It’s Really More of a Gesture

Nonverbal communication is a very interesting subject. Some may not realize that we use it daily…hourly…even secondly. Our gestures, our body movement, our micro-expressions we make with our faces (of which we have dozens; 44 points specifically when we lie), all of these pieces make up the confusing and silent nonverbal communication puzzle.


You may not think about how often someone is reading your face instead of your mouth as words flow from them. I’ve said before that body language is 55 percent of the message, so what is your body saying with your face? Are you blinking before a thought to show you may be covering up that you don’t know? Is your bottom lip twitching as you get ready to tell a lie?

As strange or unknown as nonverbal communication may seem when it’s put into words, we use it constantly. Perhaps even when you aren’t in communication with another person but possibly an object instead?

Consider: When you are in your car and driving from one destination to the next, are you in communication with the other vehicles around you?

I don’t mean when someone causes road rage and you are yelling/screaming/gesturing out the window. We all know these count towards non-verbal (the latter) or straight, obvious communication (the former).

I am talking about the moments when you’re driving at your chosen speed, and you see a car (Passing Car.) speed up and pass your vehicle (You.) on your right side to come to a following distance behind a car (Car two car-lengths ahead.) in their same lane.

At that moment you may not be communicating with anyone, you are simply watching.

But, how often does the motion, speed, shift, change or movement of a car (without a blinker, gestures or warning) alert you to what is about to happen? How often do you know exactly when the car is going to blink and get over in front of you or, simply, just get over? Have there been other times you have known what the car was going to do before it did it, again without a signal?

I call that nonverbal communication.

You have seen, learned, memorized and logged away small micromovements of dozens/hundreds of drivers and have made your conclusions to what they mean. A speed-up with enough room for a get-over will definitely happen if you have noticed those movements happen more consistently than not.

Noticing a car will get over with no blinker is no different that the eyes that shift away right before a person lies. It’s all in the details and in the recognition of what is happening.

No, we are not always right. Oftentimes that microexpression means something totally different, and that car may not get over, but the nonverbal is there. You can see it, read it and understand it.


Enjoy. And Reed.


5 thoughts on “It’s Really More of a Gesture”

    1. I actually just commented on your post today about the amazing expressions captured in your art. I think the tiniest movement of the face can say more than an entire monologue. Truly a uniquely human trait, having as many as we do.

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