Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures – While there are actions that are universally accepted and accepted by all cultures, there are other actions that vary from culture to culture, which can make a huge difference!

Have you ever watched a TV show on mute and tried to guess what the characters were saying? Or how they felt about a scene?

Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures

Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures

Most of us have tried it at some point in our lives and can probably predict exactly what happened, whether it’s an American soap opera or a Korean comedy show.

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Here is another example. Think of a time when someone told you everything was fine, but you didn’t feel that way.

Why did this happen? Was it because of the pressure on his lips, or because his hands were folded over his chest? What made you realize that there is more going on than what they are saying?

The ability to read people is a skill that is almost innate… even the smallest of children can tell when their mother is crazy. This ability increases as we get older; Our experiences and relationships with others play an important role in developing this skill, which is called non-verbal communication.

This type of communication is essential for understanding people and helps us fill in the gaps when things are left unsaid. It includes a number of things, including emotions, facial expressions, eye contact, touch and body language.

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Facial expressions are the gateway to all our emotions, and they are universal, or at least, the facial expressions associated with the six basic emotions. In other words, if you show these faces to anyone in the world, they will be able to identify exactly what they are feeling. But is body language the same? Is it also the world’s means of communication?

Body language, like a person’s face, is a gateway to a person’s emotions. It helps us communicate our feelings without saying much.

Think of a time when you were very angry; did you grit your teeth or raise your fist? What about when you were nervous? Are your palms sweaty, or are you starting to feel overwhelmed? In most cultures, these signs often indicate emotional states, mainly because they are associated with the state of the body during these emotional periods.

Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures

Consider the power of Amy Cuddy; His research offers a very biological view of postural reactions, saying that when we stand in a position of power, such as the Wonder Woman pose or a posture in which the arms and legs are stretched out, we feel strong. we are more.

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Studies like these have been replicated in many different parts of the world and mirrored the physical side of their findings—giving us more confidence in cheating/using body language, reality. not influenced by culture.

The situation may be different for India in Africa; in fact, an act that means something in a state in North-East India may mean something different from the same act in a South Indian state.

Have you ever heard of the concept of personal space? The concept of private space tells us that there are different areas, such as social areas, personal areas, etc.

People from Western cultures are more aware of this concept and generally respect it, but it is not the same in Indian or Asian contexts.

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Have you ever been on a bus, or even without one? Have you noticed how close the people around you are? Most of the time, on Asian public transport, people are literally ‘ON’ you. Basically, the concept of private space no longer exists.

Next, count two on your fingers. If you’re British, or part of a former colonial country, you hold up your index and middle fingers. But if you’re European, your thumb and index finger point to the number. This is easy to understand, because European schools teach counting from the thumb, while in British schools counting starts from the index finger.

Of the nine gestures, picture 1 from the top left is the European way of saying 2, while picture 9 is the British way of saying 2 (Photo Credit: jesadaphorn/Shutterstock)

Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures

From the above examples it is clear that even though we have the same behavior, our cultural context adds a slightly different meaning to it!

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Another element of non-verbal communication is touch. A pat on the back can be interpreted as a compliment, but also as violence, depending on the person delivering it and the time. Again, is this universal?

In India, it is common to see men walking down the street holding hands; it is common for women to do the same. No one really cares about it, because it is just an expression of friendship between the two parties. However, if similar actions are repeated in Western countries, it may suggest homosexuality.

Sometimes, something as simple as saying goodbye can turn into a nightmare if you don’t consider other cultures’ use of touch, or the lack of it. A common and accepted way of saying ‘Hello’ in Western culture is a short handshake. Great emphasis was placed on how to shake hands. But in India, if you do the same to greet an old man, maybe someone in his 60s, you might as well dig your own grave, because by shaking hands with him firmly, you’re calling yourself you are like him. Additionally, the best way to greet someone in India is by touching their feet, not by shaking hands.

Again, not all cultures appreciate being touched. The Japanese hate to touch it; if you see their normal greeting, they bow to the person standing in front of them to greet them—no handshake. Touch, like gestures, varies from culture to culture.

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Have you ever been in a fight and heard someone say, ‘Look in my eyes and tell me!’

If you have, then of course you know the ultimate form of non-verbal communication – eye contact. In most Western cultures, eye contact is essential between the speaker and the listener, but in Eastern cultures, maintaining eye contact or raising the eyes to meet the speaker is considered for war and disobedience.

Eye contact can mean many things, and often has the same meaning in all cultures. For example, when your eyes dart around the room, it may indicate a lack of interest, while averting your eyes may be seen as trying to avoid conflict. Refusal or lack of acceptance of continuity or rapid closure is common. Plus, if you thought eye contact was only common to humans, it’s not. Monkeys have shown similar behavior to communicate similar ideas between their families and relatives.

Offensive Body Language In Different Cultures

The answer to this is very subjective and contextual, so either yes or no. In some places, body language to express feelings, gestures to express greetings and goodbyes, handshakes to express friendship and love, and eye contact to respond are all the same — language is universal. Everyone understands it, no matter where you come from or what you have to say.

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The problem arises because some actions or behaviors are the same in different cultures, but have different meanings. Many times, harmless behavior in our culture can offend people from other cultures. For example, the ‘OK’ sign is used as the ‘best’ sign in India, but go to Turkey and flash the ‘OK’ sign and you’re asking for a fight, because this sign is considered offensive.

So what should we do? Shouldn’t we use gestures at all? Movements are almost natural, so suppressing them is a no-brainer. A recent study from the University of Chicago showed that blind participants also showed the behavior of the language they were using. Gesture is not something to be observed and learned, but something that comes from the language of communication. Basically, no matter how hard we try to stop ourselves, we end up communicating non-verbally in some other way. For those of us who watch television a lot, a lot of our language is influenced by the programs we watch. With the rise of Netflix and Prime, people around the world are often more exposed to Western culture than their own. No wonder so many people imitate the body language of our favorite show characters!

After reading all about different types of body language, what signs do you notice in this picture? (Photo credit: Andrew Rybalko/Shutterstock)

At the end of the day, our body language is culturally specific and can affect how others perceive us (and our ability to survive), even though communication styles are universal. and some relationships. So, the next time you decide to travel to another country, in addition to finding places to visit, a quick Google search or a comprehensive book can guide you on how to better interact with the locals, and you won’t offend them during your stay!

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