundation for the construction of a barrier to dialogue. We pull back, be careful.

All the perfectly acting people in the media and at election events make us suspicious at some point because they lose their "authenticity". That is exactly the point that many public figures overlook today.

winners signals

Politicians who depend on electorate favor want to use all means to present themselves favorably. Body language determined by marketing strategies should not be missing. But not everyone succeeds as well as Johann Strauss Sohn, who played his violin before Spiegel and practiced in front of an imaginary audience.

Not only did he find his personal note as a stand-up violinist, he also knew how to lead the orchestra almost exclusively through his rapid and far-reaching movements.

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Man remains on the line

In all these efforts, the real person with all his corners, edges and feelings is left behind. Instead of beliefs, “winning signals”. We all have very fine sensors when the language of the body doesn't match the language of the word.

Like a badly dubbed movie, we either lose interest or we withdraw from the conversation.

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  1. Sybille

    Well, it's in our nature. That's what our parents told us, right?

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you for your contribution. That depends on the parents!

  2. Competencepartner

    The power of hidden signals - Part 12: The body cannot be suppressed: We have… #profession #education

  3. Simone Janson

    The power of hidden signals - Part 12: The body can be n ... -

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