Questions tagged [non-verbal-communication]

Questions involving unspoken communication like gestures, body language, or other non-verbal signals.

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3 votes
2 answers
702 views

Etiquette for wearing ties at a "Black Tie" event

I've been invited to a wedding (in Scotland, UK). It's described as a "Black-tie" event and the groom has asked guests to wear a dinner jacket (tuxedo), but it's not an absolute requirement. ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the proper etiquette for making one's presence known non-verbally?

Years of dedicated martial arts training have resulted in a condition where my footfalls are nearly silent. This has led to some IPS problems. Specifically, the fact that people often jump when I &...
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do you talk to someone when you know you have bad breath?

Bad breath seems to be inevitable at certain times, and while it is nice to anticipate being in a social setting in order to properly prepare, sometimes it comes without notice. In my particular ...
1 vote
1 answer
399 views

How to address issue of friend not replying to specific questions

Background: I have a friend named "Joe". When talking to him through messages it feels like he drops off mid conversation. On several occasions I asked him a direct question like "when ...
20 votes
10 answers
29k views

Pointing the index fingers to one another as a way to excuse oneself: is this a common gesture?

I grew up in Italy, and there is a gesture I use that I'm wondering whether is strictly Italian or is used/understood elsewhere. It means either of: "I know this may bother you, but I'd really ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to make eye contact while talking with more than one person?

My question looks similar to this question but in my case, I am the one doing the talking and not the listening. So, in an office environment or while talking to friends, when I am talking and two or ...
2 votes
1 answer
451 views

Boss tells me to face him when talking [closed]

So I was talking to my boss in the hallway today. During part of the conversation I turned to face somewhere to the left side of him for ~ 20 seconds, I think I got restless/bored from standing still....
41 votes
9 answers
15k views

Why is it socially not acceptable to point at someone with your finger?

I am on the autism spectrum and I tend to point at things, including people. The other day, I was talking with a coworker about some tasks I needed them to do and, while I was talking, I was also ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the meaning of sticking out your tongue?

And why do children see it as a deadly insult? I live in France and I know that sticking out your tongue at someone is "not polite". But why? What is sticking out your tongue supposed to ...
1 vote
1 answer
253 views

How to communicate with employees when requesting documents to minimize response time?

I often face the following scenario: I need to ask for a document, a piece of information or make a request to an employer of a company/organization whose job includes responding to people like me. ...
2 votes
1 answer
369 views

Are there any common hand signals/gestures one can use while wearing a mask that can communicate simple things to others?

I live in New York City — The Big Apple! One of the largest cities in the world! — and also the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As such, I’ve been wearing a mask daily for ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to get recognition for the cleaning I do?

I live in a shared house with several other roommates. One of them signed the lease with the owner, and thus has authority to kick anyone out. Call him Dylan. Another roommate, Bob, is very outspoken ...
2 votes
1 answer
537 views

If I find one person hard to understand, how can I encourage a second person to try and explain?

I am part of a small friends group that (used to) routinely meet. Something happened that I am unsure how I feel about. Bob asked me to attend a "meeting" with him and Joe. I was not told what the ...
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to talk about things I'm ashamed of, without showing this shame through non-verbal-communication?

I had a terrible undergraduate academic record. I have worked in the industry for past many years, and grown a lot since then, intellectually and skill-wise. However, whenever telling someone about my ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do I interact with a person at a bare minimum level without seeming excessively rude?

How do I interact with a person at a bare minimum level without seeming excessively rude? Background: I had an incident a couple months ago where a friend of mine told me that a person Yanny from our ...
-4 votes
1 answer
531 views

What is meaning of placing clenched hand on thigh and throwing elbow to one side while seated in a chair? [closed]

What is it's meaning? I sometimes do this subconsciously and at other times deliberately and I often do that when I'm alone (at the computer desk for instance) or when I'm talking with others while ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to communicate with sensitive roommates accusing me of passive-aggression?

A few months ago I moved into a shared house. I really like it here, but as per previous questions there's been some conflicts regarding the rules and expectations of other roommates. I worked really ...
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to tell an unknown cyclist I don't want to give them the pace

I commute to work by bike. Being tall and going at a fair speed, I am aware a give a good wake. Sometimes it happens that some other cyclist, a complete stranger to me, simply stitch behind me and ...
11 votes
2 answers
900 views

How to interact with a person asking for change without giving them false hope?

I live in a big city with a lot of homeless people. When I'm on the subway, I will often see them going around asking for money, food or "just a smile." I know these people--like anyone--...
38 votes
3 answers
9k views

How to properly maintain eye contact with people that have distinctive facial features?

Recently, I've been talking to someone that is cross-eyed, and his face has a pretty visible scar as well. These talks are mainly at lunchtime when there's more than 1 person present. Whenever he's ...
4 votes
2 answers
698 views

When sitting, how to non-verbally communicate that someone is invading your personal space?

I don't like it when people are physically too close to me. When standing, this isn't a problem since I can move a little and distance myself from the person being too close to me. However, when ...
6 votes
1 answer
536 views

How to look at someone's apparel or tattoos without appearing weird?

