What does your body communicate?
Have you ever walked into a room filled with strangers and wondered what they think of you? Why would you even think that they have any kind of judgment about you? Afterall, they don’t know you.
Well, you wonder because you know that you do exactly the same thing…have a judgment, that is. We judge because it is hardwired in us. If nothing else, we have to make a snap judgment in determining if somebody is likely to be a friend or foe; or maybe if the other is mating material or not. These things are hardwired in us because they ensure the survival of the species.
While we have all been admonished not to judge the book by its cover, we all do it if we want to admit that or not. Some of those judgments never make it to the surface of our conscious awareness. We may have a split-second feeling of discomfort with somebody but then they warmly engage with us and we never examine the feeling closer.
Ultimately, we may be right not to act upon our first impression, because that judgment may be made in error or be the consequence of circumstance, emotional state or some other factor unrelated to the person that we are having the judgment about.
Then again, how often have you thought to your self: ”I knew that there was something off about this guy. I should have listened to my gut”?
As we go through life, having these ongoing judgments about each other, it is useful to contemplate what judgments people may have about us based on what our bodies communicate. Do you think that these judgements tend to accurately reflect who you are and what you stand for? Or do you find that people easily misread you?
To give an example; when we go through life with our shoulders pulled up high, close to our ears, we give off an impression of being stressed and harried. On a visceral level this tends to elicit a feeling of unease in others because subconsciously they will try to detect if your stressed-out demeanor is an indication of some kind threat to them. This unease is not likely to make you attractive or endearing to them, no matter how much of a delightful a person you actually are. Of course, your co-workers, friends and family will over time adapt and learn to ignore that stress impulse… to some extent. During that important sales meeting or job interview however, you may not have enough time to overcome that first impression.
Do you know how you come across? Are you aware of you body-habits? Do you know why you developed them? Do they sometimes get in the way of other people seeing who you really are? Do you know how, instead, to express who you really are and what you stand for?
These are some of the questions that Expressive Somatics™ addresses.
Expressive Somatics™ is a personal development approach that is centered on the body and examines our internal and external communication. In other words; we look at what the body communicates to us and what we communicate back to the body as well as what we communicate to our social environment.
The next time we’ll discuss more about the internal aspects of somatic communication. In the mean time I look forward to your comments, experiences, questions and critiques.