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What Is Body-to-Body Communication?

Body-to-body communication involves body language in addition to speech.
Facial expressions are among the most important parts of body-to-body communication.
Body-to-body communication can determine the mood of the conversation.
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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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Body-to-body communication occurs when two or more people communicate while physically present in the same area as opposed to communication by phone or over the Internet. While it is similar to face-to-face communication, body-to-body communication allows for the use of body language in addition to speech and facial expressions. Body-to-body communication also allows for complex interaction with the environment, which can serve as another form of nonverbal communication. Conversing over the phone and chatting on the Internet can be effective means of transmitting specific pieces of information or of keeping in touch over a significant distance; such methods cannot, however, transmit the vast body of information available from body language and environmental interaction.

Facial expressions are among the most important parts of body-to-body communication, as they can communicate a tremendous amount of information about one's emotions and responses to information and events in the environment. They are particularly important because of their universality, as almost all facial expressions in response to feelings such as hunger, happiness, pain, and surprise are shared across linguistic and cultural lines. Facial expressions can also be very useful for assessing emotional states and intentions, as anger, sadness, aggression, and other emotions can often be seen on one's face even if one's voice does not suggest such feelings.

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The rest of the human body can also provide a great deal of information during body-to-body communication. An individual's basic stance and posture, for instance, can communicate information such as how he sees himself in relation to others or how comfortable he is in a given situation. Deliberate body language, such as gesturing with one's arms or counting on one's fingers, can also provide information that is not available through purely verbal communication. Furthermore, body-to-body communication often allows individuals to communicate through physical contact, which can be very powerful for exchanging ideas, intentions, and feelings.

There are many alternatives to body-to-body communication, but all tend to miss some aspect of the entire experience of human communication. Talking only through text, for instance, prevents any exchange of body language, facial expression, or even voice intonation. Phone conversations permit more complex communication through varied intonation and speech pacing, but still do not allow for any body language or environmental communication. Only body-to-body communication allows for the full complexity of human interaction through eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, physical contact, and environmental interaction. In some cases, these nonverbal interactions are even sufficient to render verbal communication unnecessary.

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ysmina
Post 3

I read about a study that talked about how body-to-body communication significantly affects the outcomes of therapy and mediation sessions.

When there is positive body-to-body communication involved, it makes therapy sessions and mediation sessions much more successful and fruitful.

I guess there is something about sitting close to someone, looking at them and watching them that influences how we think and feel. I've experienced this personally with my counselor who is a very kind and positive person. He always smiles, listens to me and says supportive things. It's his facial expressions and body gestures that makes me trust him and feel safe enough to express my emotions. It's really nice to be in such a person's presence.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@burcidi-- I completely agree with you. I also met someone online and chatted with him over the internet for months before meeting him. I have to say that he was completely different in reality than what I thought or expected. When I got to meet him in person and communicate with him body-to-body, I saw in his gestures and body language that he did not really care for me or respect me.

All of those months, I had not seen any of this because I hadn't seen him. It was like communicating with an imaginary person who seemed nice. The truth is, people can lie and show themselves very differently in words. But as they say, actions speak louder than words and it's their actions and body language that tells us who they really are.

burcidi
Post 1

I absolutely agree that phone conversations, emails or text messaging cannot replace face-to-face or body-to-body communication.

In the last couple of years, people have started communicating more and more over the internet. I even have friends who are looking for romantic relationships through online sites that only depend on messaging and emails. I don't understand how people can get to know each other this way, without seeing each other's gestures and expressions. It's not possible!

I also think that limiting our communication with others to text messaging or the phone is causing a lot of people to feel lonely and depressed. We need to see other people face-to-face and body-to-body to be able to interact with them in a healthy way. It's a smile, a laugh or a hug that makes us feel that we are not alone and that gives us positive energy.

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