Our body language sometimes has a greater impact on our spouse than our actual words. When I think about the physical interactions humans share, I usually recall an old episode of the Oprah Winfrey show featuring Toni Morrison. The episode focused on one of Toni’s books and life in general. What remains with me, even now, is Toni Morrison’s instruction to parents. Her message was that as parents, our eyes should light up whenever our children enter the room. I immediately thought how I would feel if each time I entered a space, there was someone in that room whose eye’s lit up. Honored, respected, and most importantly loved are all the emotions that would surface for me. Not a word would need to be uttered, that type of physical response would tell me everything I needed to know about how that person felt about me.
People are people, whether they are children or grown adults, feelings are feelings. We all know what it’s like to be loved as well as what it feels like when we aren’t. Knowing that, we all have to be more aware of our body language when it comes to communicating with our spouse. Here’s some common mannerisms that have no place in a marriage.
Eye and neck rolling along with finger pointing are the most obvious no no’s. It comes across as disrespectful no matter who we’re speaking to. They don’t belong anywhere in the realms of a grown up relationship. We must leave that child’s play for the children.
Disengagement whenever our spouse speaks is unhealthy. Listening is the largest piece of effective communication. In its absence we’ll find much confusion and consistent misinterpretation. We want our opinions and thoughts heard so we must do the same for our partner.
Facial expressions of disgust or disappointment when our partner enters the room is a sign something deeper is going on. We must find the root cause of those feelings and work at improving it right away
Arms folded shuts us off from the other person we are communicating with. As a result, our mates may feel as though we aren’t open or receptive to what’s being said. We can control that by putting those arms down and allowing our body to relax and be present and giving in the moment.
No eye to eye contact appears as though there’s something to hide or that what is being shared can’t be trusted. Looking someone in the eye creates an even deeper connection.
We must be aware of our non-verbal communication just as we are with the words we choose to use. Being gentle when dealing with the person we love makes a difference. Every interaction matters. Although our most intimate relationships can be challenging, we still have to get to the place where we light up when our partner enters the room.
BMWK, are you always mindful of your body language when dealing with your spouse?