Body language often reveals feelings or emotions we are having that we want to conceal or that we don’t even realize we are having. Our face has hundreds of muscles that combine to reveal what is going on emotionally with us. Others see these facial expressions and often respond to them, even if our words are communicating a different message.
Our facial expression of anger gives us away. One anger management participant shared this amusing anecdote: “I was angry over what aÂ speaker had said at a conference, but didn’t want to admit this to myself as the speaker was someone I admired. As I was walking down a corridor thinking about this, a colleague was approaching me from the opposite direction. He asked, “How did you like the speaker?” I replied “Just fine.” He then looked at me and said: “Well, would you mind notifying your face?”
The lesson learned by our student was obvious. Be aware of what your body language, particularly your facial expressions, is communicating to others. Ask yourself what you probably look like, as seen from the viewpoint of other people. Remember, people are going to respond to you as they see you, not necessarily as you see yourself. The message you are sending is always a combination of what you say and how you are saying it with your body language.