Nonverbal communication is an important part of how human beings relate to one another.
The important thing to remember is that the unconscious mind is powerful, and it can pick up on many different things about another person even if they are not obvious.
For instance, body language is a perfect example of nonverbal communication.
A person’s posture tells people a lot about how that person thinks about himself.
Within a marriage relationship, nonverbal communication is even more important. It has been estimated that over ninety percent of the effectiveness of communication is facilitated by nonverbal cues.
Obviously, it’s important to understand how improving nonverbal communication can improve your marriage relationship!
Give these five tips a try in the daily interaction with your spouse and see what a difference you can make without saying a word:
1. Make sure you always express affection.
Nonverbal communication involves things such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, body language and other visual and emotional cues.
If you never express affection in a physical, non-sexual way, your partner will probably start unconsciously or consciously thinking that you do not love them. So, on a daily basis, express your affection by holding their hand, rubbing their shoulders, or simply holding them in your arms.
2. Pay attention to your spouse’s mood.
One of the hardest things that marriage calls upon a couple to do is step outside of themselves and really pay attention to their partner. Nonverbally, we give out a lot of cues about our mood.
For instance, frowning, silence, sitting cross-legged or not making eye contact are clues that our spouse is in a bad mood, while smiling, being open and free in conversation, and looking into your eyes are signs that they are in a good mood. Paying attention to these cues is a great way to improve communication.
3. Use positive language when expressing disagreement.
Nonverbal communication actually plays a role during verbal communication. For instance, when trying to express yourself to your partner, often it is the words that are left unsaid that mean much more than the words that are said.
Using negative language like “Yes, but,” or even “Whatever” in response to a question or a sentence can be problematic. Using positive language like “Yes, and” is better because it avoids any negative reaction from your partner. The tone and attitude of a person is not always verbalized, but it is implied in their voice and words.
4. Do their chores for them.
If you and your spouse divide up the chores between yourselves, a great way to express nonverbal affection is to do their chores for them sometimes.
This demonstrates concern as well as affection, and it can be a very pleasant surprise for them to discover you have taken care of some of their work for them.
5. Make small personal gifts and leave them where they can be found.
This can include love notes, flowers, cards, etc. They can be left anywhere, from the bathroom to the kitchen to the bedroom. These represent personal ways of showing affection that make the marriage stronger.
What forms of nonverbal communication have you found most effective in your own marriage?
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.