Talking Without Talking

by Eddie P.

I don’t know about you other guys but my facial expressions get me in a lot of trouble when I talk to my wife.

Doesn’t matter how calm and sweet I talk, my facial expression gives away what I’m really feeling every time and no one knows that better than my wife.

Language is not always about using our words, it’s in what we see, what we feel, how we interpret those words. I’m sure you’ve said something and someone took it complete the wrong way then what you tried to interpret it.

It’s called body language. When someone says “I’m doing great” but their head is down, not making eye contact, and talking with a low pitch voice, chances are they are probably not doing all that fine. You can usually tell a lot from a person by just reading their body language when they talk.

Body Language is especially prevalent and most affected by the western culture. In an article from Science Daily, a study was done by Kumamoto University studying if Japanese people are influenced less by lip movements when listening to another speaker than Westerners are.

The researchers measured and analyzed gaze patterns, brain waves, and reaction times for speech identification between both native Japanese and English speakers.

What they found was clear. English speakers focus their gaze on a person’s lips before they talk, whereas Japanese speakers is not as fixed. Also, English speakers were able to understand speech faster by combining speech with visual cues. Japanese speakers showed a delay in response time when lip motion was in view.

The researchers then measured the functional connectivity in the brain between the areas dealing with hearing and visual motion information. What they found was the primary auditory and middle temporal areas of the brain where noticeably stronger in English speakers than Japanese speakers. This evidence strongly suggests that visual and auditory information are associated with each other at the early stages of information processing in English, whereas the association between visual and auditory information for Japanese speakers is made later in the information processing development.

This research study further supports my predicament that I keep getting in trouble for my facial expressions. My wife and most other westerners rely on other things then just the words that come out of our mouths to convey a message. Body language is apart of our culture and helps us identify with each other and communicate with each other. I just need to work on keep this in mind when I’m talking to my wife about food.

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