• Luca Brambilla

The contradiction in Non-Verbal Communication

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4 Ways thanks to which the observation of nonverbal communication can help understanding incongruity with verbal communication.

Frequently, actually too frequently, as soon as a so-called NVC expert notices incongruity between verbal and nonverbal language in a person he shouts out “Liar!” or “Falsehood!”. Actually inconsistency can be explain by different reasons and whoever studies NVC should know how to connect it to one of these environment:

1. Inadequate certainty: a person can subconsciously reveal herself/himself inadequate to present an argument. Let’s think about a young man who has been recently promoted to manager; this man is still feeling confused by the unexpected promotion and probably believes he haven’t deserved it since he is young and with no experience. We shouldn’t be surprised to glimpse an doubtful micro-expression on his face while he is introducing himself to a possible customer.

2. Internal conflict: again, a contrast between verbal and nonverbal communication. We can find an example of this case in a typical boys environment; a boy who is asked by his friends if he likes a girl, replies with negative answers despite nodding and blushing.

3. Lie: the person really means to lie and he does all that he can to hide his lie, for example, by trying to hold back his emotions and by showing off determination in his statements. You can expose the deceit and verify the incongruence in the nonverbal communication by examining facial micro-expression. You should keep in mind hectograph assurance level is 50% while NVC skills allow to detect a lie with 86% of assurance.

4. Emotional integration process: the most complicated situation. In this case weak signals clash with the verbal communication, even if the subject is telling the truth. In a textbook case a person who has recently lived a trauma, for example a broken leg or a bereavement in the family says he is feeling fine and he start living peacefully again while his he shows some painful micro-expression. The person is not lying, he is in fact trying to manage a trauma and an expert eye would notice the real solidification level of the trauma.

Milan, 1st June 2017



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Foro Buonaparte,22