Sunday, October 14, 2007

Window to the Soul?

Most communication is non-verbal. Tone of voice, gestures, facial expression. Very little of what you say is actually about what you say.

Unfortunately non-verbal communication is dependant on other people to interpret it correctly.

Facial expressions, for example, have always posed a problem for me.

When I'm confused or surprised people frequently mistake this for irritation or hate. Most often it's when I have no idea what to say. I guess I frown when I think - I don't know.

When I was in Jr. High a girl four years older than I was told me I looked at her like I hated her. I didn't hate her, but she was kind of intimidating and outrageous and frequently left me speechless - so I wasn't sure what to say. "There! Like that!" she said.

In highschool my bestfriend's boyfriend felt the same way - which I knew and told my friend, who later called me back to say, "Guess who just called and told me he thinks you hate him! He said you looked at him like you hated him." (Again - I really just didn't know what to say) He got mad that I could tell what he was thinking when he didn't know what I was thinking - and started wearing sunglasses so I wouldn't have an unfair advantage.

Today someone started talking to me who I didn't even know knew my name, then they stopped mid-sentence and left. I can only assume that my confusion once again translated into, "I hate you"!


Beautifully Profound said...

I think when I look confused I truly look like there is nothing going on up there. The breeze free flows through my empty head look. When I don't like someone though, I give them the harshest look of disgust. Which I find myself doing more and more these days. It's probably the mall sucking the happy looks right out of me.

Melody said...

Working the mall will do that to you.

Robin Marie said...

since walmart, i haven't the slightest amount of patience for anyone who makes me even remotely frustrated.
And when I'm confused, people can tell.

Robin Marie said...

On another note, they showed us face charts like these in my Briefing class (and debriefing, I suppose), and asked us what each meant, and then showed us what they meant in different cultures. It was fascinating. I'm sure that sheet is somewhere. In a box or something. Or gone. Forever.

Melody said...

Maybe that's my problem - it is a confused look, just from the wrong culture!

Don't ask me how I would have acquired some other culture's confused look - all I know is it doesn't register as confusion here.

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