Body language is the mind’s subconscious way to communicate with those around us, and more often than not portray the emotions we as people don’t want to say out loud. Whether it be nervous hand movements around your crush or a quick jump in the air after getting into your dream college, our bodies seem to have a lot to say, but what happens if you can’t notice it? Some people are simply just lousy at reading body language, but for some, it can be caused by another factor, making it even more difficult for that individual to read others around them. Those who are faced with ‘life challenges’ such as ADHD, Asperger’s, and Autism can find identifying social queues to be more of a struggle than others.

The first step to understanding body language is knowing that not all of what we are taught as a society is true. Crossing your arms across your chest is thought to be rude and closed off when in reality it is a way for an individual to self soothe (Jung, 2021). Understanding these differences helps people understand one another, especially since most of our communication is nonverbal. The 7-38-55% rule explains how 7% of communication is verbal liking, 38% is vocal, and 55% is facial (Mehrabian, 1971). This study shows that more than half of our understanding of what the other person is portraying is done through body language such as facial expression and hand movement. Studies show those with ‘life challenges’ find identifying emotions to be more laborious due to the difficulty with attributing their own emotions to how others feel (Durham University, 2009). This can cause a mental blockage of relation, making it harder for those who experience this to tell when someone is upset by things, which can also create issues when trying to form relationships. However, just because someone experiences these struggles doesn’t mean that they cannot be taught how to read body language. It simply just requires guidance, and the Support For Student’s Growth Center is the ideal place to receive it.

People need help in all aspects of life, which is why the SSGC offers assistance in many social categories, such as body language. It is important to be aware of what emotions we are making people feel, especially since that is how we maintain and grow relationships around us, and as people, our nonverbal cues are what give us away. Knowing boundaries such as how close to stand is comfortable based on how we are socializing with a person, what those individuals like and don’t like, and how something is making them feel is crucial. When a person’s face changes negatively to a topic, then you’d know to move on and not bring it up again, but if you are not aware of the body language you may continue, accidentally upsetting them more. Everyone deserves to have positive social interaction in life and a fair chance to fully understand those to who they are talking, which is why you shouldn’t let the inability to read body language hold you back. Once taught, it is easy to read social queues, and with the help of the Student Growth Center, you or your child can become an expert in no time.

Dr. Eric J. Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D.C., is a Developmental and Behavioral Specialist who specializes in Autism, ADHD and related disorders. Dr. Nach is the founder of the the Support For Students Growth Center, located in Boca Raton, FL where he and his team of professional’s help develop the Emotional Maturity, Executive Functioning, Life Skill and Social Abilities of young people ages 4 well into the 20’s and their families, including college students and those high school students preparing for college. The CollegeLSP is a subsidiary program of the Support For Students Growth Center, located in Boca Raton, FL and providing services nationwide.

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