If you’re like me, you’ve often interpreted your spouse’s words incorrectly. For example, if my wife says, “fine” but her arms are crossed, her eyes are like slits and her tone is sharp enough to cut wood, it doesn’t mean everything is okay. Or how about when you ask your spouse, “what’s wrong” and they reply, “nothing.” But their eyes are looking away, their voice is high and kind of sing-song and their body is stiff, and you know something is definitely wrong. You just don’t know what it is and they don’t want to tell you, because honestly they think you should already know. But honestly, you don’t.
Now I’m just giving you the male’s perspective. I’m sure we guys display our own kind of nonverbal language that frustrates the heck out of our wives. So how do couples avoid this kind of nonsensical banter and talk to each other straight up?
Research shows that more than half (some research shows up to 70%) of communication takes place nonverbally When your behavior contains mannerisms that don’t match with what you are saying, then the actions take away from the words. When your actions match your words, there is more power in your words.
What’s most important in body language is just to be you. Be genuine and spontaneous and avoid trying to imitate someone else. Try to avoid mixed messages in your marriage by conveying expressions of love, commitment, and support. When you eliminate the distractions and act more sincere, you will diffuse arguments more quickly and have fewer silly disagreements with your spouse. Make the most of what you have to say—give it a boost with body language that matches!