I've often found myself admiring someone's tattoo simply for its intricate patterns and neat colors or observing someone's shirt that might have a logo or emblem of a popular video game that they ...
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to listen to music without looking antisocial?

A lot of people wear headphones or earbuds, often with no music playing, as a sign that they don't want to be bothered. But maybe I want to listen to music when in public, perhaps simply for the fact ...
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

What non-verbal communication can I use to ask if someone want physical comfort?

Sometimes, someone will talk to you about a very emotional and/or difficult topic. In this scenario, you are supposed to give comfort to the person with whom you are talking. As someone on the ...
5 votes
2 answers
898 views

Roommates go on witch hunts over petty grievances and it stresses me out

I live in a house shared with several other roommates. I find some go on witch hunts and ask loaded questions intended to get someone in trouble. For example, I've got: "Did you use this pan last?", ...
9 votes
3 answers
590 views

Knowing when you should send message instead of asking in person

In my day to day life, when I have a question, I like to ask the person who has the answer in person (instead of sending a slack message). One of the reasons for that is that, most of the time, I can'...
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do people want eye contact when talking?

A lot of people think that having eye contact when talking to someone is important, but why is that? Why don't we look at the mouth or hands or the whole face or body instead? Why are we supposed to ...
18 votes
5 answers
7k views

How do I appear more friendly when I have a fierce-looking face?

I was born with a naturally fierce-looking face. Piercing blue eyes, heavy brow, downturned mouth. All due to my genetics. In addition, I tend to scowl when I'm worried or thinking deeply. I can ...
0 votes
3 answers
888 views

Rude behavior in canteen

In our work place there are around 1100 employees. Majority of them collectively gather in factory canteen during break and take their lunch.This canteen consists of a big hall with hundreds of ...
10 votes
3 answers
933 views

How do I use body language to indicate that I am thinking?

My Problem When people give me large amounts of information, I will take plenty of time to process it before giving a response. The amount of time I take usually ranges from 30 seconds to a few ...
8 votes
2 answers
661 views

public transport: how to know (non-verbally) if someone needs a seat?

I'm someone who gets easily physically tired. This means that, on public transportation, I will almost always look for a seat. Some days, there are no seats available but I'm so tired that I will ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Gently turning down undesired physical contact/setting boundaries in a nightclub environment

In many ways this question mirrors Asking a girl whether she would like to dance with me The setting: I am alone in a nightclub. I am located in a city/region known for being culturally progressive ...
20 votes
6 answers
6k views

How to non-verbally communicate that I am listening?

I recently got some feedback that people have the impression that when they talk to me, I am not listening. Usually, when starting a conversation with people, I acknowledge them with something like '...
5 votes
3 answers
388 views

How to tell someone you don't trust that you are going to stick with written communication [duplicate]

At the start of the month I moved out of my old house which wasn’t working (hooray!) but the landlord still hasn’t given my damage deposit back (boo!). I sent the landlord a text message the day I ...
4 votes
1 answer
941 views

Elevator awkwardness, collegue makes self deprecating comment

Yesterday I was taking the elevator down from the 5th floor to head out for lunch. A co-worker who works on the 6th floor was already in the elevator. I know that she works for my company, but I don'...
9 votes
2 answers
679 views

How can I let people know that I don't want to be touched?

I sometimes have an issue where people, especially older ladies, touch my arm or shoulder when they are talking to me. Usually it is only for a few seconds but sometimes it is more than that, and it ...
0 votes
1 answer
500 views

Does over smiling falls under girlish in India? [closed]

While staying with a group of friends, colleagues or with a single individual, is it okay to have smiling face always during normal conversations or while wishing others such as good morning etc., ...
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

How to politely ask someone why they didn't say hi back?

I brought a family member over to my house. One of my roommates was home and my relative smiled at him, said hi and waved. He just stood there and stared without waving back. He definitely saw and ...
-5 votes
3 answers
706 views

On an argument with a girlfriend; what can I do as a partner that is the best course of action? [closed]

This is my first time posting here and I'm not sure what to expect, but I will be doing my best to explain the situation. My girlfriend and I had a recent fallout (first one). We are in a long ...
3 votes
3 answers
808 views

How to handle malicious false statements by someone in your peer group

I've seen these kinds of things happen in work environments, where there's a little more of a process rather than everyone being able to instantly jump in on a narrative and isolate others and I've ...
39 votes
6 answers
5k views

What impact does "mirroring" have on other people?

Mirroring is mimicking the body language of the person you are talking to. It is sometimes recommended for people to help "break the ice." But how does it create a positive impression? What do ...
90 votes
9 answers
34k views

As a woman, how to avoid angry stares from other people's wives or girlfriends [closed]

I am a moderately good looking woman. With basic makeup and hair styling, I can make myself look pretty. This is my preferred look when I go out. I often get a lot of stares, sometimes admiring and ...
44 votes
7 answers
12k views

Can my sister convey to her womanizer boss by her body language and general behavior that she is not 'available' for an 'office romance'?

My sister recently accepted a high-paying job offer as office administrator in a local firm in our hometown in India, run by a divorced middle aged financial consultant. She is due to join next week ...