Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson greatly helps give due attention to how we do or don’t communicate love in other than with word ways, even when we are completely silent. The high importance of expressionally sent love is emphasized and backed with some intriguing data.
There is a lot going on between people besides their words when communicating. Why do we feel comfortable when meeting one person and not another – even if nothing has been said? That is, nothing verbally has been said; a lot has been conveyed expressionally. We message with our face, posture, movements and the tones of our voice. Sometimes it is subtle, even subconscious, and at other times it may be blatant. Expressional behaviors can be developed to great advantage in all types of love relationships. How elaborate is your expressive stock of skills? We have some expressional communication suggestions for you to think about. One set of skills has to do with sending expressional communications and the other has to do with recognizing them when they are flashed at you. You may want to add a number of these to your repertoire as best practices of expressional communication (see “Additive Talking – A Love Skill” and “Emotional Intercourse”).
Put simply, expressional communication usually is understood to mean the face, tone, gesture, body language and appearance variables which communicate feelings. Actually, there is a lot more to it. Take voice for example; voice variables include tone, amplitude, pitch variation and contour, tempo, duration, overtones and undertones, accentuations, rhythm, cadence, non-words like a sigh or pause or hmm or ahh and miscellaneous other sounds. The scientific fields of Paralinguistics, Psycholinguistics and Sociolinguistics have published over a thousand research articles on expressional communication topics. Therefore, much knowledge about this area is known. The new brain science of Interpersonal Neurobiology also may be contributing relevant research (see“Talking Styles That Hurt and Help Love” Link “Other Ways to Say I Love You”).
Early studies found that in personal, direct, face-to-face communication only about 7% of the meaning was conveyed by words, about 35% by voice tones, about 55% by movement expression (such as facial, body and gesture expression) and 3% by other variables (such as clothing and atmospherics). Isn’t it absurd that only 7% is verbal and all the rest, 93%, is called non-verbal. This is one of the reasons we use the word expressional for this very important range of human communication. “Non” just doesn’t cut it. If we focus only on words, we miss much of the meaning. If you want to become powerful and impactful when expressing your love, focus some on your words but much more on your looks and sounds of love.
Did you know some research shows that your subconscious mind is analyzing about 300 bits of expressional information per minute in direct, personal interactions? Likewise, the sending of expressional messages can be almost instantaneous. Although most of this is being unconsciously processed, it can be brought into conscious awareness and worked on for improved impact. Link “Love Bids and Their Astounding Importance” and Link “Listening with Love”
“The way her face lights up when I walk in, just makes my day!”. “It’s not what he says, it’s his loving tones that go straight to my heart”. “He has a way of towering over me that really turns me on, but it also feels protective and sweet and, well, – loving, very loving.” “She literally dances up to me when I come home from a long trip. Every move she makes charms me and no matter how tired I am I get delighted and feel energized”. “Even after all these years, I still get a kick out of her giggles and wiggles when I tease her”. Those quotes show expressional actions creating love success. They also reveal love cycling back and forth like an engine generating happy, love dynamics.
The degree of success of any love relationship can be profoundly affected by the expressional messages being sent, received and cycled. It also is true that the lack of expressional love interactions can severely limit the effectiveness of love. Even when the love that is felt is strong, but not much expressed, the benefits of love can be diminished. Link “Do and Don’t Love Talk”
The expressional choreography, going back and forth between people who love each other, can be like a beautiful, artful dance. At times this dance can be fun and joyful, or intimate and romantic, or spirited and daring, or sensual and sexy or precious and tender if carried out skillfully and loaded with love. To become good at this art form, takes lots of feeling-filled practice and plenty of playful teamwork. I’ve seen couples of all ages, families, parents with their kids and diverse others learn the dance of expressional love. Therefore, I bet you can too, if you haven’t already.
One more thing: Are you going to talk to someone about what you just have read? It may be quite interesting to do so. If you do, please mention this site and our multitude of Mini-Love-Lessons aimed at helping love relationships grow bigger and better. Thank you.
As always – Grow and Go with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Quotable Question: How long can you talk your love to a loved one, before you have to start using words spoken out-loud?