Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Friday, January 17th, 2020


Having lived in different cultures (Guatemala, England, and the USA), I have come to realize that nonverbal communication is vital to understand. Sometimes what a person is saying with words is not the same as what they are saying with their body language. I wrote a short poem about nonverbal communication with Guatemalans, since the British and Americans have a more reasonable sense of personal space:

Teen Girl Facing Nonverbal Conflicting Cues
Guatemalan teen boy
standing too close for comfort
diving in for a kiss on the cheek at church
a complete stranger
she holds back a slap
telling herself this is only cultural
or is it?

Yes, this actually happened to me! Not just once, but nearly every week, since I lived in a different culture. Now that I am in the United States, I am surprised at how far away people stand from each other, even when they are married. It seems cold…

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Today my daughter and I will show you the basic types of nonverbal communication.

Communication: The World of Expression
by Rachel Evans

Often we forget just how complicated communication is. Simply put, there’s always a balance of expressions and positions in conversation, and when the balance is off, we notice. This is the same even without talking. Mainly, there are three non-verbal cues that balance into a normal chat.

1. Distance: If you have ever been in a conversation and suddenly feel the need to take a step back, the person you were talking to was probably too close while chatting. Perhaps they have a different-sized personal bubble than you.


2. Gesture: You can tell a lot about someone’s mood by the movements they make. The easiest to read are facial expressions. Most facial expressions stay the same around the world, with some cultures being more expressive than others.

Body position is equally important. Leaning forward shows interest, while crossing arms usually shows disinterest in talking or the desire to have an argument.


3. Eye Contact: This is different depending on where you look in the world. Americans find long eye contact awkward and uncomfortable. Native Americans prefer a person to look at the ground while speaking, especially if the person is of a lower rank or status.


Paralanguage is equally important. This consists of variations of speech, like stresses on certain words, loudness, pitch, and rhythm. A sentence can have many different meanings depending on how the speaker says it.

Overall, communication is a complicated thing that most of us have expertise in identifying without even knowing it.

Now that my daughter’s portion is done, I challenged myself to write a poem about nonverbal communication in marriage. Here it is:

A Marriage Healed

A turned back
Shutting me out of your life
No more open heart
Gone away inwardly

When will things change
Get back the sparkle in your eyes
To connect and be together
Unified as one

Heartbreak persists
Arms hanging limp
Drooped shoulders
Trudging through the day

Until healing comes
Breaking forth as the morning rays
Warming not your back, but your face
At last we are one


This episode was all about identifying the basic types of nonverbal communication.

To apply what we have learned, describe in the comments: What are some ways that you may have misread nonverbal communication in your interaction with others, especially those of different cultures?

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how can we get these needs met to be fulfilled as human beings? (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

Don’t Attribute Wrong Motives to Your Husband

Friday, February 28th, 2014


Don’t attribute wrong motives to your husband. In the same way that you are a new creation at salvation, your husband is also a new creation. Deep down he desires to please God. Even if he is trapped in his flesh and sins out of habit–usually through some form of selfishness–so do you. None of us who are true believers wants to do the wrong thing. Our conscience makes us feel bad, and we ask God to help us overcome sin.

I used to attribute wrong motives to my husband without even realizing it. My husband would make a statement, and I would twist his statement to make him seem like he was attacking me when he wasn’t. “Susan , you’re just hurting yourself by making up something that I didn’t say,” he told me one day. I stopped in my tracks and realized that he was right. He had made a statement that was not positive or negative, and I had extrapolated a negative motivation behind it. And there he was, refusing to defend himself because I was the one causing the problem.

“I don’t know how to stop doing it,” I said to my husband, referring to the fact that I would subconsciously attribute the worst motive to him instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt and expecting that we were on the same side. “What should I do? My brain automatically makes you out to be the bad guy, and I don’t want to do that any more. Help me figure out what to do.”

We sat down, and he prayed with me. We asked God to break this pattern of negative interaction. Do you know what? From that day forward, I stopped doing it!

Most areas of sin in my life take years for me to overcome, but this one was resolved in an instant. I’m not sure if God just fixed the negative pattern in my brain through a miracle, or if realizing that I was twisting my husband’s words and hurting my marriage caused me to be aware of what I was doing. In any case, I praise God that this destructive pattern is gone from my marriage!

I talk about this a lot more in my free audio about how powerful praying with your spouse can be: How to Get Your Husband to Pray with You

An Awkward Conversation

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

an-awkward-conversationMy husband pulled away from the house, ten minutes late in taking our son to karate. (I watch the other three kids and make dinner while he takes one son to karate twice a week.) Resuming my conversation with my sister, which was about some deep spiritual issue, she stopped and commented on how sweet I had been to my husband.

I thought, “What on earth?” The conversation I had with my husband was awkward. But she thought it was sweet. I tried to remember what I said.

I had been on the phone with my sister for an hour and a half, and the call waiting had clicked on twice. I held it away from my face to see that it was an 800 number, meaning that it was a telemarketer. I didn’t bother to check it the second time, since I usually ignore it anyway.

I figured that if it had been my husband, he could have called my cell phone. I glanced down and saw my cell phone on the table beside my bed where I was sitting.

I made sure my son was dressed for karate with shoes on ten minutes previously because I realized my husband was late. When I heard the garage door opening, I stood at the top of the stairs. I knew that my husband was leaving immediately, so I didn’t want to hang up with my sister. I felt bad that I wasn’t giving my husband my full attention, so before he came through the door, I said to my sister, “Hang on,” and I lowered the phone from my face, holding it low enough that he wouldn’t see it, giving him the illusion that he had my undivided attention.

Okay, so here was the awkward conversation:

“I tried to call you,” said my husband, “but no one answered the phone.”

“I’m on the phone with my sister,” I said, slightly blushing, showing him the phone I was hiding. “I heard the call waiting, but it was an 800 number. Well, it clicked on twice, and I ignored it the second time. I figured if it was you, you could have called my cell phone.”

“Why would I call your cell phone? You never have it with you. Every time I’m at home and I call your cell phone, I hear it ringing in the other room.” He was smiling when he said this.

“I’m sorry…” I said, laughing, making a mental note to take my cell phone with me to Zumba, even though it could easily get stolen on the floor at the side of the gym with 150 women. I widened my eyes to remind him he was late. Yes, my eyes were shooing him out the door. This is why I felt the conversation was awkward.

My sister said, “Any other woman would have yelled at her husband, that he could have called her cell phone.” Apparently the tone that I used with my husband was sweet.

I’m still puzzled about it, but I guess the tone we use with our husbands matters in our interactions with them. Even in awkward situations, if our tone is kind, the other person is amused instead of angry…