Masks and their impact on body language

In many cases, the content of a gesture, smile, or even posture not only complements the message, but also provides more information than the words.

The value of non-verbal communication is widely studied and influences social, family and work relationships at the same time.

More precisely, a study by Albert Mehrabian shows that 55% of communication corresponds to sign language, In front of the 38% who belong to the intention to speak and 7% to the oral communication itself. These data confirm the relevance of communication skills in each of the spheres of our daily life.

    How does wearing a mask influence non-verbal language?

    As in many other areas, the coronavirus also generated changes in non-verbal communication, Make the mask a new element which in a way limits the expression capacity of the face, but what we will have to adapt during the famous “new normal”.

    That is why in this article we would like to explain the limitations it generates in our regular communication and how we can minimize these effects to avoid the loss of gestural richness.

    1. Trust your adaptability

    Darwin once argued that “those who adapt best survive” and, luckily, the brain is perfectly capable of coping with and coping with changes normally.

    The initial feeling of strangeness during a conversation with a person whose part of the face is covered gradually turns into something natural and therefore this model is internalized without generating significant modifications.

    The same thing happens in the affective realm; at first it was strange to come to a place and not greet with the above codes, and now the absence of that physical contact is not surprising.

    It is precisely this plasticity of the brain that not only strengthens the neural connections that already exist but also generates new circuits that are exercised over time.

    2. The look, more important than ever

    Although a large part of facial communication belongs to the eyes and eyebrows, losing information about smiling can reduce the ability to empathize and trust. In addition, the mask changes the tone and volume when you speak, which can lead to difficulty in understanding.

    For this reason, we must compensate for this deficit by valuing other aspects of non-verbal communication, such as body movements or hand gestures.

    Focusing on the gaze of the person we are talking to and making that the richest source of information will make us experts both in their interpretation and in their use in our expression. From this point of view the use of the mask can generate positive effects on the detail of facial expression.

      3. Beware of misunderstandings

      Changes in tone projection and the lack of some gestural support can lead to misinterpretations in communication. It can affect irony more specifically, Be more complicated to ignore the literal part without expressions that facilitate the understanding of the intention.

      Just as communication through a message is subject to misunderstanding, this special mode of communication may at some point require assurance from the speaker that the message sent and the receipt match.

      4. Don’t lose sight of its function

      Despite the difficulties associated with the use of the mask, do not forget your main objective, to protect yourself.

      It won’t be difficult to put the discomfort it causes us into perspective if we remember the start and course of the pandemic, bringing the mind back to that moment will help assess what was once a basic necessity, but of complicated acquisition turn, the way to protect ourselves from a powerful enemy.

      Also, being part of our current routine can be another way of expressing aspects of our personality, tastes or preferences, as the market has grown and the supply of masks and masks has grown. customization of it is virtually endless.

      special cases

      Finally, it should be noted that some groups may be particularly affected by its useThis is the case, for example, of hearing-impaired people, who repeatedly require the support of their lips or of children who receive much of the information from gestures of adults.

      At the professional level, it can also produce handicaps in jobs where demonstrations of empathy and confidence are important, this is the case of doctors or psychologists among others.

      However, we must once again see this as a useful contribution that the virus leaves in our lives, as it can enable us to be more aware of something that was previously automatic and therefore improve a fundamental part of our communication skills. .

      Are you looking for professional psychological support?

      Fr TherapyCat we offer remote psychological assistance by video call, with qualified psychologists. You can find our contact details on this page.

      Leave a Comment