Body Language – Controlling an Emotionally Charged Situation

Body Language - Controlling an Emotionally Charged Situation tip

Subtle differences in body language can send very different non-verbal messages. Here is one example of how a slight difference in a gesture can either inflame an already emotionally-charged situation or calm it down.

During a difficult conversation, such as an argument between family members or an angry patient, extending your hand with the fingers pointing up is interpreted as a reprimand. It non-verbally tells the patient or family member to "stop" or "quiet down" and creates an adversarial relationship. In contrast, extending your hand towards an angry patient with your palm down sends a message that you are "reaching out to help" and forms an instant relationship with the patient.

 
Anthony Orsini, D.O.
Founder & President
BBN

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