“My friends know me so well. They can tell what I’m thinking just by looking in my eyes.” -Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston’s friends must have good social awareness! They are able to tell what she’s thinking by looking at her eyes. I suspect… is what they’re REALLY doing is looking not only at her eyes, but checking in with her entire face and body to figure out what she’s thinking. They are observing and paying attention to her non-verbal language.
Non-verbal language is how we communicate nearly half of our verbal message! Many students struggle to pick up on this social skill. Think about how much meaning they are missing or how much they misunderstand if they struggle to understand the importance that non-verbal language has on communicating meaning.
What IS non-verbal language? Well, in the most basic sense non-verbal language includes:
- Facial expressions- Movement of eyebrows, eyes, forehead, cheeks, lips, etc.
- Body Language- Posture, hand gestures, proximity or change in closeness during social interaction, etc.
- Tone of Voice- Differences in the way the voice sounds, different stress or emphasis placed on words or phrases
If Jennifer Aniston wasn’t trying to sell eye care products, she would’ve said,
“My friends know me so well. They can tell what I’m thinking by paying attention to my entire body and to the way my voice sounds.”
Use this commercial to get a conversation going with your children or students about the importance of non-verbal language and the meaning it conveys or how it can change the meaning of what people communicate.
I’ve created some lessons specifically teaching non-verbal language and the importance of paying attention to it during social interaction on my Teachers Pay Teachers page. You can find them by clicking the links below:
Click below for a helpful article written by Michelle Garcia Winner about the importance of attending to non-verbal language:
Enjoy (non-verbal head nod given)!
Cat Tintle, M. Ed. CCC-SLP