5 Practical Keys to Master Nonverbal Communication

5 Practical Keys to Master Nonverbal Communication

Last update: 25 October, 2016

Words aren’t the only important element to communicating with others and relating to them. In most situations, nonverbal communication is a determining factor in how we communicate our message. 

It’s also the perfect companion for words. For this reason, mastering nonverbal communication is essential to being a successful communicator.

Your body language says a lot about you. A person who is understanding can interpret your gestures and know what you are truly thinking. 

Here are five practical keys to master nonverbal communication:

1. Get to know yourself

One practical key to mastering nonverbal communication is getting to know yourself. If we look closely enough, we will be able to observe our own reality and come to recognize and know ourselves within it.

What does it mean when you touch your eye? In that specific moment, think about what is going through your mind, and you’ll know why you’ve applied this action in your nonverbal communication. 

woman butterfly happy

This may seem like a simple exercise, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even so, it will certainly turn out to be highly useful in every area of life. The better you get to know yourself, the more possibilities you’ll have of transforming your life into what you really want it to be.

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”

Thomas Szasz

2. Your face is a reflection of you soul 

They say that the face is the mirror of the soul and it’s true reflection. T here are people capable of masking what is going through their minds or what sort of mood they may be in.

However, in general, simply by observing a person’s facial, and other nonverbal, expressions, we can come to know many things about them.

The face possesses an enormous number of muscles which fulfill very particular tasks. These are the ones that express our true mood.

In fact, there is even a science based on facial traits, called morphopsychology.

Therefore, it’s obvious that we can come to know a great deal about a person through their expressions.

However, how can a person control their facial expressions in order to avoid letting their emotions shine through, and dominate nonverbal communication?  This is a very difficult practice. Our face and it’s musculature are created to express basic emotions such as anger, sadness, surprise or happiness.

Each of these implies the use of different mechanisms. Dominating them requires hard work.

In this sense, the only thing we can do when it comes to taking control of our nonverbal communication to avoid showing our true emotions, is to falsify them. It would be like camouflaging one’s true feelings.

Therefore, it’s helpful to watch oneself in the mirror during long periods of time until one is able to dominate his or her facial expressions.

If you are feeling happy, for example, give your face a saddened appearance. Practice using the muscles that are involved in each of your emotions until you’re able to fully control them.


3. Look people in the eyes

A good technique for learning to dominate nonverbal communication is to look people straight in the eyes.

We must not forget that shifting our gaze away from someone else’s shows a terrible lack of both self-confidence and trust.

couple birds rainbow nonverbal communication

At the same time, the act of looking your listener in the eye will help to make you feel that the conversation is between two equals.

You will begin to show much less of yourself, which is a key step to dominating nonverbal communication,  since the  other person will only see what you want them to see. 

4. Act natural

When it comes to dominating nonverbal communication, there is nothing better than acting natural and being yourself.

The better you know yourself, the less trouble you will have hiding anything you don’t want others to see.

In this sense, establishing relationships with others will be made easier. You won’t be worried about what you are or aren’t revealing through your gesticulations.  

Simply learn how to be yourself, and emphasize whichever gestures and expressions are solely yours, leaving mannerisms aside, along with any other elements that do not belong within your true nature.

These acquired vices are easily interpretable by others around us.

woman hair dance

5. Stay calm

Showing that you’re relaxed and calm is a simple method to convey trustworthiness.

Anxiety, nerves and anger may lead us to showing our personality a bit excessively, through facial expressions and other bodily gestures.

“A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek it vainly in other places.”  

La Rochefoucauld

At all times, remember to be natural and calm, and make the effort to know and understand every part of your personality and the way you act.

Once you have this part under control, it will not be difficult for you to master nonverbal communication.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.